Israel issuing third biotechnology incubator tender

Lapid group including Johnson & Johnson, Teva not expected to bid after losing last tender
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The Ministry of Industry and Trade today published a third tender to establish a biotechnology incubator.

The state already supports two biotechnology incubators, one in Jerusalem and the other in Rehovot.

One of the most likely candidates, the Lapid Biotechnology group headed by Teva, will not be participating in the new tender, said Giza venture capital fund manager Zeev Holtzman.

Lapid, which included American giant Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), several Israeli venture capital funds and Teva, lost a previous tender to run a biotechnology incubator.

It will be setting up an alternative biotechnology venture of its own, Holtzman said.

Max Hertzberg, manager of the BioDiscovery group, which also lost the last tender, said the group has not decided whether to participate in the third tender.

The ministry's chief scientist, Eli Ofer, said the new incubator would be located either in the Beer Sheba area, or in the north around Acre.

The final date for submitting bids is October 15.

The Rad BioScience group won the tender to establish a biotechnology incubator in Jerusalem, and the Einav group, run by the Ofer Brothers, is building another incubator in Rehovot.