Darmstadt, Germany, and Rehovot, Israel, February 16, 2016 – Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, today extended the partnership with Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel, of by signing a new framework agreement, building on a successful innovation partnership of almost four decades.

Innovation was key for the now nearly 350 years of history of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and will play the same crucial role in the company’s future. The new framework agreement on research collaboration and licensing was signed by Stefan Oschmann, Deputy CEO and Vice Chairman of the Executive Board of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, BelÚn Garijo, Member of the Executive Board of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and CEO Healthcare, Prof. Mudi Sheves, Vice President of Technology Transfer of the Weizmann Institute, and Amir Naiberg, CEO of Yeda, the commercial arm of the Weizmann Institute, at Weizmann’s site in Rehovot, Israel, last night. 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 needs,” 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 KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, will fund each of the two research areas with up to € 1 million per year over the three-year period initially.

“We are proud that such a fruitful relationship like the one we have with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, has now been 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,” Zajfman said after signing the contract.

In brief: Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, in Israel
The ties in research and development collaboration between of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and the Weizmann Institute go back as far as 1978. For example, the top selling drug of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, Rebif« (2014 sales: € 1.8 billion) for the treatment of multiple sclerosis has intellectual roots in Israel’s prestigious Weizmann Institute, as has the company’s oncology drug Erbitux« (2014 sales: € 0.9 billion).

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, employs more than 300 people, mainly scientists, in Israel, and has sites in Yavne, Herzliya, 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.

More background information, including facts and a presentation about the engagement of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, in Israel is available here.

Note to editors
The attached picture shows (from left to right)
Amir Naiberg, Mudi Sheves, Stefan Oschman, BelÚn Garijo