Newly created company Metabomed and start-up company ChanBio joined Neviah Genomics and Merck KGaA in Merck’s Bioincubator located in Yavne, Israel, the company announced in a press release. The EUR 10 million ($13.7 million) Israel Bioincubator Fund was launched in 2011 by MS Ventures, the corporate venture arm of the prescription medicines division of Merck KGaA. The fund is focused on pre-seed and seed opportunities originating in Israel.
Merck KGaA is increasingly counting on partnerships with Israeli biotechnology companies, as demonstrated by its cooperation with Metabomed and ChanBio, the company said in the press release. Metabomed focuses on research in the field of cancer metabolism and computational biology. ChanBio will concentrate on the discovery of antibodies selective for ion channels considered to be significant therapeutic targets for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.
The biopharmaceutical division of Merck KGaA signed a memorandum of understanding earlier in November with Israel biotech company Kadimastem, which develops human pluripotent stem cell-related products. The aim is to utilize their screening platform to characterize new compounds discovered as remyelinating agents for multiple sclerosis, but also to possibly extend the collaboration into research fields such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. This agreement follows the signature of a previous agreement with Kadimastem in 2012.