Ornim Inc. has raised $20 million in its second financing round from General Electric's (NYSE: GE) healthymagination Fund and OrbiMed Advisors LLC through OrbiMed Israel Partners LP. Agate Medical Investments LP also participated in the financing round. Ornim and GE Healthcare will also examine a possible strategic relationship as part of a broader collaboration.
Ornim will use the proceeds for further development, clinical studies, international marketing, and commercialization of its CerOx monitor.
Ornim's CerOx device is a non-invasive monitor, which uses near-infrared spectroscopy and ultrasound to measure blood flow and oxygen saturation in brain and muscle tissue. The device has US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and EU CE Mark clearance, and the company plans to launch sales within 18 months.
Maintaining adequate blood flow and oxygenation are primary clinical goals for critical care patients. Currently, multiple, often invasive devices are needed for full blood flow measurement. There is a strong clinical for a non-invasive and cost-effective accurate, multi-parameter, continuous monitoring of blood flow and oxygenation.
Ornim CTO Dr. Michal Balberg and VP R&D Dr. Revital Shechter founded the company in 2004. It has raised $30 million to date and the company is based in Lod.
OrbiMed senior managing director Dr. Nissim Darvish said, "The decision to invest in Ornim was based on the growing realization that there is a crucial need to monitor vital organs (such as the brain) during a variety of medical procedures. The uniqueness of Ornim's technology results from its ability to monitor in real time oxygen saturation in brain tissue, along with microcirculation blood flow. The potential market of this technology is very large, and the current solutions are not adequate. This potential, along with a very professional and experienced team, could allow the company to become a world leader in its field."
In a separate development, Ornim appointed Israel Schreiber as CEO. He previously served as the CEO of ITGI Medical Ltd. (TASE:ITGI) and Itamar Medical Ltd. (TASE:ITMR). He said, "The investment announced today will enable Ornim to accelerate product development and promote the introduction of the CerOx monitor to the international market. The relationship with GE, a world leader in patient monitoring, alongside OrbiMed, one of the largest healthcare venture capital fund managers, provides important benefits, including an in-depth understanding of the market as well as vast operational and marketing experience."
Ornim is OrbiMed Israel's third investment in a medical devices company since it was established: $7 million in RDD Pharma Ltd. and $4.3 million in Otic Pharma Ltd. Darvish says that the fund will make a large investment soon in a pharmaceutical company.
GE Healthcare most recent strategic cooperation agreements with Israeli companies include WideMed Ltd. (TASE:WDMD) and Deep Breeze Ltd.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 21, 2012
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