19 November 2017 - 2 Kislev 5778 - ב' כסלו ה' אלפים תשע"ח
Teva Pharmaceutical forges joint venture with Celltrion Print E-mail

One of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, Israel-based Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, announced in October that it is setting up a joint venture with South Korea’s Celltrion Healthcare to sell two generic versions of genetically engineered drugs in North America.

Teva will pay Celltrion US$160 million up front, of which up to US$60 million will be either refundable or available as credit under certain circumstances. The companies will split the profits from the sale of the two drugs: Celltrion’s biosimilar version of Rituxan, which is used to treat non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia and rheumatoid arthritis, and a biosimilar version of Herceptin for the treatment of breast cancer. Both are currently under development.

(Issue Nov 2016)


Israel helps Rajasthan launch its own olive oil E-mail

After eight years of harnessing olive saplings brought from Israel, the northern-Indian state of Rajasthan is all set to launch its own brand of olive oil soon. It claims this will be the country’s first indigenously produced brand.

“The state will be launching its olive oil under “Raj Olive” brand at Global Rajasthan Agritech Meet (GRAM),” state Agriculture Minister Prabhu Lal Saini said.

After the product’s launch, the state will work on avenues to market it and seek co-operation from experts to increase its production.

According to agriculture officials, the state has so far auctioned more than nine tonnes of olive oil and plans to market 4,500 litres under the ‘Raj Olive’ brand at GRAM through Rajasthan Olive Cultivation Limited (ROCL), a venture of the state government, Indiabased Finolex Plasson Industries and Indolive Industries of Israel.

In 2008, the saplings were planted in 182 hectares of government farms in seven agriclimatic zones: Bassi, Bakalia, Santhu, Barore, Tinkirudi, Lunkaransar and Bsabasina villages.

“After eight years, cultivation has spread across 800 hectares in the state and we will be launching India’s first indigenously produced olive oil brand,” ROCL managing director Yogesh Verma said.

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Farmer invents machine during stay in Israel E-mail

Vietnamese farmer Pham Van Hat, who has only a seventh-grade education, is now earning a very good livelihood by selling a sowing machine that he invented while he was working in Israel.

The machine is one of several made by the 44-year-old man from Ngoc Ky commune in Tu Ky district in Hai Duong province.

Before his success, the inventor once had to take a loss from a vegetable-growing project. After three years of implementing the project, Hat became penniless in 2010 because the businesses that had signed contracts underwriting his vegetables did not buy his products as promised.

To escape insolvency, he decided to go to Israel as an export worker. He had heard that Israeli used advanced technologies in agriculture, with revenue of billions of Vietnamese Dong from every hectare of vegetables.

In Israel, discovering that many kinds of work were still done manually, Hat told the owner of the farm where he worked that he would invent a machine that could help reduce the need for manual labour.

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Mark Zuckerberg donates to Indian education startup E-mail

Jewish entrepreneur and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have donated a whopping US$50 million to Indian education startup BYJU’s, along with LightSpeed Ventures and Times Internet, according to Forbes. Last March, Sequoia Capital and Sofina donated a total of US$75 million to the startup.

Founded in 2011 by Byju Raveendran, BYJU is an app that helps students in grades 4-12 to learn subjects such as science, mathematics, physics and biology easily and independently. The app offers original content, watch-andlearn videos, animations and interactive simulations. Some of the content is offered free of charge.

At present, BYJU is the largest ed-tech company in India. The app has been downloaded more than 5.5 million times. It currently has more than 250,000 subscribers who pay an annual subscription of US$150, and 30,000 new users are joining each month.

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Chinese firm invests in Pluristem Therapeutics E-mail

Israel-based Pluristem Therapeutics Inc., a leading developer of placenta-based cell therapy products, announced on 25 October that it had signed a term sheet for an investment of approximately US$30 million by China-based Innovative Medical Management Co., Ltd (IMMC).

IMMC is publicly listed Chinese company active in the healthcare industry and an affiliate of Zheshang Venture Capital Co., Ltd., one of the most active venture capital firms in China.

The arrangement will proide a share sale of approximately 16,890,000 shares of Pluristem common stock, which will be sold at US$1.77 per share. In addition, Pluristem will issue to Innovative Medical approximately 4,422,500 warrants to purchase shares of Pluristem’s common stock with an exercise price of US$2.50 per warrant, exercisable for a period of five years.

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