Philips and Teva unveil new med tech incubator in Israel

Philips CEO Frans van Houten

Royal Philips ($PHG) and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries ($TEVA) kicked off operations for the companies' new med tech incubator in Israel, reaffirming their commitment to R&D at a transitional moment.

The incubator, dubbed Sanara Ventures, grew out of a tender from Israel's Office of the Chief Scientist of the Ministry of the Economy. Philips and Teva will invest up to 100 million shekels ($25.3 million) in early-stage healthcare companies creating medical devices and medical technologies that complement drug development, covering areas such as digital health, sensing and monitoring, and emerging imaging modalities, Globes reports.

"Israel has a major record of achievement in innovation, which Philips is a partner to through our extensive R&D investments in the country," Philips CEO Frans van Houten told the newspaper. "I am convinced that this step will promote and strengthen even more healthcare innovation in Israel."

The R&D push comes in the midst of change for Philips, as the company focuses on its newly spun-off healthcare informatics business, HealthTech, and its recent acquisition of Volcano. In December, Philips snatched up the catheter-based imaging company for $1.2 billion to beef up its offerings and gain ground in medical imaging. But today Philips reported a 17% drop in its 2014 earnings, with some analysts questioning whether the company's Volcano buy would actually deliver a much-needed boost to numbers.

In the meantime, Philips continues to develop its consumer health offerings to send sales northward. In October, the company won FDA clearance for a pair of at-home patient care apps and launched the first wearable blue LED light therapy device to treat psoriasis. Earlier this month, Philips scored another FDA nod for its fetal monitoring solution, further diversifying its offerings.

A new technological incubator could also help Teva as the company prepares to face generic competition to its top-selling multiple sclerosis treatment Copaxone. The Petah Tikvah-based drugmaker is looking for a new course of action, with CEO Erez Vigodman eyeing emerging markets, biosimilars and complex generics as areas ripe for growth.

- read the Globes story

Special Report: Top 10 med tech R&D budgets - Philips Healthcare

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