Yissum Technology Transfer Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has raised $7 million for its new biotechnology unit, Integra Holdings Ltd., at a company value of $25 million, before money. Israeli investment institutions and Invatech, a group of US and Israeli investors, made the investment.
"We approached investors who normally invest in venture capital," said Yissum president and CEO Yaacov Michlin, who serves as Integra chairman.
Integra will support Yissum portfolio companies that were founded on the basis of research at Hebrew University. Yissum invests in the companies from its own resources, but some of the later-stage companies need considerable financing which is beyond Yissum's means, even though the companies are not yet suitable for venture funding or agreements with pharmaceutical companies.
Integra aims to help these companies get through this valley of death, and prevent the subsequent dilution of Yissum's holdings in them. The model is similar to the model for late-stage companies of Hadasit - the Technology Transfer Company of Hadassah Medical Organization subsidiary Hadasit Bio Holdings Ltd. (TASE:HDST; Bulletin Board: HADSY). However, in contrast to Hadasit Bio, Integra is a private company and it has a different revenue model: in addition to its holdings in portfolio companies, it will receive royalties on future sales, if any.
"We have a new model for financing the life sciences, in parallel or instead of incubators, or after them. Integra will invest in three new Yissum companies every year," said Michlin.
Integra will take over Yissum portfolio companies Algen Biopharmaceuticals Inc., Atox Bio Inc., Avraham Pharmaceuticals Ltd, DoxoCure Ltd., LipoCure Ltd., Lipomedix Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Omer Therapeutics Ltd., and Tiltan Pharma Ltd. One company is in the preclinical stage and the others are in the clinical stage.
Noa Shelach has been appointed Integra's CEO. She previously served as early-stage project manager at Clal Biotechnology Industries Ltd. (TASE: CBI).
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 30, 2012
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