$2 billion investment needed to secure Israel's life sciences industry, according to new report by Milken Institute

Press Release

$2 billion investment needed to secure Israel's life sciences industry, according to new report by Milken Institute

(JERUSALEM) Israel's nascent biotechnology sector has tremendous potential to provide economic growth and position the nation as a leader in providing health-care solutions to the world. However, the industry lacks the financial and regulatory support to fulfill that potential.

According to a new report, Accelerating Medical Solutions in Israel: Building a Global Life Science Industry, from the Milken Institute, to be issued today at the President′s Conference in Jerusalem, Israel needs to invest sufficient capital and resources in its life sciences sector to overcome past market failures and become a thriving industry.

The analysis shows that Israel′s life sciences industry could become an important growth engine of the Israeli economy within the next decade, producing companies that compete on a global scale. To reach this goal, however, three major objectives must be met:

  • the development of the industry needs to be a national priority
  • it requires a $2-billion dollar investment within the next three years
  • public-private partnerships to sponsor a structured finance vehicle are required to provide the necessary investment and shepherd the growth of the industry

"In order to turn this industry into a national asset, we need to dramatically increase access to capital, and the best way to do that is collaboration between the private and public sectors," said Glenn Yago, Director of Capital Studies at the Milken Institute and head of the Milken Institute Israel Center. "Israel also needs structure, including a national food and drug administrative body to regulate clinical and genetic trials. This kind of regulatory certainty will encourage biotechnology firms, pharmaceutical companies and philanthropic funds to invest in Israeli projects at different stages."

According to the report, Israel's biotechnology industry currently faces the threat of market failure. The flight abroad of human, intellectual and financial capital is quickly depleting the resources needed for growth. This ultimately undermines the potential for Israel to be a part of developing future cures for chronic and infectious diseases that threaten prosperity around the globe.

The report stems from a Financial and Policy Medical Innovations Lab, held in December 2007 in Jerusalem. The day-long workshop attracted more than 100 top scientists, policy makers, entrepreneurs and business leaders to look at the challenges and opportunities of Israel's biotech sector, building on the strengths of its high-tech human capital. The lab was designed by the Milken Institute at the request of President Shimon Peres.

As a follow-up to this important gathering, the leaders of Israel′s life sciences industry, together with policy makers and researchers, will convene today for a special panel at the upcoming President's Conference to discuss ways to turn research and development into a successful global industry.

Panel participants include Professor Yago, Dr. Eli Opper, Professor Shlomo Ben-Chaim, Dr. Rafi Hopstein, Dr. Dan Vilneski, and Professor Manuel Trachtenberg. The session, where the Milken Institute report will be released, will focus on ways that medical innovation in Israel can be translated into business successes, how to build systems of public funding, and a look at private-public collaboration possibilities.

The Milken Institute's role in this process is part of its continuing work in Israel through the Milken Institute Israel Center. The Israel Center's mission is to accelerate and support Israel's path toward economic independence and broad-based prosperity through capital market development, financial innovation and job creation.

Accelerating Medical Solutions in Israel: Building a Global Life Science Industry is available in English and in Hebrew.

A seperate executive summary, in both English and Hebrew, is available here.

Published April 8, 2019