Israeli biotech - a child with great promise

The Israeli biotech industry is still in its infancy but heavy investment, an aggressive technology sector and a supportive academic community should ensure some big growth spurts.

John Borchardt
Sep 25, 2000

HOUSTON. The nascent Israeli biotech industry boasts brilliant technology but remains in the early stages of commercial development. "Computational genomics, DNA chips … the snapshot is a whole array of pieces of knowledge, technology and methodology that will serve as a basis for 21st century biotech, here as elsewhere in the world," says Professor Doron Lancet, head of genomics at the Weizmann Institute's Crown Human Genome Center. Biotech requires long-term commitment and considerable financial investment for commercialisation. Israel is attracting investment and industry leaders say an aggressive technology sector and supportive academic community will make biotech work.

The Weizmann Institute of Science plays a key part in the development of Israeli biotechnology. Current genomic studies include Y. Groner's large-scale sequencing within the acute myeloid leukaemia (AML1) gene on human chromosome 21 and Lancet's sequencing of an olfactory receptor cluster on human chromosome 17.

Biochemist Gideon Schreiber of the Weizmann Institute,...

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