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Israel Holding Co. Launches Biotech Investment Firm

NEW YORK, Feb 8 – An Israeli holding company said Wednesday it was launching a new subsidiary that would invest in early stage biotech companies, including genomics enterprises.

Elscint, a hotel, leisure, and medical device company, said it would allocate $30 million for Elscint BioMedical.

The establishment of Elscint BioMedical, which will provide financial support as well as strategic guidance to companies it invests in, reflects the recent growth in the Israeli biotech sector. A number of genomics, proteomics, and other biotechnology companies have recently been established in Israel. A number of Israeli venture capital companies have also indicated their interest in supporting the burgeoning sector.

The new company has already invested in Gamida Cell, a developer of technology for multiplying embryonic-like stem cell outside the body.

The CEO of Elscint Biomedical, Amnon Gonenne, was previously CEO of ImmunoTherapy, a New York-based biotechnology company that worked to create anti-cancer vaccines. Prior to that, he worked at Hoecht Pharmaceuticals in San Diego.

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