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BioIsrael.com Hopes to Have Biotech Industry Covered

JERUSALEM - As Israel's life sciences industry gains international recognition, BioIsrael.com hopes to become the premier news site for Israeli biotechnology news. Founder and publisher Bernard Dichek started the English-language site after working for a number of years as a journalist and media advisor in the biotech industry. The site was to cater to the increasing interest from outside Israel in the Israeli biotech community, particularly in the pharmaceuticals sector. After all, Dichek says, "Israel is number three in the world, just after the United States and the U.K." Dichek believes that "there is no other source of thorough biotech reporting in Israel." He says that while other news sources carry biotech news as part of their regular business coverage, BioIsrael.com is "more comprehensive." In addition to the standard coverage, the site tries to get "micro-news" items that are unavailable elsewhere. "We simply look at the industry more carefully," he said. The site lists over 600 biotechnology companies in Israel, including over 100 life science startups. On the financial side, news editor Joel Bailey has compiled the BioIsrael stock index, which is made up of the 18 publicly traded Israeli biotech companies. The companys business model centers on developing partnerships with international companies in Israel. It also plans to host conferences for the world biotech community, with the first one taking place as soon as May. Most important, though, is gaining recognition. "The long-range goal is to create a product identity as the place for Israeli biotech," Dichek said. He said that the site gets several thousand visitors a week. BioIsrael.com employs five: two managers, a news editor and two administrators. According to Dichek, BioIsrael's employees put up the initial investment themselves. He hinted that the company may announce additional financing soon.