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Merck commits €10m to Israeli biotechs

Merck Serono, a division of Merck, is to support biotech start-ups in Israel with its Israel Bioincubator Fund, a strategic and corporate initiative

Merck Serono, a division of Merck, is to support biotech start-ups in Israel with its Israel Bioincubator Fund, a strategic and corporate initiative. 

The proposal is designed to accelerate the successful development of entrepreneurial start-up companies and will offer both seed financing and the opportunity for biotechs to use a dedicated part of Merck Serono's Israeli research and development centre, Interlab, for their own research.

Israeli biotech companies will be selected based on their potential for developing innovative technologies aligned with the company's strategy, which could enable the discovery and development of new products.

Merck Serono will commit a total of €10m to the bioincubator programme during a seven-year period.

"Because biotech companies and spin-offs from academia in Israel have a high innovation potential, this initiative is very promising for Merck Serono," said Dr Bernhard Kirschbaum, executive vice president of Global Research & Development at Merck Serono. "Our collaboration through the Merck Serono Israel Bioincubator Fund will create exciting opportunities."

Susan Herbert, executive vice president of global portfolio development at Merck Serono, said: "During its long history in Israel, Merck Serono has experienced the willingness of small start-ups to link with larger and more experienced companies that can help them guide product development and company growth. By offering start-ups the funding options and access to more resources that could help move breakthrough concepts into the pre-clinical phase, we can create significant early-stage opportunities and build crucial relations needed for the in-licensing of promising new compounds."

The bioincubator will be launched officially towards the end of 2011. Israeli companies wishing to submit proposals or receive additional information should contact the Merck Serono Israel Bioincubator Fund.

30th March 2011

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