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Tender in August : AstraZeneca teams with Minrav in biotech incubator

AstraZeneca will handle the consortium’s professional side, and Minrav will be responsible for financing.


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/ By Gali Weinreb /

Sources inform ”Globes” that AstraZeneca plc (NYSE; LSE; OMX: AZN) has teamed with Israeli real estate company Minrav Holdings Ltd. (TASE: MNRV) to bid in the Office of the Chief Scientist’s biotechnology incubator tender. AstraZeneca will handle the consortium’s professional side, and Minrav will be responsible for financing.
The AstraZeneca-Minrav consortium is bidding against a consortium of OrbiMed Israel and the venture capital arms of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) and Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd. (TSE: 4502).
Minrav owns a building in the Jerusalem Biotechnology Park and used to have an agrotechnology business until it sold Agro Green Ltd. in 2009.
The sources say that Minrav initiated the bid in the biotechnology incubator tender, and found a partner in AstraZeneca, through its US biotechnology arm MedImmune LLC. MedImmune Ventures is run by senior managing director Dr. Ron Laufer, an Israeli physician.
The consortium that wins the biotechnology incubator tender will invest NIS 5 million in it over the first two years (NIS 2.7 million in administration, and NIS 2.4 million in its share of the incubator’s six projects). In exchange, the consortium will receive from the Chief Scientist NIS 18 million, which will go directly to the incubator’s portfolio companies, and will only be repaid in the event of a success. The tender winner will reportedly be selected in August.
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