REHOVOT, Israel & NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Yeda Research and Development Co. Ltd., the commercial arm of the Weizmann Institute of Science, and Deerfield Management Company, a healthcare investment firm, today announced the development of an extensive translational research initiative. The research collaboration, Deerfield’s first outside the USA, is expected to catalyze the development of transformative treatments toward clinical validation for cures for diseases and improved quality of life.
Up to $130 million of initial funding will be made available by Deerfield to support the initiative over 10 years through a newly launched company called Orchard Innovations, LLC. Deerfield will additionally provide its operational, managerial and developmental know-how to further cutting-edge drug research spanning a range of areas in medicine, including difficult-to-treat and rare illnesses.
Gil Granot-Mayer, Yeda’s CEO, said, “We highly value the commitment, deep understanding and proficiency in early-stage development processes which Deerfield brings to our collaboration. Deerfield’s capabilities, together with Yeda’s commercial and translational expertise and the pioneering multi-disciplinary basic science of the Weizmann Institute, produce a rare synergetic relationship which we are confident will lead to scientific and therapeutic breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity.”
Orchard Innovations, LLC, a private company wholly owned by affiliates of Deerfield, will support R&D projects out of the Weizmann Institute of Science throughout various stages of drug exploration and advancement. Starting early 2020, Yeda will submit proposals on projects for consideration by a committee comprising scientific leadership representing the Weizmann Institute of Science, Yeda and Deerfield.
“Whether its Weizmann’s groundbreaking discoveries that led to the development of novel drugs for multiple sclerosis, immunotherapies that cure certain previously incurable cancers, or its dominance in medical innovation, the Institute is consistently on the cutting edge of meaningful and impactful innovations,” said James E. Flynn, managing partner at Deerfield. “We are delighted to partner with and leverage the knowledge of the Weizmann Institute in our mutual goal to advance healthcare worldwide. Deerfield’s enhanced capabilities, with the upcoming launch of our new innovation campus at 345 Park Avenue South in New York City, are also expected to be an important source of added value for Weizmann.”
Accepted projects will include a development plan aimed at achieving Investigational New Drug (IND) readiness. Deerfield will provide funding and development support for accepted projects, and promising projects that achieve IND-enabled status may be eligible for additional backing from Deerfield.
Under the terms of the agreement, Orchard Innovations, LLC would receive a license to intellectual property developed under Deerfield-supported projects at the Weizmann Institute of Science.
The Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, is one of the world's top-ranking multidisciplinary research institutions. Noted for its wide-ranging exploration of the natural and exact sciences, the Institute is home to scientists, students, technicians and supporting staff. Institute research efforts include the search for new ways of fighting disease and hunger, examining leading questions in mathematics and computer science, probing the physics of matter and the universe, creating novel materials and developing new strategies for protecting the environment.
Deerfield is a healthcare investment management firm committed to advancing healthcare through investment, information and philanthropy.
Yeda Research and Development Company Ltd. is the commercial arm of the Weizmann Institute of Science. Yeda currently manages approximately 500 unique patent families and has generated the highest income per researcher compared to any other academic technology transfer operation worldwide. Through the years, Yeda has contributed the commercialization of a number of groundbreaking therapies, such as Copaxone, Rebif, Tookad®, Erbitux®, Vectibix®, Protrazza®, Humira®, and recently the CAR-T cancer therapy Yescarta®.