Sanara Ventures Announces First Two Investments

Sanara Ventures Ltd. (Sanara), a new investment platform for early stage medical device and health technology companies, announced today the first two companies it will invest in: Kaleidoscope Medical and MGD. These companies are developing innovative technologies for image-guided minimally invasive therapies and chronic respiratory disease management, respectively. Sanara was recently formed through a joint venture between Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Royal Philips (NYSE:PHG, AEX:PHIA). Sanara operates as a technological incubator under a license granted by the Administration of the Technological Incubator Program at the Israeli Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) in the Ministry of Economy.

Sanara will provide funding and support to promising early stage health technology and medical device companies in Israel in the field of digital health, disease management, monitoring and sensing, image-guided minimally invasive therapy, drug delivery and drug/device combinations.

The owners of Sanara, Teva and Philips, have committed to jointly investing up to NIS 100 Million (on a 50/50 basis) in Sanara over a period of 8 years. In addition, they are committed to providing Sanara and its portfolio of companies access to their knowledge of the global market and their experience in developing and commercializing health technologies.

Over the past six months, more than 250 companies have been reviewed by Sanara, out of which Kaleidoscope and MGD have been the first two selected and approved by Sanara’s investment committee and the OCS for funding and support. These two early stage companies will be based at Sanara’s new offices in Ra’anana. In line with Sanara’s investment model, most companies will receive discretionary supplemental funding in addition to the OCS approved budget, to enable these companies to reach significant value creation milestones within the incubation period.

Today’s announcement was made during Sanara Ventures’ HealthTech Community Meeting, which took place at the HaTachana facilities in Tel Aviv in the presence of Erez Vigodman, President and CEO of Teva and Frans van Houten, CEO of Philips, as well as many entrepreneurs, investors, government and industry representatives and senior managers in the field of the healthcare innovation in Israel.

Kaleidoscope is active in the field of image-guided minimally invasive therapies. The company is developing a system for x-ray radiation shielding during catheterization procedures. The need to reduce x- ray radiation dose is a top priority for healthcare industry, including hospitals and industry regulators. Kaleidoscope Medical is developing a new concept of dynamic, real-time shielding the clinician from x-ray radiation during the procedure.

MGD originates from Tel Hashomer Hospital’s Lung Institute, and is developing an innovative portable device for measuring lung functions. MGD’s technology has been designed for efficient monitoring of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease patients (COPD) within the hospital and in the community. The device is intended to enable measurement of lung residual volumes (RV) at higher frequency and at a lower cost than current technologies.

Erez Vigodman, CEO and President of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries: “The setting up of Sanara and the unique collaboration with Philips emphasizes Teva’s commitment to Israel. The scientific excellence and innovation Israel is known for, will continue to serve as a significant factor in Teva’s business development, and Sanara’s innovative model fits tightly with this vision. Sanara’s first investments serve as an impressive example of the great potential of Israeli entrepreneurs and their ability to bring meaningful solutions to patients through innovation and ‘beyond the pill’ technologies, from early stages to full commercialization in the global market”.

Frans Van Houten, CEO of Royal Philips: “Over the past years the venturing community in Israel has brought breakthrough innovations to the market. We see Sanara Ventures as a strategic way for Philips to tap into new developments in the health technology industry and we are excited to be part of this joint venture with Teva.”

Assaf Barnea, CEO of Sanara Ventures: “Sanara Venture’s strategy is to invest in a wide array of innovative medical technologies, aiming for an impact on medical systems and medical conditions in a healthcare system that has been undergoing dramatic change over the past few years. The two initial investments, which will be part of Sanara’s portfolio, represent technological wealth in the fields of respiratory diagnosis and treatment, advanced imaging solutions and digital health. We estimate that we will make additional investments by the end of the year, while also nurturing these early stage companies, with respect to technological, business, financial and human aspects”.

Published by Reuters [online] – on July 1, 2015 (Read Original)