Eight Israeli start-ups to form international collaborations

Following BetterPlayBio’s program, C2i Genomic, Nucle.ai, Medial Earlysign, iBex, Octopus, Imagene, Itamar Medical and iCardio are ready to hit the global market.

 From R to L: Mark Power, Deputy head of Mission, British Embassy, Ohad Goldberg, Country President, AstraZeneca Israel, Gali Halpern Wienerman, Life Sciences Ecosystem & Digital Health Partnerships Lead in Accenture Europe, Efrat Morag, Head of Margalit Startup City Haifa, Erik Ullenhag, Swedish Am (photo credit: SAGI MEKAYTEN)
From R to L: Mark Power, Deputy head of Mission, British Embassy, Ohad Goldberg, Country President, AstraZeneca Israel, Gali Halpern Wienerman, Life Sciences Ecosystem & Digital Health Partnerships Lead in Accenture Europe, Efrat Morag, Head of Margalit Startup City Haifa, Erik Ullenhag, Swedish Am
(photo credit: SAGI MEKAYTEN)

Eight Israeli companies are slated to produce international collaborations in digital health following the conclusion of the PlayBeyondBio program’s second cycle. The companies are to be jointly led by British-Swedish pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca, JVP VC, international consulting company Accenture, Margalit Start-Up City, Amazon Web Services and Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.

The program, which lasted six months, was attended by eight start-ups selected from among 100 candidates, which received individual guidance from program partners, promoting collaboration with international bodies and establishing connections with leading players in the global health system.

When choosing the companies, an emphasis was placed on companies in the mature and advanced stages to enable the implementation of the technologies they have developed in the near term. The selected start-ups are C2i Genomic, Nucle.ai, Medial Earlysign, iBex, Octopus, Imagene, Itamar Medical and iCardio.

“The start-ups selected to take part in the program were accepted after a rigorous and thorough selection process that considered the ability of companies to provide answers to current issues in the field of medicine while looking toward issues relevant over the course of the next decade,” said Accenture Israel CEO Shimon Alkabetz.“We have no doubt that this leading team faithfully represents the most prominent trends in the worlds of med-tech and wellness, from the implementation of artificial intelligence applications and advanced big data processing, to advanced genetic diagnosis on the basis of imaging systems facilitating customized treatment,” Alkabetz added.

 A pack of AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccines is seen as the country receives its first batch of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines under COVAX scheme, at the international airtport of Accra, Ghana February 24, 2021.  (credit: FRANCIS KOKOROKO/REUTERS) A pack of AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccines is seen as the country receives its first batch of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines under COVAX scheme, at the international airtport of Accra, Ghana February 24, 2021. (credit: FRANCIS KOKOROKO/REUTERS)

PlayBeyondBio focuses on promoting “digital health” in a practical and applied fashion, by creating collaborations between start-ups and international pharmaceutical companies, investors, healthcare institutions and international hi-tech leaders. The program supports initiatives by locating the challenges identified as most significant for Israeli start-ups, such as validation of their solution in front of global customers, development of a sustainable business model, and the integration of solutions into health systems outside Israel; all using databases and thinking of ways to reach the global market.

“When it comes to developing technologies in digital health, medical data and biological samples are the infrastructure for new products,” said Prof. Dan Turner, VP of R&D, Shaare Zedek Medical Center. “We at Shaare Zedek not only provide information and samples safely, but also provide the clinical knowledge needed to make this data relevant and meaningful for healthcare product development companies. We promote collaboration to test the products in real clinical environments.”

During the second cycle of the program, the companies formed relationships with senior AstraZeneca executives with an eye toward the implementation of their technologies jointly in Europe, the US, Canada and Israel. They also benefited from strategic guidance accompanying the product and market penetration by JVP, and worked with Accenture and AWS to ensure that their technological infrastructure is scaled globally and can be adapted for different health systems.

AstraZeneca Israel CEO Ohad Goldberg said, “It is important to us that Israel plays a significant role in the company’s ability to bring to market advanced technological solutions that are integrated into drug treatment and provide greater added value to patients, doctors and the health system at large. In Israel there are unique capabilities such as comprehensive databases, advanced hospitals, AI development and the like that can help move these efforts forward.”

Erel Margalit, founder and chairman of JVP and Margalit Start-Up City, explained the importance of such a program in the current medtech landscape: “The global healthcare system has changed, and today it faces new major challenges that require groundbreaking technological developments to address,” he said.

“The challenges facing the world become opportunities for the Israeli hi-tech ecosystem. Israel has significant technological infrastructure and a broad ecosystem which allows us to play a leading role in the global field of digital health and bring to the world the next big initiative in the field. We are changing the way in which medicine can be made accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime.”