Last updated November 25th 2018

Swiss multinational Lonza Pharma & Biotech announced on Tuesday the launch of its Collaborative Innovation Center (CIC) in the Haifa Life Science Park in northern Israel.

The CIC will act as a hub for partnerships to identify and accelerate new solutions for biopharma manufacturing, the company said in a statement.

The facility includes lab space equipped with bioprocessing and analytical equipment and will be available to collaborating partners as a test bed for new ideas and technology.

Lonza said it will also make funding and in-house expertise available for collaborative research.

“Israel has established itself as a point of convergence for digital technologies, engineering and life sciences, providing new solutions for healthcare in particular,” said Marc Funk, COO Lonza Pharma & Biotech, in a statement. “We want to expand this potential to reimagine the development and manufacturing of future medicines by working with academic institutions, teaching hospitals and startups.”

The innovation center, said Lonza in the statement, has signed deals with leading institutions for research projects in three main areas: expression systems and synthetic biology, cell and gene therapies, and data acquisition and analytics

Several projects are currently underway including with the Center for Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cell and Tissue
Engineering at the Chaim Sheba Medical Center, where scientists are evaluating and testing the Cocoon manufacturing technology, a patient-scale, closed and automated cell-therapy manufacturing system.