Jerusalem Venture Partners and British multinational pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca have signed a cooperation agreement to identify, develop and invest in digital health in Israel, the Jerusalem-based venture capital firm announced Tuesday.
A ceremony was held at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation in Jaffa to launch BeyondBio, a unique investment program which is AstraZeneca’s official entry into the digital health sector in Israel. The event was attended by 300 of Israel’s global leaders in the medical and pharmaceutical fields.
Project BeyondBio was launched as part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for investment in Israel that was signed six months ago by AstraZeneca and the Israel Innovation Authority.
The first investment in Israel by AstraZeneca is estimated to be about NIS 10 million (about $2.8 million)
The program’s flagship project “PLAY BeyondBio” aims to develop and promote startups in the digital health field in order to locate and create groundbreaking solutions for challenges in the health industry.
The program is a strategic partnership between AstraZeneca PLC, JVP, the Israel National Initiative Association, Maccabitech Healthcare Research and Innovation Institute, Morris Kahn, the Sagol Fund, and Microsoft.
It will enable local startups to access to a wide range of resources that includes guidance and mentoring, access to databases, professional training and enrichment, JVP said.
“AstraZeneca’s local representatives have striven for over a decade to make medicine more accessible and invested in clinical research in Israel. We are proud now to launch our unique plan, BeyondBio, designed as a result of the recognition Israel receives as an up-and-coming global force in the innovation and digital health fields,” said Ohad Goldberg, CEO of AstraZeneca. “Together with its strategic partners for this project, AstraZeneca will support the development of medical solutions which will furnish the healthcare system with better tools to provide better care to patients in Israel and around the world.”
“The world of health and medicine are facing dramatic changes. Israel now has the opportunity to become a world leader in digital health, and Israeli entrepreneurs have the ability to lead this revolution. Israel is home to the smartest minds in technological fields such as AI, Cyber, and IT among others,” said Erel Margalit, founder and chairman of JVP and Israel Initiative ii2020. “The connection between disruptive Israeli technology and the knowledge and experience of AstraZeneca, a world-leading pharma corporation, along with partners such as Microsoft, Israel Initiative, Maccabi, prominent hospitals, and medical schools, is the foundation for entrepreneurs transforming digital health into the next leading category with thousands of job opportunities in the coming years, from here in Israel”.