24 May 2022
Lonza and Israel Biotech Fund Collaboration Framework Agreement to Support Biologics and Small Molecules Development and Manufacture for Portfolio Companies; IBF to Facilitate Access to Israeli Market
  • The two-year agreement will grant Lonza access to IBF's prominent network and allow IBF to benefit from Lonza's manufacturing expertise and knowledge in its due diligence review of potential targets  
  • The offering provides accelerated timelines for the development and manufacture of biologics and small molecules while mitigating risks
  • Lonza to support IBF in investment de-risking and providing development and manufacturing of drug substance and drug product services to its portfolio companies

Basel, Switzerland and Rehovot, Israel, 24 May 2022 – Israel Biotech Fund, a venture fund investing in Israeli and Israeli-related biotech companies, and Lonza, a global development and manufacturing partner to the pharma, biotech and nutrition industries, today announced a framework agreement. Lonza will add value to IBF through pre-investment due diligence support and offer IBF's portfolio companies with tailored advice, flexibility and services for the development and manufacturing of biologics and small molecules. IBF will provide Lonza with access to IBF’s portfolio companies and broad network in the biotech industry in Israel.

The agreement aims to broaden the scope of services provided by Lonza to pharmaceutical companies in the Israeli ecosystem and an opportunity to support the unique needs of these companies looking to simplify and de-risk the development of their molecules. This is particularly relevant to the Israeli biotech industry, where the number of biotech start-ups established every year has averaged 150 in the last decade.[1]

In Israel, a country that is slightly smaller than the state of New Jersey, there were more than 1,750 life science companies active at the end of 2020, many of which are start-ups and small biotech companies.[1] IBF is an investment fund dedicated to investments in and development of the biotech industry in Israel. Since its inception in 2015, IBF has played a key role in the Israeli Biotech ecosystem. It has vast exposure to and familiarity with the market and key players in the Israeli pharma industry, as well as most biotech companies and projects.

Lonza will advise IBF in its due diligence review of candidate biotech targets and provide a tailored offering, advice and services to IBF's portfolio companies targeting innovations in the healthcare sector focused on developing therapeutic assets and disruptive platforms.

Pnina Weitz, Global Head of Venture Capital Business Development and Relationship Management, Lonza, commented: "We chose to collaborate with IBF, a leading investment fund in Israel, due to their unique investment strategy, broad network and approach. We are excited to implement this framework agreement that will provide IBF and their portfolio companies with services and expertise across multiple modalities. IBF’s network will allow Lonza to benefit from these connections and offer services and expertise across multiple modalities. Lonza's customized and scalable solutions in the development and manufacture of both biologics and small molecules will allow these companies to leverage our global network and experience and focus on what they do best – developing innovative and transformative treatments."

Ido Zairi, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Israel Biotech Fund, added: "Lonza is a leading and reputative global manufacturer, and we are excited to collaborate with them. The unique business model offered by the collaboration agreement will provide Lonza with broad access to the Israeli market and allow our portfolio companies to leverage Lonza's expertise and innovative business models. Such companies will benefit from a streamlined development and manufacturing process, allowing them to focus on research and development and pre-clinical studies."

The offering comprises Lonza's expertise and technology that accelerates timelines while mitigating risks of developing and manufacturing molecules ranging from monoclonal antibodies, complex proteins, and small molecules to antibody-drug conjugates. The integrated approach to drug substance and drug product development and manufacturing across various platforms significantly simplifies the supply chain, reduces process complexity, and allows for shortened development timelines.

[1] According to the IATI, Israel’s umbrella organization of the high-tech, life science and other advanced technology industries.