Next, Israel as the Biotech Nation
While Israel is now world-renowned for its ability to start, grow and sell hi-tech, Internet and medical technology companies, biotech success is lagging despite Israel being # 2 behind the US in biotech patents per capita. Israeli scientists have contributed Intellectual Property to some of the world’s best-selling drugs, but the Israeli biotech industry remains immature. They still lack sufficient access to capital and experienced management to transform scientific innovation for success.
Israel is succeeding – yet can do even more – to build an Israeli Biotech scene which will help the economy and the world. Needed are multiple mid size fast growth companies to drive the local Eco system. Those companies will be publically traded in both the US and Israel early on with market capitalization from a few hundred million dollars to a few billon dollars making raising capital more comfortable and reducing the risk of failure.
Indeed, there is already so much about Israel where biotech is thriving. Israel is one of the few places in the world with a well-developed stem cell research industry, and from drugs, medical devices and more, Israeli biotech companies are making significant progress.
IMMUNE Pharmaceuticals is a company on the verge of success. Led by recent immigrants and investors from America and France, they have acquired products and technology. The Founder of the company, Dr. Daniel Teper, made Aliyah from New York two years ago. Vice Chairman Professor David Sidransky, is a world renowned cancer specialist, who made Aliyah from Baltimore where he retains a Department Head position at John Hopkins. Sidransky was previously the Vice Chairman of Imclone Systems, an American Biotech company sold to Eli Lilly for over $6 billion and remains a Director of Israel-based Rosetta Genomics.
IMMUNE’s breakthrough lead drug started clinical trials for Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis in Israel, with plans for expansion to Europe and the U.S. The drug was originally developed by Cambridge Antibody Technology, now part of AstraZeneca. Their main competitor is BIND Therapeutics, a company with technology developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
IMMUNE will make its debut on US stock markets in August following the closing of its acquisition of Epicept (NASDAQ: OMX and OTCQX: EPCT). Other Israeli movers and shakers on US stock markets include KAMADA, who make drugs for rare blood disorders, and who listed in June on NASDAQ raising $ 51.6 million at a post money valuation of over $350 million, consistently trading up since its IPO.
Another company to watch is ORAMED, an Israeli company at the forefront of the race for Oral Insulin which up listed to NASDAQ earlier this year. Start-up Nation has succeeded – and now the next decade of Israel’s business success will include a slew of leading biotech companies.