JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Teva Pharmaceutical Industries on Monday signed research agreements with two leading Israeli academic institutes, a move to boost its early-stage drug development with a focus on cancer treatments.

The world’s largest generic drugmaker has been looking to expand its specialty portfolio and said it is seeking more than 400 new laboratories within Israeli academia.

A partnership with Tel Aviv University will focus on research and development in cancer and brain studies, while a collaboration with the Weizmann Institute of Science will try to identify antibodies for cancer treatment, Israel-based Teva said.

“Teva is planning to carry out much more cutting-edge collaboration with researchers from leading universities and medical centers in Israel in the fields of oncology, immunology and brain studies – areas in which Israel has unique research capabilities,” said Steffen Nock, head of Teva’s innovative research team.

(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch)