S. Carolina lures Israeli innovations with new R&D partnership, neurotech startup investment

May 19, 2013

Read more: http://medcitynews.com/2013/05/s-carolina-lures-israeli-innovations-with-new-rd-partnership-neurotech-startup-investment/#ixzz2Tm2LfjA2

South Carolina is joining the ranks of Massachusetts and New York in formalizing a partnership that could benefit local biomedical and health IT companies by allowing them to tap into scientific innovation happening in Israel, a nation rich with promising technology startups.

Under the partnership, research entities in the state and the nation will support joint R&D projects between Israeli and South Carolina companies and universities. The S.C. Research Authority and MATIMOP, the Israeli Industry Center for R&D , have both reportedly set aside $1 million to invest in high-tech collaborations in six industries where both regions excel: biomedical, sustainable systems, transportation, health and insurance IT, defense and homeland security, and advanced materials.

“These are things we already have expertise in, and we found a lot of companies there that were a really great fit with some of the things we were already working on,” said Micki MacNaughton, spokeswoman for SCRA.

As another example of the burgeoning relationship, SCRA’s technology venture arm announced a first-round investment in Israeli company NeuroQuest, which is developing blood-based immune biomarkers to enable earlier detection and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and Lou Gehrig’s disease. According to SCRA, the company is preparing for a clinical study of its diagnostic test with the Harvard Clinical Research Institute and other U.S. research centers.

MacNaughton said the investment in NeuroQuest wasn’t directly tied to the new partnership, but is an example of the continued collaboration with Israel. She declined to disclose the amount of the investment, as it was just approved at SCRA Technology Ventures’ SC Launch program’s board meeting last week and was still being finalized.

Following other recent investments from U.S. investors including InterTech Group and the Maryland/Israel Trendlines Fund, NeuroQuest is also establishing a clinical development facility in Charleston.

Tom Glaser, president of the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce, Southeast Region, which works to boost relationships and business opportunities between Israel and southeastern U.S. states, noted that Vaya Pharma is another medical company that established a U.S. headquarters in the state.

“For South Carolina, this (partnership) means a pipeline of really exciting technologies from Israel and companies that all want to expand into the U.S. market but need to have a foothold somewhere,” Glaser said. “South Carolina companies are engaging in R&D with Israeli companies, they’re engaging in partnerships of all kinds, they’re investing in Israeli companies. On the other side, Israeli companies are partnering and looking for clinical relationships — thought leadership, advisory boards and connections to the big players.”

Read more: http://medcitynews.com/2013/05/s-carolina-lures-israeli-innovations-with-new-rd-partnership-neurotech-startup-investment/#ixzz2Tm2h94r6

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