Israeli Health Tech Is Heating Up With A Wave Of Interest From AbroadOct. 27, 2015
Israel’s many health tech startups are attracting unprecedented interest from abroad, with multinational medical giants looking to benefit from the country’s ongoing high-tech boom. Israel’s health tech is spurred on by a global demand for innovative healthcare solutions, fueled by aging populations and struggling middle classes. Considering that life sciences alone represent nearly 50 percent of scientific research in Israel, the country has become a hub for medical and health innovation and, consequently, a target for investors.
According to a 2015 report by Israel Advanced Technology Industries, Israeli life sciences companies raised more than $1.4 billion on the NASDAQ in 2014. Out of all the 73 biotech life sciences IPOs in 2014, 7 were Israeli. Furthermore, Venture Capital (IVC) Research Center, revealed — in the same report — that $801 million was invested in 167 life sciences companies, a figure 55 percent higher than the previous year.
While multinational medical companies are busy chasing their share of the Israeli healthsector by acquiring local companies, many companies, such as Abbott Labs, Philips, Carestream and Johnson & Johnson, also have set up R&D centers in the country.
Recent months have witnessed a surge of interest toward Israel’s health sector, a sign that indicates a record year for Israeli health tech.
October alone saw a number of moves that validate the claim made in the title of this article. Earlier this month, Boston Scientific Corporation announced that it has closed an additional round of financing with MValve Technologies Ltd., an Israeli company developing a solution to a specific heart-valve disorder.
In another major move, Swiss drugmaker Novartis announced that it will investup to $15 million in Gamida Cell, an Israeli developer of stem cell therapies. In 2014, Novartis invested $35 million in the company for a 15 percent stake, in a deal that could reach $600 million.
“These events signify the ongoing trend and the hard work done by Israelis to showcase the local innovation. Today there is a trend among foreign investors to invest at an earlier stage whereas in the past they only acted only at later stages. For example, Novartis’ second investment illustrates that Israeli biotech has already established itself as a global brand. Moreover, the support from Israel’s Chief Scientist in the past has also been helpful. Now we are reaping the fruits of the work done in last years,” said Dr. Laurent Choppe, Managing Partner at Cukierman & Co. Life Sciences.
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