Ola Baker Salameh

CEO, Sebana Medical

Field: Pharmaceuticals

Capital raised: $700,000

Lady Globes Leading Entrepreneurs 2017 - עולא בכר /  צילום: ענבל מרמרי

Personal: 36 | Married with two children | BSc in biology and MBA from the University of Haifa


A treatment to prevent reabsorption of fat after an implant in esthetic procedures

It happened when she was manager of a business unit at Neopharm. Ola Baker Salameh received a telephone call from Dr. Saher Hamed, a specialist in cardiology and founder and CEO of Remedor Biomed, one of the few medical startups in Israel founded and managed by an Arab CEO. "I told them, ‘What are you talking about? I’m not leaving Neopharm. But then I said, ‘Tell me more about it.’ My thinking, and the entire course of my life, suddenly changed."

Baker-Salameh decided to go for an interview with Hamer. "I found a person with insane charisma. The conversation was so full of ambition, enthusiasm and emotion. I sat there in a state of shock. This was in February 2015, and I told him yes only in August."

Sebana Medical is a subsidiary of Remedor. The company was founded in the NGT incubator in Nazareth, and is now at quite an advanced stage – Phase II clinical trials, and the product’s efficacy has already been demonstrated. Dr. Hamed identified material that could also be used in treating diabetes, and Sebana uses the same active ingredient that prevents the reabsorption and disappearance of fat after implants. It can be for the esthetic market: dermal fillers for wrinkles, a buttock lift, a mastectomy, and it can also be used in medicine – an autologous (ie the person's own) fat injection in cases in which such a procedure can treat certain orphan diseases.

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How to make your product succeed

"Our idea can change the market from top to bottom, but for that, we need money – three million dollars to in order to get to trials, and I’m really afraid right now that the idea will fail because of money. There aren’t many investors in pharma, and those who do invest are deterred by ventures that are in the early stages. I’ve been to all the funds, and they told me, ‘It’s interesting, but early.’ We get support from the Israel Innovation Authority that’s enough to pay the employees, but we have to raise money in the next few months."

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