Microvascular Eye Receives CE Mark for Varicose Veins Treatment

Microvascular Eye Technology, a 2004-formed subsidiary of Micromedic Technologies, has received EU CE Mark certification for its treatment for varicose veins. The new tool, originally developed for eye application, is “SpiderCan”, a miniature syringe that can be used on small blood vessels.

Another Micromedic unit, Bio Med Technologies, also has good news: it’s marker for diagnosis of cancer of the head and neck have successfully completed preliminary trials.

Foamix to Develop Medical Foam with Galderma

Foamix Ltd., a 2003-founded Israeli developer of dermatological foam medications has signed a deal with dermatology specialist Galderma to develop an innovative dermatological  foam jointly.  The foam will be used to treat atopic dermatitis, a disease which affects about 10% of infants and 3% of the total population in the United States. It’s main symptom is itchy and rashy skin that can spread from area to area.

The development of the foam product will be directed to fortify the skin barrier by delivering a very high concentration of barrier-enhancing oils in an easy-to-apply formulation. Poor adherence to maintenance treatment for atopic dermatitis and parental anxiety about using topical steroids are common features seen among children with atopic dermatitis, and therefore, foams, which do not need extensive rubbing for spreading and absorption, offer an improved treatment modality for this disease.

Foamix CEO Dr. Dov Tamarkin said his company is “very proud to partner with an industry leader such as Ferndale.”  “Foam offers properties that increase usability, encourage compliance and boost user satisfaction. Foamix foams are alcohol-free and they can be designed to provide skin barrier properties, which are crucial for effective atopic dermatitis treatment, while using delicate, FDA approved ingredients, to ensure the safety of the patients.”

Foamix is not backed by venture capital. It was founded with a $5 million from its founders and private investors. The company already has several million dollars revenue from cooperation agreements.

For more see the press release.

In the News: Fixya, Intercure, Mazor, Perytons

According to webware, tech-support startup Fixya will announce a partnership with Best Buy whereby “customers wanting to perform their own fixes (or trying to dig others out of trouble) can go to the Best Buy Web site and access http://geeksquad.fixya.com from the “Customer Service” tab. They can search by product, SKU, manufacturer, or product category, or post a new query and receive community troubleshooting” for free. This is sure to boost traffic on Fixya’s site, which already claims over 6 million views per month. The site also boasts more than 30,000 “geek” contributors.

InterCure Ltd., a medical device company (TASE: INCR), announced yesterday that its RESPeRATE hypertension treatment device, clinically-proven to significantly lower blood pressure, will launch into full-scale retail distribution in the UK this May through leading pharmacy chain Lloyds.

“The full-chain launch of RESPeRATE at Lloyds Pharmacy clearly demonstrates the broad appeal of our effective and truly natural device-guided breathing therapy for hypertension,” said Erez Gavish, president and CEO of InterCure. Sixteen million adults in the UK suffer from high blood pressure. Left untreated, it may lead to heart attack, stroke and kidney or heart failure.

Founded in 2005 and based in Ness Ziona, Perytons provides developers, implementers and field engineers with analyzers for standard and proprietary wireless communication protocols. The startup announced today an enhanced version of it’s multi-antenna multi-channel 802.15.4/ZigBee analyzer based on Integration Associates EZLink 802.15.4 USB dongles. The tool provides the capability to analyze and track multiple network sessions that coincide in time in a user friendly manner. “We are excited to provide our customers a feature rich, user friendly analysis tool with very high reliability needed for analyzing sophisticated wireless networks.” – Yaron Soffer, Perytons Founder and CEO.

Mazor Surgical Technologies, a 2001-founded provider of the SpineAssist, a miniature surgical assistance system for a wide range of spine procedures, has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Mazor has received exclusive, worldwide licenses to two patents for the development of permanent implants for the spine.

CEO Ori Hadomi predicts that the product, which has already undergone a feasibility study, can reach market within a year. He adds that the product will open a new market to the company – orthopedic implants – and that it can also boost sales of Mazor’s own SpineAssist product line.

Finally, check out this Globes article about a Israel Venture Capital Research Center survey that shows that high tech start-ups in Israel have not been affected so far by a possible global slowdown, and that in fact venture capital funding is at a seven-year high.

Israel Delivers: TechnoSpin, Gizmox, Endogun, Applicure

Today Israel’s innovators made all kinds of headlines from cleantech to medical devices to software security.

Let’s start with TechnoSpin. The four year old startup has raised $8 million from US VC 21 Ventures. They develop and produce rotors for small wind turbines which, it claims, are cheaper to produce and more easily assembled than competitor’s products, and can be operated on 80% of the earth’s surface – not just in high-wind areas. TechnoSpin also develops wind turbine gears which produce torque that is then converted into electrical power. Check out an interview with the CEO, Maxim Rakov.

 

Next on the list is Gizmox. This 2006-formed web application design startup announced today that it has reached an agreement to market its software through Microsoft marketing platforms. The Maayan Ventures portfolio company will use its Ajax-based environment for running web applications to enhance Microsoft’s Visual Studio environment development partnership program.

 

Then there’s Endogun Medical Systems. The 2004-founded graduate of Meytag Technology Incubatorand now Biomedix Incubator portfolio company has announced FDA approval for its internal soft-tissue fastening solution. This procedure, a key element of many Minimally Invasive Surgeries (MIS), is difficult to perform. Endogun’s technology, apparently, makes MIS procedures more safe, effective and simpler to perform.

 

Finally, Applicure Technologies released a statement via email that it has signed an agreement with British Trafalgar Capital Management for an investment of up to $5 million over a three year period. The four year old company, which is still negotiating with other investors in Israel and abroad for additional financing, creates software-based products for web application security and database compliance.

Cryotherapy Startup Arbel Medical in Second Round

Last month we reported on Core Dynamics, a company that develops technology to freeze human organs and increase their shelf life. Another Israeli startup, Arbel Medical, is developing office-friendly, next-generation , minimally invasive Cryo-therapy products for the treatment of breast tumors and other internal diseased tissue.

Founded in 2005, the company has previously raised $2.75 million in funding from Giza Venture Capital, Ofer Hi-Tech Ventures and TRD Instrum, and has now added an additional $450,000 from Bridge Investment Fund, which aims to set-up operations for Israeli life science companies in Cleveland, Ohio. Arbel is conducting trials in Cleveland and possibly opening offices there.

The company offers the following description of its flagship product IceSense:

“Cryotherapy is a fast-developing minimally-invasive procedure, in which a cryoprobe is used to ablate diseased tissue through the application of extreme cold.

IceSense™, Arbel’s breakthrough N2-based platform is adapted for use both in operating theaters and in freestanding clinics, offering the following key advantages over classical Joule-Thomson based products:

  • User friendliness (operation and maintenance) and reduced cost
  • Higher freezing capacity resulting in shorter treatment time
  • Easier control over the ablation process”

The company has future sights set on the growing area of women’s health, including using its IceSense technology in treating tumors from breast cancer, and also using it for aesthetic applications.

Epix Achieves Positive Results for Vasovist

Epix Pharmaceuticals is an Israeli biopharmaceutical established in 2000 that discovers and develops novel therapeutics using its proprietary in silico drug delivery platform. According to a press release, the company has “achieved positive results from the blinded, independent re-read of images of its novel blood pool MRA agent, Vasovist.” Previous re-read of images from phase III trials met FDA specifications and the company now plans to resubmit a new application (NDA) to the FDA in mid-2008. Vasovist is approved for marketing in 33 countries.

“There are currently no contrast agents approved in the United States for use with MRA, a non-invasive modality for imaging blood vessels. However, it is estimated that approximately 1.5 million MRAs will be conducted in the United States during 2008 using gadolinium-based products.

Andrew Uprichard, M.D., president and head of R&D at EPIX said the “positive results confirm the efficacy upon which the NDA was based and allow us to move forward with our strategy of achieving U.S. regulatory approval,” and eventually bring Vasovist to the U.S. market.

Michael G. Kauffman, M.D., Ph.D., CEO of EPIX added that the company remains “focused on monetizing our Vasovist asset in the near- to mid-term and these positive results are a significant milestone towards achieving this goal.” “We believe these positive results position us well for FDA approval and that our product, if approved, will serve a large and unmet need in the U.S.”

Check out the details on Vasovist here.

Boston Scientific Abandons Israeli Startups

Boston Scientific will sell its stakes in startup companies, including those in Israeli startups such as superDimension, MEL Medical Enterprises, MediGuide, E-Pill Pharma, Beta O2 Technologies, Brainsgate and VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies, according to Globes, in order to focus on its core business.

The medical device giant has invested nearly $6 billion in new technologies over the past five years but is refocusing to address the heavy debt caused, in part, by its acquisition of cardiology equipment giant Guidant for $27.7 billion. According to IVC, the company has also invested in Israeli venture capital funds, including Ascend, Medica Venture Partner, and Vitalife Life Sciences Venture.

The news may be troubling to those startups and VCs involved as Boston Scientific is a strategic partner with a vast network of connections and years of experience. Other medical device companies may buy up the shares at bargain prices, which would do little to provide crucial capital needed for development. The news may actually drive down the value of the startups themselves.

Boston Scientific announced intentions to invest nearly $100 million in Israeli startups in 2002. Let’s hope its huge selloff won’t be damaging to the Israeli biomedical industry.