​U.S. pharmaceutical company Merck signed a commercial cooperation agreement with the Chief Scientist at the Ministry of Economy to support Israeli life science companies.

 Merck signs cooperation agreement with the Chief Scientist of Israel


(Communicated by the Ministry of Economy Spokesperson)
American pharmaceutical giant Merck (known in Israel as MSD) signed a cooperation agreement with the Chief Scientist of Israel, joining the ranks of numerous multinational corporations that have signed similar agreements with the Office of the Chief Scientist at the Ministry of Economy. Within the framework of the agreement, the Chief Scientist will assist Merck in identifying Israeli companies that are ripe for collaboration on joint technology projects.
Once Merck chooses to collaborate with one of the Israeli life science companies located through the agreement, the Chief Scientist will grant financial support for the R&D needed for the joint project while Merck will provide the same amount – either towards a financial investment in the company, or towards equipment development, personnel, technology and regulatory consulting, marketing etc. The intended result is that Merck will boost the Israeli economy and open more marketing channels overseas for Israeli companies.
During the MIXiii Innovation Conference, Chief Scientist Avi Hasson met with Sharon Alon, the CEO of MSD Israel, and the Director of Business Development in Europe and the Middle East, Jeroen Tonnaer to sign the agreement launching the collaboration between MSD and the Chief Scientist within the framework of the OCS’ global enterprise R&D cooperation program.
Avi Hasson, Chief Scientist of Israel: “MSD is the third global pharmaceutical manufacturer to join the OCS’ global enterprise R&D cooperation program. Collaboration with MSD as well as other pharmaceutical corporations provides the opportunity to initiate further joint projects within the life sciences industry. These collaborations allow Israeli companies to conduct groundbreaking research and development that would not otherwise be possible, in addition to providing the industry in Israel with the opportunity to address the many challenges that exist in the field as well as establishing its place in the global market.”
Sharon Alon, CEO of MSD: “As a society that invests in developing life-saving medicines that impact the lives of millions of people around the world, we see Israel as a hotbed for innovation in medicine. The cooperation agreement with the Chief Scientist and the accompanying option of investing in Israeli companies is the direct result of MSD’s long-standing investment in clinical research – which includes the establishment of unique oncology research centers as well as the Real World Evidence in Israel. We are proud to be able to contribute to the development of medical innovations in Israel.”
The cooperation agreement with MSD marks the 35th global enterprise agreement signed between the Chief Scientist and MNC’s, of which previous signatories include, Intel, IBM, Oracle, GE, Deutsche Telekom, and more recently 3M, BD and Finmeccanica. According to Hasson, “In recent years, many companies are choosing the global enterprise R&D cooperation program as the preferred alternative for carrying out joint projects with Israeli companies.”
About Merck
Merck, which operates outside the U.S. and Canada under the name "MSD", is a multinational pharmaceutical corporation with a team dedicated to medical R&D in a range of fields that includes family medicine, vaccines and oncology products for hospitals. The company operates in 140 countries and has approximately 67,000 employees. MSD has been operating in Israel since 1996. In addition to its marketing efforts, MSD is engaged in clinical research in multiple sites in Israel.
About the Office of the Chief Scientist
The Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) in the Ministry of Economy, empowered by the “Law for the Encouragement of Industrial Research & Development – 1984” (The R&D Law), oversees all government-sponsored support of R&D within Israeli industry. It operates through the R&D Fund, as well as a gamut of domestic and international programs, agreements and collaborations. The OCS supports hundreds of projects annually, ranging from incipient concepts within a pre-seed framework, to incubator and start-up companies, to autonomous industrial R&D enterprises.