5 Israeli biotech cos chosen for US marketing program

The managers of the companies will be given market strategy training.

Five Israeli biotechnology companies have been chosen to participate in a program for acclimatization to and penetration of the US market. The Maryland/Israel Development Center (MIDC) initiated the program. Registration for a similar program for high-tech companies will begin shortly.

MIDC executive director Barry Bogage said yesterday that the program would focus on a few promising Israeli companies, and, together with their managers, would form strategies to make a breakthrough in the US market possible.

He added that the biotechnology companies in the program were chosen from fifteen applicants. “Many of the Israeli companies are trying to break into the US market are too young, and their management is not always ready for it. We have preferred companies that are one or two years old that have passed the incubator stage, and which have proven management experience in international trade and business development, financial stability, and an attractive technology or product that they are ready to market, or at least in the advanced development stages.”

The five companies chosen are Andante Medical Devices, which has developed an innovative weight-bearing monitor for gait rehabilitation; Chiasma, which has developed solutions for delivering protein-based drugs in a non-invasive manner; ETView, which has designed an innovative endotracheal tube for use in emergency surgery; MGVS, which technology for using patients’ cells to treat heart disease; and SLP, which develops disposable sensors for examining body function in the treatment of sleeping disorders.

In the first stage of the plan, the company managers will attend an intensive five-day seminar in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 18-22, in which they will received detailed advice on forming a marketing strategy for the relevant sectors of the US biotechnology market, and will meet with representatives of major pharmaceutical firms, such as Bristol-Myers-Squibb (NYSE: BMY), MedImmune (Nasdaq: MEDI), and Meridian Medical Technologies.

In the second stage, the managers will return to Israel to continue developing their strategy and planning their entry into the US market, under the guidance of MIDC personnel and Trendlines International, an Israeli consultancy firm. The company managers will return to the US in the fall for a road show, in which they will meet with potential customers, investors, and strategic partners.

The parallel program helping Israel high-tech companies enter the US market will be open to seven companies. MIDC expects intense competition, since the number of companies likely to file applications is greater than the number of companies that filed applications for the biotechnology program.

The cost of the program is $6,200 for the first participating manager from each company, and $1,900 for each additional participant. This figure covers all costs except for travel expenses. In addition, every company must pay the initiators of the program a 2.5% commission on all revenue generated over the next five years as a result of contacts made through the program.

The two programs are receiving $266,000 in financing from the US-Israel Science and Technology Foundation, the financing arm of the US-Israel Science & Technology Commission. MIDC is supported by Maryland; the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Labor; and the Baltimore Jewish community.

Published by Globes [online] - www.globes.co.il - on April 8, 2004

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