The 17th National Life Science & Technology Week
Israel’s Life Science Industry Set for Boost in Investment
Interview with MIXiii BIOMED 2018 Conference Co-Chairs Ruti Alon and Dr. Ora Dar.

Israel's life science industry has come a long way in the 17 years since the first BIOMED conference. It is currently one of the leading global centers of R&D and marketable innovative ideas in biotech, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and digital health.
A recent report by the international ratings agency Moody's suggests that a new era of greater investment is beginning. In raising the outlook for international healthcare giants like Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic and Boston Scientific, companies that have made major acquisitions and investments in Israel, from "Stable" to Positive, Moody's stated, "We believe that this sector will post 4-5% growth in the next 12-18 months. Growth will have to come from innovation in products."
With more than 1,200 companies operating in Israel’s life science industry and some 100 new startups added each year, the sector is flourishing. Despite the early stage of many companies; more than one third are already generating revenues.
Ms. Alon said, "If these companies and others need to stock up on new products, then Israel is certainly the place to look for medical innovation. We expect that representatives of these and other large companies, who attend the MIXiii BIOMED 2018 Conference and Exhibition, to be eager to find advanced technologies within the life sciences community."
Conference Co-Chairperson Dr. Ora Dar added, "The pendulum is swinging back to medical devices. Israeli venture capital funds are realizing this and stepping up their investments. I see very interesting products here”.
Over the last twelve months, several Israeli life science companies were bought by large international firms such as the $990 million acquisition of Valtech Cardio by Edward Lifesciences and the $1.1 billion acquisition of Neuroderm by the Japanese Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation. In addition, about half a dozen IPOs took place on Nasdaq. Neuroderm’s 2017acquisition price set a new record for the industry according to IVC-Research.

One of the world's largest BIOMED events
This year's conference has three co-chairpersons:
Ruti Alon, Founder and CEO Medstrada. She founded Israel Life Science Industry (ILSI), which subsequently merged with IATI, and was its Chair since its inception in 2005. She is a former General Partner at Pitango Venture Capital.
Ora Dar, Ph.D., Israel Innovation Authority member of the leading team of the National Personal Medicine Initiative and the National research oriented Genomic-Clinical Database.
Nissim Darvish, M.D. Ph.D., Senior Managing Director at OrbiMed Israel, which manages two venture capital funds investing in Israel’s biopharma and med-tech.
The Israeli annual Biomed conference is one of the largest events outside of the US. Last year's conference and exhibition attracted over 6,000 senior executives, scientists and engineers including 1,000 participants from 45 countries, and more than 4,500 one-on-one meetings.
Global industry leaders and investors see Israel’s biomedical sector, with its broad range of products and technologies, combined with the country’s spirit of entrepreneurship and academic workforce, as a valuable center of innovation and profitable investments. This is reflected in the top international figures attending and addressing the annual BIOMED conference and exhibition in Tel Aviv.
Among the speakers this year is Israeli-born Arie Belldegrun who in August sold Kite Pharma to Gilead Sciences for a whopping $11.9 billion. The company developed a novel cancer immunotherapy treatment. Other keynote speakers include Johnson & Johnson Chief Medical Science & Technology Officer Bruce Rosengard, Paul Biondi, SVP Head of Business Development Bristol Myers-Squibb and Philip Nelson, Director of Engineering at Google Research, Troy Cox, CEO Foundation Medicine and finally, Francois Maisonrouge, senior Managing Director at Evercore Inc. Keynote speakers at the focused Tracks are experts in their fields from global corporates, such as Medimmune/Astra Zeneca, Roche, MSD, Eli Lily, and Novartis.

BIOMED 2018 Hot Topics
This year's conference will revolve around nine tracks that encompass many of the hottest topics in medical technology and biopharma today: digital healthcare, Internet-of-Things and big data – new armamentarium in medicine; next generation oncology treatments; brain health; personalized diagnostics and treatments; fighting rare genetic diseases using new therapeutic approaches; nanomedicine and its role in new medical therapeutics; from academia research to industry; cutting edge medical device technologies: metabolic, ophthalmology; and novel clinical trial designs and technologies to accelerate drug development.
Digital Health, IoT, and Big Data – New Armamentarium in Medicine
Digital health, IOT, and Big Data solutions are rapidly progressing from conceptual ideas to transformative solutions that are greatly evolving global healthcare delivery. Advances in science integrated with cutting-edge technologies have resulted in previously unimagined and accessible advances. With leading consumer-oriented organizations, prestigious academic medicine, research and financial institutions presenting, this track covers wide-ranging perspective on the impact that innovation is having in healthcare and what the future will likely offer. Additionally, exciting emerging companies focused on advances in artificial intelligence, cybersecurity in healthcare, patient-driven care, and advances within big data and biology will offer their vision on how novel approaches will positively affect medicine in the 21st century and beyond.

Nanomedicine and its Role in New Medical Therapeutics
This is a new topic for the conference and Dar says "I believe in this sector, and especially the change it is likely to bring to precision drug delivery. Many products in this sector are still at the research stage. Our think that there is a gap between the research stage and the development stage, perhaps greater than with conventional drugs, and it's therefore very important to connect the researchers and entrepreneurs of young companies in this sector with the international companies in the sector.

Fighting Rare Genetic Diseases Using Novel Therapeutic Approaches
Development of therapies for rare genetic diseases has been boosted in the last decade or so by the availability of affordable access to deep genome sequencing that allows more precise diagnosis of patents and by social media that allows patients who once thought they are alone to find other patients like them. Several pharma companies have established rare genetic diseases units, the number of biotech companies dedicated to rare genetic diseases is multiplying and most importantly, parents to children diagnosed with rare and ultra-rare genetic diseases are now taking the initiative to develop therapies and save their children’s lives. In this session the different players (Pharma, Biotech, parents) will describe their efforts and journey towards curing rare genetic diseases.

Brain Health
In accordance with the international goal of developing a cure or disease-modifying medicine for dementia by 2025, the Brain Health track will map the current landscape of research, treatment and prevention of neurodegenerative diseases and Dementia. In addition, we will draw lessons from current drug development, evaluate emerging approaches to improve treatments including new insights into diseases pathology.
As neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s, evolve over decades prior to the clinical manifestation, understanding the covariates that contribute to disease progression, the staging of when changes in cognition and function occur, are critical to advancement of innovative treatments. Hence, a panel of experts will discuss whether we are getting closer to validated Biomarkers.
Next Generation Oncology Treatments
Advances in Cancer therapies enable for a more precision and effective treatment of patients with fewer harmful side effects. Breakthroughs in Personalized Medicine permits giving cancer patients treatments based on particular markers in their tumors; The emerging field of cancer immunology has produced several therapies for treating cancer patients, that increase the strength of their immune response against tumors. Thus the next generation of oncology therapeutics is expected to include checkpoint inhibitors, chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapies (CAR-T), novel therapeutic vaccines, bispecific antibodies and antibody drug conjugates. These technologies are the focus of continued research and development. Speakers at the Oncology Track will discuss these cutting edge technologies and the road to transforming Cancer to a manageable chronic disease.

Novel Clinical Trial Designs and Technologies to Accelerate Drug Development
This session is inspired by global advancements in drug R&D innovation, from FDA's comprehensive and profound roadmap for the 21st Century Cures Act, through to partnerships championed in Europe around basket and umbrella trials. Accordingly, the discussion will include (i) groundbreaking research that is progressively translated into approvals and indication expansions using in vitro data, real-world evidence and adaptive trial designs. Overall, these accelerated mechanisms allow the development of novel therapeutics, as well as repurposing of existing molecules, ultimately ensuring accelerated development of drugs for patients in need; (ii) demonstration of the cutting-edge solutions championed by Israeli companies/subsidiaries to accelerate translation of R&D into reality; (iii) examples of international initiatives in this realm.

Personalized Diagnosis and Treatment
The track will focus on the challenge of providing sustainable and effective healthcare to a growing and aging population is driving the emergence of personalized diagnostics and precision medicine. The vision is that treatment tailored to an individual’s characteristics - based on genetic and other molecular analyses - will result in improved outcomes, both medically and economically. The ongoing revolution in genetics and the ability to sequence individual Genome, together with clinical, phenotypic and behavioral data, utilizing Big Data and deep learning technologies are increasingly important in our understanding of the mechanism of diseases and revealing as to why it varies so much from patient to patient.

In summary, the three Co-Chairpersons are excited about the conference and its offering this year. Moreover they are optimistic about the outlook for the industry, its on-going innovation, maturing process and successful exits.

Produced By: Daniel Uzan Media & Communications