The Team

Management

David Zigdon

Interim CEO

David Zigdon, is a senior-level executive with a strong background in the High-Tech, Biomed, Biotech, and Pharma startup industry. coordinate this activity. Mr. Zigdon was CEO and President of Rad BioMed, an Israel-based evergreen family fund that invests in early-stage BioMed startups. Rad BioMed is part of the RAD Group that been named "the most fertile ground" for developing Israeli entrepreneurs. Before that David had a two-decade career as CEO/CFO of successful high tech firms, including Bynet, Bynet Electronics, Radcom (Nasdaq: RDCM), Magic Software (Nasdaq: MGIC) and Time To Know.

Mr. Zigdon is a CPA and holds a BA degree (Economics) and an LLM degree from Bar Ilan University.

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Prof. Itamar Shalit

SAB Clinical

Prof Itamar Shalit is an expert in infectious diseases, actively involved in various national committees of the Israeli Ministry of Health. He was awarded Certificate of Appreciation Declaration by the World Health Organization for his role in eradicating poliomyelitis in Israel. In the past, Prof Shalit also served as the Director General of Schneider Children’s Hospital and of Carmel Hospital, and was the Chairman of the Israeli Society for Infectious Diseases. Prof Shalit serves as a Member of the Scientific Advisory Board at BioLineRx, Ltd., NasVax, and Therapix Biosciences Ltd. Prof Shalit served as a Member of the Scientific Advisory Board at Teva Innovative Ventures until 2011. Currently, he serves as CEO of the Galilee Biomedical Research Administration. Prof Shalit holds an MD from Tel Aviv University and an MPA from Harvard University.

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Ori Ben-Herzel

VP BD

Mr. Ori Ben-Herzel is an experienced business development executive with a demonstrated history of leadership positions in the farming and AG tech industries, and startups. Ori Joined Migal in June 2019 and serves as the VP of Value Creation in Migal and the CEO of Migal’s technology transfer company- Gavish. Prior to Migal, Ori established a center of R&D in St Louis, where he was reallocated with his family for a few years. Ori held different R&D and technology leadership positions, including Director of Technology at Kaiima, Global Breeding Lead and Vegetable Breeding Director at Kaiima, Top-Seeds, and Soli. Mr. Ben-Herzel holds an MSc. Degree in genetics and plant sciences.

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Rivka Zaibel

QA/RA consultant

Rivka has 30 years of experience in the biopharmaceutics and biotechnology industry, including 19 years in regulatory and quality management of drugs, biologics, devices and combination products development. Rivka is skilled in leading and managing multidisciplinary projects, and coordinating internal as well as external activities from lead compound identification to CMC, preclinical and clinical development through product registration. President and Founder of ADRES Advanced Regulatory Services Ltd. And AdReS EU B.V., a company established in 2009 with the mission of assisting Israeli biopharma companies through the drug development process, with focus on effective and lean regulatory and quality management strategies. ADRES concurrently provides regulatory and quality support to approximately 15 startup companies in Israel, India, China, US and Brazil, focusing mainly on recombinant proteins, cell therapy, cell based implantable products, medical devices, peptides, vaccines and combination products. In 2019, Rivka was appointed Mentor in the Weizmann Institute of Science SPARK project. 

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Ronny Pinkus, Ph.D.

MBA; Production/CMC consultant

Ronny brings with him over 25 years of experience in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. Ronny is an expert in process development, scale-up, manufacturing, Analytics and CMC (Chemistry, Manufacturing & Controls). He has significant expertise as it relates to GMP issues in pharmaceutical manufacturing for various types of products, including, recombinant proteins, Prokaryote/mammalians, polypeptides, glycans, liposomes and viruses/phages for both ethical and biosimilar/generic drugs. Ronny held several managing positions at Moebius Medical, InterPharm, (Merck Serono), Teva Pharmaceuticals, InSight Biopharmaceuticals and BiomX.

 

Ronny holds a PhD from the Weizmann Institute of Science and an MBA from the Polytechnic Institute of New York. For the last 13 years, Ronny provides manufacturing/CMC consulting for many top biotechnology companies for IND & NDA.

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Sigal Kremer-Tal,​ MD
VP clinical and regulatory

Dr. Sigal Kremer-Tal is a physician entrepreneur with a track record in early-stage development. She is a Co-founder of Spirify Pharma, developing new generation drugs for depression and pain. Sigal also serves as Chief Medical Officer at T-syte, a fresh accelerator focusing on Digital Health. She is also an 8400 fellow in cohort #3.

Sigal is a Co-founder at Cordio Medical, a digital-health voice analysis start-up. She has served as CEO of Xerem Medical, Chief Medical Officer at RAD BioMed, and a Management Committee Member volunteer at the BioExecutive Forum.  Dr. Kremer-Tal has engaged in clinical research at Novartis USA and cancer genetics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York. She earned her medical degree from the Hebrew University.

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Ronald Ellis Ph.D.

CTO

35 years of line and senior management of R&D in companies of all sizes (large, medium, small, startup and incubators). R&D Champion and/or Project Leader/co-Leader through phases from preclinical R&D and entry to Phase 1 to licensure, including vaccines that became commercialized in US, EU & developed countries (current annual sales >$4.0B), in particular human papilloma virus (Gardasil®), rotavirus (RotaTeq®), hepatitis B (Recombivax HB®), Haemophilus influenzae type b (PedvaxHIB®) and varicella (VARIVAX®) vaccines. Led R&D of other candidate vaccines, including Pneumococcal, Meningococcal, Influenza, MMRV, H. pylori, Group A & Group B Streptococcus, Cholera, S. typhi, and Enterotoxigenic E. coli. Led development of therapeutic biologic products (fibroblast growth factor; toxin fusion protein for cancer; monoclonal antibodies for anti-adhesin, HIV, autoimmunity, and Alzheimer’s disease). Brought 8 product candidates from preclinical into clinical studies as Project Leader. Therapeutic fields of experience for biologics and SMCs include infectious diseases, immunology, inflammation, autoimmunity, oncology, metabolism, Alzheimer’s disease, CNS. Responsible for Merck’s vaccine research, and co-chaired development collaborations for pediatric combination vaccines with Pasteur-Merieux-Connaught (Sanofi Pasteur) and CSL. Directed vaccine R&D programs at Astra Research and Avant. Designed and directed set up of vaccine development subsidiary at BioChem Pharma that continued into Shire & ID Biomedical, and led development programs. Served as Site General Manager. Set up GMP Pilot Plant and produced product for clinical studies. Developed and secured $9.5M NIH-NIAID grant for cell-culture Influenza vaccine. Line management experience for groups up to 100 staff members. Technical expertise and line management responsibility in all areas of research & development production & evaluation of biologic products and evaluation of SMCs – including preclinical, process, analytical, production, quality, regulatory, clinical, project management and strategy. Extensive experience at strategic and technical levels in evaluating new project opportunities for biologics & SMCs and developing project plans.

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Research

Prof. Jacob Pitcovski

Virology and poultry vaccination​

He developed vaccine against Infectious Bursal Disease Virus (IBDV), which is one of the major diseases in chickens. This subunit vaccine is produced and internationally marketed for more than 20 years by PHIBRO, Ltd. Many billions of birds were already vaccinated with this vaccine. This is the first genetically engineered vaccine produced in Israel and one of the firsts in the world. Vaccine development against avian adenovirus. Subunit genetically engineered vaccine against Egg Drop Syndrome (EDS) of chicken was developed and is internationally commercially marketed by PHIBRO.

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Ehud Shahar, Ph.D.

Immunology

Together with Prof Jacob Pitcovski, work on the development of wide range vaccines against influenza H9N2, and Avian reovirus, that causes huge financial damages to the Israeli poultry industry.

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Chen Katz Ph.D.

Microbiology

Development of live, self-destructive vaccines, for prevention of salmonella infections in the poultry industry. Development of recombinant chitinase enzyme, for the treatment of systemic fungal infections. Development of new delivery systems for viral antigens designed for vaccination of poultry.

vian infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) as a model.

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Itay Bloch

Computational chemistry

Itai Bloch is a Principal Investigator at the MIGAL Research Institute, Co-Founder and CSO of Projini AgChem with more than 15 years of experience in key positions in life-science R&D. His scientific background ranges from Biophysics, Computational Chemistry, Structural Biology to drug discovery and development. Itai is an experienced project manager and specializes in platform development for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Working in a multicultural, global organizational environment with both internal and external interfaces managing CROs and direct collaborations, Itai is guiding research teams in rapid integration of state-of-the-art technologies. Mr. Bloch holds a BSc in Biophysics from Bar-Ilan University and an MSc in Chemistry from the Weizmann Institute.

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Itamar Yadid, Ph.D.

Microbial metabolic pathways

Mr. Yadid had gained vast knowledge in protein engineering, protein production and developed many screening methods and automated procedures in those fields.

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Einav Ratzon Ashkenazi

Project Manager

Einav is a senior project manager in the MIGAL institute, specialized in protein science and drugs discovery. Ms. Ashkenazi is holding BSc and MSc in Biotechnology.

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MIGAL grants its SPV MigVax exclusive worldwide license to use its vaccine technology
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