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Abott pharmaceutical giant enters the collaborative multi-national corporate program at MOITAL’s Office of the Chief Scientist

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Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

An agreement was signed recently at the office of MOITAL Minister, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer in Jerusalem authorizing an R&D collaboration initiative with the American pharmaceutical and medical equipment giant, “Abbott”.

MOITAL Managing Director, Sharon Kedmi: “The fact that a company of this magnitude joins us in collaboration is a landmark both for the local biotech industry as well as for the entire Israeli economy, especially considering the difficulties suffered by the world economy within the last few years”

The American pharmaceutical and medical equipment giant, “Abbott” is now commencing R&D operations in Israel within the framework of the multi-national R&D collaboration corporate program at MOITAL’s Office of the Chief Scientist.

MOITAL’s Chief Scientist, Dr. Eli Oper, and the Vice President of Diagnostic Products in Abbott, Edward Michael, have signed an agreement for industrial R&D collaboration, during a festive ceremony conducted today at the presence of MOITAL Minister, Binyamin (Fuad) Ben Eliezer in his office in Jerusalem.

MOITAL Managing Director Sharon Kedmi expressed his great satisfaction with the signing of this R&D collaboration agreement with Abbott, being one of the leading world companies in the pharmaceutical and medical equipment field, and said: “The fact that a company of this magnitude joins us in collaboration is a landmark both for the local biotech industry as well as for the entire Israeli economy, especially considering the difficulties suffered by the world economy within the last few years”.

MOITAL’s Chief Scientist, Dr. Eli Oper, noted with great satisfaction that “Abbott is one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in the world. In recent years we have invested tremendous efforts in convincing another large pharmaceutical company to engage in R&D operations in Israel, and Abbott is definitely a worthy strategic partner for Israeli companies working in the pharmaceutical and medical equipment field”.

“Israel offers knowledge in the fields of science, expertise and resources, that are of great value, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to cooperate with the Chief Scientist’s Office in developing innovative technologies that will help promote medical treatment and improve people’s lives”, said Edward Michael, Senior Vice President of Diagnostic Products in Abbott. Legal representation for the Chief Scientist’s Office is provided by the Office’s Legal Advisor, Zafrir Neuman.

So far, 18 multi-national corporations have signed the collaborative agreement with the Chief Scientist, including: Intel, Oracle, Arkema (France), IBM, Alcatel, General Electric, B-Brown (Germany), BT (formerly British Telecomm), Deutche Telecom, Telecomm Italy, Microsoft, Merck (Germany), Novozymes (Denmark), HP, Sun, Coca-Cola and Renault-Nissan. According to Dr. Ofer, “the corporate program in his office have become in recent years the primary alternative for many corporations, for the purpose of conducting joint projects with innovative Israeli companies”.

The corporate program in the Chief Scientist’s Office offers a unique framework for technological cooperation between Israeli companies and multi-national corporations. According to the agreement, the Chief Scientist assists the multi-national corporations in identifying Israeli technologies answering the corporation’s needs and provides financial support for funding R&D operations needed to complete development. The multi-national corporation supports the joint project with a Chief Scientist Grant equivalent, whether by way of financial investment or by way of loaning development equipment, providing technological and regulatory counseling, marketing orientation, and so on. In this way the corporation helps the Israeli company row and provides it with many overseas marketing possibilities.

Abbott, established in 1888, is a multi-national company, headquartered in Abbott Park, Illinois, USA. The company deals with four major areas: pharmaceuticals (such as Humira, believed by many experts to become the most consumed medication in the world within a few years), diagnostic products, vascular products (Abbott is the world leader of stent product) and nutritional supplements (such as the baby-food Similac brand). The company employs more than 80 thousand employees around the world and has a gross sales turnover of over 33 billion dollars a year.

Abbott began working in Israel in April 2004, and since then has been employing more than 100 employees involved in a distribution array that includes 35 pharmaceutical and food products of its manufacture in the Israeli market. In 2010 the Abbott-Israel company acquired the Isareli “Starlims Technologies” company, a leading manufacturer of network-based storage, analysis and data retrieval software applications for laboratories. This acquisition fortifies the global corporation’s competitive position in the world’s diagnostic products market. The Starlims company employs more than 30 Israeli employees, most of which are active in the company’s Ashkelon R&D department.