Yulia Karra
June 20

Israeli bio-pharmaceutical company Biolojic Design recently announced it has signed a deal with German science and technology giant Merck, potentially worth as much as 346 million euros (around 373.8 million dollars). 

The Rehovot-based startup specializes in the development of “smart,” human antibody-based therapeutics for cancer and other diseases, using artificial intelligence and computerized biology. 

In the first stage of the agreement, Biolojic will receive €10M ($10.8M) to develop two molecules that could be used as a basis in drugs that treat cancer and other immunological disorders.

The company will receive additional funding as development progresses. If the potential drug reaches the market and begins to generate sales, Biolojic is eligible to receive up to the full €346 million.

CEO and founder of Biolojic Design Yanay Ofran stated that through the deal, the company’s team will “apply our multibody capabilities to create next generation antibody-based therapies, including [solutions] with the potential to block tumor escape mechanisms, overcome tumor and patient heterogeneity and offer improved safety and efficacy.”

A screenshot of Biolojic’s website featuring the company’s mission statement. Screenshot via biolojic.com
A screenshot of Biolojic’s website featuring the company’s mission statement. Screenshot via biolojic.com

Since its establishment in 2008, Biolojic’s operations have primarily been materialized through partnerships with drug companies. The company has raised $30 million to date and employs over 50 people. 

Six months ago, the startup signed an agreement with Teva Pharmaceuticals for the development of asthma and eczema drugs. 

Speaking at the Biomed Israel conference earlier this year, Ofran told the audience: “Using our technology, we can make sure that an antibody will always end up in the right place, we can force it to bind to target A and not target B, and we can make it change its approach if there is a change in the disease, by measuring the environment and reacting to it. The binding of our antibodies to the target is also better.”

“We develop new drugs for known targets, in a way that improves the chances of success of drug development.” 

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

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