By: Shoshanna Solomon | August 17, 2017
After billion-dollar NeuroDerm sale, life science firms Gamida Cell, BiondVax, RedHill and Vascular Biogenics are gearing up for commercialization.
An active biotech scene
There are some 1,350 life sciences companies active now in Israel, 612 of them having been created in the last decade, 2007-2016, according to a 2016 Life Sciences Report by the Israel Advanced Technology Industries (IATI) released in May. The IATI is an umbrella organization of the high-tech and life sciences industries in Israel.
Some $823 million flowed into the industry last year, accounting for 20% of all investments in Israeli high-tech, the report showed. And the industry is becoming more mature, with some 33% of companies in preliminary revenue phase, and 5% in the revenue growth stage.
Indeed, companies like BiondVax, a developer of a universal flu vaccine candidate; Gamida Cell, a maker of cell and immune therapy technologies; RedHill Biopharma Ltd, a developer of drugs for gastrointestinal diseases; and Vascular Biogenics Ltd. (VBL), a maker of drugs that targets blood vessels to stop the spread of cancer are all gearing up toward commercialization of their products.
BiondVax, a Ness Ziona-based company whose shares are traded on the Nasdaq and in Tel Aviv, is a developer of a universal flu vaccine candidate.
The company said last month it has signed an agreement to lease a space of approximately 1,800 square meters in the Jerusalem BioPark, located in the Ein Kerem Hadassah Campus. The mid-sized facility is expected to have the capacity to annually produce tens of millions of doses of its flagship M-001 universal flu vaccine candidate, either in single-dose syringe or in bulk. M-001 is designed to provide protection against current and future seasonal and pandemic flu strains.
“This new planned mid-size commercial manufacturing facility will mark the culmination of BiondVax’s transformation into a fully integrated pharmaceutical company,” operating under international standards, said Dr. Shimon Hassin, BiondVax’s chief operating officer, at the time of the announcement.