Israeli Company Ornim Receives Series B Funding
Posted on August 21, 2012 @ 12:22 pm
General Electric (GE) and Orbimed Israel are investing in Lod, Israel-based Ornim Inc., a developer of the CerOx monitor that non-invasively monitors blood flow and oxygen saturation in brain and muscle tissue.
OrbiMed is an investment firm focused on biopharmaceutical and medical technology companies. The investment in Ornim is being made through OrbiMed Israel Partners Limited Partnership, OrbiMed’s investment fund in Israel that focuses on domestic life science investments.
Maintaining adequate blood flow and oxygenation are primary clinical goals for critical care patients. However, a full measurement currently is only achievable using multiple, often invasive devices. There is a clinical need to provide accurate, multi-parameter, continuous monitoring of blood flow and oxygenation in the brain that is both non-invasive and cost-effective, the companies claim.
Ornim’s CerOx has been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The device is designed to enable clinicians to monitor two critical parameters in adult patients: Regional hemoglobin oxygen saturation in the brain or in a region of skeletal muscle tissue beneath the CerOx sensor; and microcirculation blood flow in tissue. It is also the only device, Ornim claims, that does so in tandem. The device accomplishes this through near-infrared spectroscopy combined with ultrasound waves.
The investment was made as part of a Series B financing round that was led by OrbiMed and included Agate Medical Investment LP’s Agate-MAC Fund. The financing will be used for further development, clinical studies, international marketing and commercialization of Ornim’s CerOx monitor. Financial terms of the investment were not disclosed.
“The decision to invest in Ornim was based on the growing realization that there is a crucial need to monitor vital organs (such as the brain) during a variety of medical procedures,” said Nissim Darvish, M.D., Ph.D., senior managing director of OrbiMed. “The uniqueness of Ornim’s technology results from its ability to monitor in real time oxygen saturation in brain tissue, along with microcirculation blood flow. The potential market of this technology is very large, and the current solutions are not adequate. This potential, along with a very professional and experienced team, could allow the company to become a world leader in its field.”
Ornim also announced the appointment of Israel Schreiber as the company’s new CEO. Schreiber has more than 20 years of managerial experience in the medical device industry both in Israel and in the United States. He served as CEO of Itamar Medical and, most recently, as the CEO of ITGI Medical Ltd.
“The investment announced today will enable Ornim to accelerate product development and promote the introduction of the CerOx monitor to the international market,” said Schreiber. “The relationship with GE, a world leader in patient monitoring, alongside OrbiMed, one of the largest healthcare venture capital fund managers, provides important benefits, including an in-depth understanding of the market as well as vast operational and marketing experience.”
The investment also is aligned with GE Healthcare’s expanding focus on patient monitoring solutions that can improve healthcare globally, as well as GE’s broader Healthymagination initiative, which focuses on reducing cost, increasing patient access and improving quality in healthcare.
“Ornim’s technology is not only innovative but it presents great promise to better monitor patients in a critical care setting, providing additional information to aid clinicians in the care of their patients,” said Thierry Leclercq, general manager of GE Healthcare Systems Life Care Solutions.
"Ornim is Agate-MAC’s first investment in an Israeli subsidiary,” explained Agate-MAC Fund Managing Partner Michel Habib. “We chose to invest because Ornim Medical has developed a market-changing technology that will dramatically improve the ability of the intensivist to monitor the brain condition of patients in critical care procedures, non-invasively.”
Ornim plans to launch the CerOx monitor—which also has received the CE Mark—in the United States and European markets within the next 18 months.
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