Israeli Pioneering Applied Biotechnology Research Institute Facilitates Academy –Industry Collaborations

Sharon Fireman
Ben Gurion University

Abstract
Introduction
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) was founded in 1969 and located in Israeli desert (Negev) as a continuation to David Ben-Gurion’s, Israeli first Prime Minister, vision:” The future of Israel lies in the Negev”.
BGU is the fastest growing research university in Israel, increasingly recognized globally for its research and innovation.

The Challenge
Commercialization of the outstanding research and technologies developed in the universities to the industry is usually carried out in academic institutes by Technology Transfer Offices (TTO). Bio-pharma related developments characterized by high technological complexity associated with bio research, excessive funding required for Proof -of- Concept (PoC) and requirement for preclinical work prior to commercialization, therefore, there is a need to “Bridge the Gap” between Academic research and Bio Pharma requirements. Thus, creative investment and collaboration models are needed to be established in order to address this unmet need of bio-pharma developments transfer to the industry.

Our Solution
The National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev, Ltd. (NIBN), is a unique, independent and self-sustained applied research company aims to pave the way from innovative research-driven discovery to commercialization by focusing and funding only biotechnologically innovative research projects with clear commercial potential. Research at the NIBN is performed by a select few BGU investigators, all of which are faculties members, in NIBN’s dedicated building with state of the art Research and Development (R&D) laboratories and facilities located within BGU campus.
The NIBN's management team, made exclusively of Biotech veterans, follows and helps to guide BGU-originated applied research through Proof-of-Concept and commercialization. We encourage and support cutting-edge, innovative and discovery-driven research, that generates ideas for new biotechnology applications.
Looking towards the future, we envision that the NIBN will have a significant impact on the economic prosperity of BGU and the Negev region, by establishing more technology-based new companies and that it will become a recognized player in the international Biopharma Industry.

Achievements
Four NIBN's based technologies have been out licensed for the establishment of New Companies (New-Co.): VDAC Pharma Ltd, currently in clinical phase, Valin Technologies Ltd, Tiran Shipping Ltd and Pink Pharma Ltd, a recently established company. All these four bio-pharmaceutical companies are located in Israel, employs researchers and executive teams which are dedicated to discover and develop first-in-class innovative medicines to help patients suffering from various diseases.

Next steps
NIBN’s has an innovative pipeline comprised of 20 R&D projects focused on diverse research fields, including Cancer, Infectious Diseases, Autoimmune, Metabolic Diseases, Neurodegenerative Diseases, Human Genetic Disorders and Applied Biotechnology.
We are looking to collaborate with big pharmaceuticals, SMEs, research institutes as well as investors who are willing to take part and join our journey of novel therapeutics development.
More details will be shared in our presentation at the UIIN 2019.