February 23, 2020

$8m in BIRD grants go to Israeli-US collaborations in agtech and health

Original source here

Immunotherapy profiling, medication tracking, digital farming system among nine Israeli startups winning joint project grants.

OncoHost, an Israeli startup working toward improved personalized cancer immunotherapy, is one of nine Israeli companies that received a total of $8 million in grants for joint projects from the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation.

Binyamina-based OncoHost’s partner is RayBiotech, a life-sciences company in Peachtree Corners, Georgia. Their $1 million BIRD grant will help them develop and clinically validate a host response test for the early prediction of immunotherapy treatment responsiveness in non-small cell lung cancer patients.

The money also will be used to further develop and implement an automated platform to help pharmaceutical companies speed up large-scale protein processing for personalized cancer therapy.

The nine projects approved in this round are in addition to the 992 projects approved for BIRD Foundation funding during its 42-year history.

The total investment in joint projects is over $350 million, helping to generate direct and indirect sales of more than $10 billion.

The other projects getting grants for product development in this round are:

• Advanced MemTech (Ness Ziona, Israel) and Agar Corporation (Houston, TX): oil-water separation membrane technology for the oil & gas industries.
• AgroScout (Misgav, Israel) and Birdstop (San Francisco, CA): a digital agronomy system for automated early detection of crop diseases and pests using a drone-in-a-box platform.
• DosentRx (Afula, Israel) and Contents Trader (Houston, TX): novel technology for homecare medication tracking and management and integration into the U.S. specialty pharmacy ecosystem.
• Fluence Water Products and Innovation (Caesarea, Israel) and Energy Systems Group, LLC (Newburgh, IN): a new energy-efficient process for nitrogen removal in water resource recovery facilities that use anaerobic digesters for sludge treatment.
• GaitBetter (Haifa, Israel) and Spaulding Rehabilitation Network (Charlestown, MA): a motor-cognitive intervention to improve gait and mobility in stoke survivors by adding a virtual reality (VR) experience to treadmill training.
• MDI Health Technologies (Herzliya, Israel) and Thermo Fisher Scientific (Waltham, MA): a system for providing personalized and precise medication treatments.
• Nanolock Security (Nitzanei-Oz, Israel) and Micron Technology (Boise, ID): a cybersecurity solution to prevent and monitor persistent attacks on connected media devices.
• Raicol Crystals (Rosh Ha’ayin, Israel) and Qubitekk, Inc. (Bakersfield, CA): an efficient miniaturized entangled photon source for quantum computing.

Each project also will access private-sector funding, boosting the total value of the nine projects to approximately $18 million.