Israeli company HIL Applied Medical, which develops laser-accelerated proton beams for medical purposes, has acquired US company Nanolabz. "The merger with Nanolabz makes it possible to combine the two companies' patents and development teams, which complement each other, enabling us to accelerate our development," says HIL Applied Medical CEO Sagi Brink-Danan. Following the merger, Nanolabz's name will be changed to HIL US. The development center in the US will continue operating side by side with the Israeli development center, which will manage it.
The acquisition price was not stated, but since HIL Applied Medical is still a startup that has raised $4 million to date, in all probability the price is not high, and a substantial proportion of the deal consists of a share swap.
Proton beams are used in radiation for treating cancer. The market is growing, but the existing proton beams are prohibitively expensive, weigh 200 tons, and require special rooms due to their size. A proton therapy center is the size of a football stadium, and costs $150-200 million to build and operate. Very few hospitals buy such products, and only a few patients are receiving the treatment.
HIL Applied Medical has developed technology likely to significantly reduce the size and cost of a proton beam center. The technology has already been tested, and was found to supply a stream of protons for medical purposes at a reasonable price. The company is now improving the technology to create a larger flow of protons that will make it possible to compete with the existing products. HIL Applied Medical was founded on the basis of research by director Dr. Shmuel Eisenmann and chief scientist Prof. Arie Zigler at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Its main investors are the Integra Holdings fund, founded by Yissum Research Development Company, private investors, and mass funding through the OurCrowd crowdsourcing platform.
OurCrowd CEO Jon Medved said, "We are excited about the acquisition, because it is the kind of thing that a startup does when it means to grow into a very, very big company. They are strengthening their patents and team, and are also building a US base in order to enhance their access to this market. The two companies are correlated, because Nanolabz is also getting some of HIL Applied Medical's shares. I wish more of my portfolio companies would do things like this."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 31, 2016
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