from the July 2008 issue

Stem cell company Cognate to open Israel facility

US biotech company Cognate BioServices Inc. will open a production facility in Israel. The company currently produces stem cells for US companies developing treatments in the field.

"In Israel there's a wide range of companies in the field which could be customers of ours," says Linda Powers, co-founder and managing director of venture capital fund Toucan Capital Corp., Cognate's lead investor, and chairperson of the Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission. "We'll also move part of the production of our US customers to Israel and distribute the products from here across Europe."

Powers was in Israel and attended the Israel Life Sciences Industry (ILSI) Biomed 2008 conference.

Both the government and officials in the biomed industry have been working intensively to get life science companies worldwide to move their production to Israel but only a few companies presently operate here, most of them from the medical device sector. The Israeli customers to which Powers refers are Gamida Cell Ltd., Pluristem Therapeutics Ltd. (Nasdaq:PSTI; DAX: PJT), and Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics Ltd. (Bulletin Board:BCLI). "Geographically, Israel could serve as a supply chain to Europe. There's also a lot of people here with clinical and technical training in advanced stem cell production. The facility will be cheaper to set up here than it would in other locations," says Powers.

Israel is considered highly advanced in stem cell research with two world-class laboratories specializing in stem cell production at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology and the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School. Once the cells are produced at laboratories like these, they can be reproduced commercially at companies like Cognate. The production process is extremely complicated and the production rooms and containers must be US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved.

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report July 2008

Click HERE to request further information.
Click HERE to go BACK.