MERCK AND WEIZMANN INSTITUTE SIGN NEW FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT ON RESEARCH COLLABORATION
DARMSTADT, GERMANY, AND REHOVOT, ISRAEL—February 16, 2016— Merck, a leading science and technology company, has extended its partnership with the Weizmann Institute of Science by signing a new framework agreement, thus building on a successful innovation partnership of almost four decades.
Innovation has been key during Merck’s now nearly 350 years of history, and will play the same crucial role in the company’s future. The new framework agreement on research collaboration and licensing was signed last night on the Weizmann campus in Rehovot, Israel, by Stefan Oschmann, Deputy CEO and Vice Chairman of the Executive Board of Merck; Belén Garijo, Member of the Executive Board of Merck and CEO Healthcare; Prof. Mudi Sheves, Vice President of Technology Transfer at the Weizmann Institute; and Mr. Amir Naiberg, CEO of Yeda, the commercial arm of the Weizmann Institute. It will span the next three years, with an option for multiple successive extensions of two years each.
“We have focused our healthcare research activities on the highly promising fields of immuno-oncology, immunology, and oncology as we’re striving to deliver new solutions to respond to unmet medical need,” Oschmann said. “We’re excited that the new framework agreement will cover the first two of these three areas and are already looking forward to the proposals of the distinguished Weizmann scientists.”
As part of the new framework agreement, Merck will initially fund each of the two research areas with up to €1 million (around $113 million) per year over the three-year period.
“We are proud that such a fruitful relationship like the one we have with Merck is now extended and that we have the chance to take part in creating new innovative solutions in such critical fields that so many patients globally are suffering from,” Prof. Sheves said after signing the contract.
In brief: Merck in Israel
Merck’s research and development collaboration with the Weizmann Institute goes back as far as 1978. For example, Merck’s top selling drug Rebif® (2014 sales: €1.8 billion; over $2 billion) for the treatment of multiple sclerosis has intellectual roots in Israel’s prestigious Weizmann Institute, as has Merck’s oncology drug Erbitux® (2014 sales: €0.9 billion; over $1 billion).
Merck employs more than 300 people, mainly scientists, in Israel, and has sites in Yavne, Herziliya, Rehovot, and Jerusalem. The main focus of the activities in Israel is to manufacture biotechnology products for the life science market, research and development for the healthcare sector, and materials development for display applications.
Merck is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 50,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life – from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions. In 2014, Merck generated sales of €11.3 billion in 66 countries.
Founded in 1668, Merck is the world’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group. Merck, Darmstadt, Germany holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma and EMD Performance Materials.
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The Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, is one of the world’s top-ranking multidisciplinary research institutions. The Institute’s 3,800-strong scientific community engages in research addressing crucial problems in medicine and health, energy, technology, agriculture, and the environment. Outstanding young scientists from around the world pursue advanced degrees at the Weizmann Institute’s Feinberg Graduate School. The discoveries and theories of Weizmann Institute scientists have had a major impact on the wider scientific community, as well as on the quality of life of millions of people worldwide.