Teva goes to University: Collaborating with Academia to Improve the Lives of Patients

Approximately 30 joint Teva academia collaborative projects are currently underway

Innovation. Research. Cutting-edge technologies. Collaborations. Partnerships. Breakthrough discoveries.

These, combined with Teva's vast experience in bringing medicines to market, are the driving forces behind some of Teva's dynamic Research & Development (R&D).

As the world continues to grapple with the challenges of the pandemic, the need for cutting-edge, effective treatments and therapies across numerous health conditions is clear. It is likely that this need for preventative, diagnostic, and medical therapies will only continue to grow. Teva, global leader in generics and biopharmaceuticals, aims to meet this challenge by collaborating with top universities and research institutes to identify new medicines that will transform healthcare systems and improve the lives of patients.

Partnering with the research ecosystem

Teva's vast portfolio of high-quality medicines serve about 200 million people every day. Teva is actively seeking to identify early-stage technologies that may lead to breakthrough solutions for patients. To meet this challenge and as part of its commitment to patients, Teva is partnering with researchers at leading academic institutions in Israel. The goal? To discover the next breakthrough drug that can help in the fight against cancer, brain diseases, and more.

After more than a year of mapping the academic and research landscape, Teva found immense scientific merit and strength in the Israeli academic ecosystem. In a joint academia-industry effort, Teva already has some 30 projects underway. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University (TAU), the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology), and the Weizmann Institute are among the universities and research institutes participating in these projects.

"We always operate out of a commitment to promote innovation where we can create value for our patients, our partners in the healthcare system, and the rest of our stakeholders," says Kåre Schultz, CEO of Teva. "We are in constant search for original and better ways to develop solutions which strive to answer our patients' unmet needs."

Discovering and mentoring the next breakthrough

In the fall of 2021, one such collaboration reached its conclusion, with the festive BIO-MIX 2021 event. An annual competition for bio-innovators, it showcased young researchers' innovative solutions for common health issues. The program aims to connect the lab to real life, bridging the gap between a promising scientific invention and a product or drug coming to market. 

Teva's seasoned R&D researchers provide their talent and expertise as mentors to young scientists, often developing new research projects together. The BIO-MIX event caps a year of collaboration, and the entries this year were more impressive than ever. The finalists in the competition were five women researching potential innovative approaches to care, including:

  • An antimicrobial bandage that, if approved, could potentially help fight burn infections to improve wound healing

  • 3D-printed medications (tablets) for personalized dosages. These are being studied to see if the design will potentially increase prescription accuracy and thereby reduce waste in laboratories worldwide

  • A strategy aimed to reduce stress and stress-related symptoms by decreasing cortisol levels

  • A new, personalized approach to delivering medicines based on an individual’s circadian clock (physical, mental, and behavioural changes that follow a 24-hour cycle). This method uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) combined with the patient’s physiological parameters (e.g., heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, etc.)

The winning technology, according to both the audience poll and the judges' decision, was EpiPatch. If approved by the relevant health authorities, the EpiPatch would be a wearable application designed for the early alert of severe allergic attacks. It was developed by Ron Kleiner, an immunotherapy doctoral student at TAU’s School of Medicine.

David Wilson, VP Biologics Research, Biologics Discovery Science and VP of Discovery at Teva, says, "By bringing academia and industry together at an early stage, the likelihood of discovering an effective treatment for real-world needs grows”.

Innovative R&D with TAU

In another example of this collaboration, leading scientific researchers from Teva and TAU worked on advancing innovative R&D research in cancer and brain studies. They work closely with TAU to conduct collaborative research on the immune system. In addition, they are exploring ways to use bioinformatics tools to better understand nervous system disorders.

Dana Bar-On, Senior Director and Head of Academic Affairs and Networks, says:

“For us at Teva, it is very exciting to partner in a process that brings together the scientific community and some of the brightest and most promising minds in Israeli academia and bio-ecosystem.

Teva selected these academic institutions for the joint development of innovative and biological drugs in fields such as oncology, immunotherapy, the central nervous system, and respiratory.

It’s a process through which scientific ideas are translated into medically applicable inventions and solutions. We believe there is great potential in developing academic thinking into real-life medical solutions, particularly these days.” 

In the past, collaborations between Teva and Israeli academia have led to breakthrough drugs and treatments that have significantly improved patient care in MS, Parkinson's Disease, and more. Working with Teva's experienced experts, these collaborations are essential for young researchers and contribute to a cross-pollination of ideas that may lead to ground-breaking discoveries. 

NPS-ALL-NP-00503 DECEMBER 2021


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