The Team

Researchers & Consultants

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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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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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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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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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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