Clal Biotechnology Industries is to lead a 40 million euro financing round for a German biotechnology firm. Clal Biotechnology is the biotechnology investment arm of the Clal group.

Clal is to place 7 million euros out of a total of 10 million euros to be invested by a leading group of investors.

The name of the German biotechnology firm was not disclosed, but TheMarker has learned that the German firm is based in Dusseldorf.

The German company has an American branch, after it acquired two US companies operating in its field, developing technology for culturing embryo cells and stem cells. The technology is intended for culturing pancreas cells and heart-muscle cells for treating diabetes and heart disease.

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TheMarker has learned that the financing round is to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2002.

President and CEO David Haselkorn said today at conference held by investment bank Ilanot Batucha that the German company has pledged to open an R&D center at the Clal Biotechnology laboratories in Yavne, after the round is completed.

He added that Clal Biotechnology may invest in an Israeli biotechnology firm in the course of 2002.