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Hebrew University's Yissum teams with Shaare Zedek Hospital

Jul. 31, 2011
Source: Globes

Sources inform ''Globes'' that Yissum Technology Transfer Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has signed a commercialization cooperation agreement with Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. Although the details of the agreement are confidential, Yissum president and CEO Yaacov Michlin said, "It is fair to both parties."

Under the agreement, Yissum will commercialize technologies developed at Shaare Zedek though its business development network. Hebrew University and Shaare Zedek will share in the costs.

"Yissum is a successful commercialization company, one of the world's top 15 technology transfer companies," Michlin told "Globes". "We have a strong edge, especially in biomed, where you start with 50-100 projects one of which will succeed. Shaare Zedek is just over the mountain, and we have a historic academic cooperation agreement with it. There's strong potential here, because of this academic cooperation."

2010 was a record year for Yissum. It signed 60 licensing agreements and options for agreements, 100 cooperation agreements, set up several new companies based on technologies developed at the university, and its spinoffs raised over $20 million.

"With Shaare Zedek, we can expand our medical devices offerings to companies we already work with. We'll be the only commercialization company in Israel that works for both a university and a hospital," said Michlin.

Until recently, Shaare Zedek had no commercialization operations. Earlier this year, it appointed Dr. Dan Turner as director of R&D. He said, "Shaare Zedek is unknown to the research world, which is not justified. We're a big hospital with 700 beds and we treat 220,000 patients a year at our outpatient clinics. Many of our doctors are engaged in research, and write 150-200 articles a year."

Turner added that, until now, Shaare Zedek doctors who invented new technology, could only develop it personally. "In these cases, the doctors usually did nothing with the technology," said Turnder

One of Shaare Zedek's advantages is that it is not a government hospital, but an non-profit institution, so the government has no rights to the hospital's intellectual property. "Shaare Zedek was founded in the late 19th century by Europeans who thought that they should found a hospital in Jerusalem," said Michlin.

Attempts by Hebrew University to collaborate with Hadassah Medical Organization never succeeded. Hadassah has its own commercialization company, Hadasit - the Technology Transfer Company of Hadassah Medical Organization, which is almost as successful as Yissum.

"It's no small matter for two organizations to come together," said Michlin about the merger attempts between Yissum and Hadasit. "Had they had their own organization, this would be a welcome move, but the collaboration with Shaare Zedek does not prevent future cooperation with Hadasit." 

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