OrbiMed closes $222m Israel life sciences fund

The OrbiMed Israel fund includes an investment provided by the Israeli government, which previous reports have put at $40 million.

US healthcare investment management firm OrbiMed has announced the closing of its first investment fund dedicated to life sciences venture capital opportunities in Israel. The $222 million fund, which will be called the OrbiMed Israel Partners Limited Partnership, includes an investment of provided by the Israel government which previous reports have put at $40 million. Orbimed said that the Israeli government also provided special economic terms through the initial tender process for the Fund.

The Fund is led by three full time Israel-based partners Dr. Nissim Darvish, Anat Naschitz and Erez Chimovits. They will work in close collaboration with Jonathan Silverstein and Carl Gordon, general partners and co-heads of OrbiMed’s global private equity business, and with Aya Jakobovits, a venture partner.

Silverstein said that OrbiMed Israel builds on OrbiMed’s longstanding investment interest in Israel, which has led to many investments there over the past decade, including early-stage investments in Given Imaging Ltd. (Nasdaq: GIVN; TASE: GIVN) and SuperDimension, which was recently acquired by Covidien.

He said, “Israel is known for scientific excellence and entrepreneurial prowess. The Israeli life sciences sector has a strong track record of innovation and commercial success, and presents an opportunity for further growth from what is currently a more mature base. We see increasing maturity in the Israeli industry, as evidenced by two recent acquisitions of revenue-stage companies SuperDimension and Oridion. We also see a significant increase in clinical-stage biopharmaceutical companies.”

OrbiMed Israel senior managing director Dr. Nissim Darvish said, “We are excited about the opportunity to simultaneously create value for our investors and nourish the Israeli life sciences industry by leveraging our global networks and expertise.”

He added that the new fund invests in biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostics companies at varying stages of maturity, from seed stage through growth equity. The Fund has made two investments already: Keystone Heart, which develops an embolic protection device for interventional cardiology procedures, and Otic Pharma, which develops foam formulations for ear medication.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 23, 2012

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2012

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