Exclusive: Medtronic to buy Israeli co Visionsense for $75m

Avi Yaron Photo; PR

The Petah Tikva based company has developed a minimally invasive device for brain surgery.

US medical equipment company Medtronic will buy Israeli minimally invasive surgery technology developer Visionsense for $75 million, sources inform "Globes." Medtronic will pay $40-50 million cash and a further $25 million in milestone payments.

Petah Tikva based Visionsense, which was founded in 1998, develops minimally invasive surgical devices, mainly for brain surgery. The company has raised $20 million and is currently financed by revenue from its products but returns for investors are relatively small considering that the company is 20 years old. The last major financing round was in 2009.

The company was founded by Avi Yaron who after being involved in a motorbike accident was rushed to hospital where he was told that although he would recover from the accident they had found he had a brain tumor that required immediate surgery. The accident saved his life because the tumor would probably not have been discovered until it was too late.

Yaron underwent surgery in the US by Dr. Patrick Kelly but small fragments of the tumor remained that could not be removed by existing means. Yaron, an electrical engineer and entrepreneur set about developing a unique imaging device that would enable Dr. Kelly to carry out surgery without causing subsequent severe physical disability or epilepsy that the physicians predicted. He worked for two years before succeeding in developing such a device. Meanwhile doctors had succeeded in removing the remainder of the tumor after a series of awkward surgeries, which would have been much more straightforward and safer using Visionsense's product.

Yaron is today perfectly healthy and has left the company to set up Joy Ventures, which develops technologies to improve quality of life.

Visionsense's investors include Lewis Pell, Motti Beyar, Star Ventures, Peregrine Ventures, and Glenrock Fund. Yaron said, "The current management and staff are amazing and have made significant improvements to the product. The company works on the cutting edge of physics."

This is Medtronic's ninth investment in Israel in the past 13 years.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 9, 2018

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2018

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Avi Yaron Photo; PR
Avi Yaron Photo; PR
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