Biological surgical sealant developer Lifebond Ltd. has raised $20 million. Giza Venture Capital and Aurum Ventures MKI Ltd., the venture capital arm of Morris Kahn, led the round, and were joined by current investors Pitango Venture Capital, GlenRock Israel, Zitelman Group Inc., and Robert Taub, the founder and CEO of Omrix Pharmaceuticals, which he sold to Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) for $425 million in 2008.
Lifebond co-founder and CEO Issay Attar told "Globes", "When the current investors are excited about a company, it's a lot easier to hold another financing round."
Lifebond was named one of Israel's most promising start-ups for 2010 by "Globes".
Lifebond's flagship product is a surgical sealant for tissue after surgery to shorten the bowel. The product is undergoing a Phase I clinical trial in Brazil, and is due to begin a larger trial in Europe later this year.
"Globes": The clinical trial you're planning costs less than $20 million.
Attar: "It's always a good idea to raise a lot of money in the life sciences, if possible. This amount will be enough for us to complete an US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) trial, which we'll conduct after the European trial.
"I believe that an investment of this size by Israeli venture capital funds at this stage was made possible because the company achieved good clinical results in the Brazilian trial, and because the difference between animals and people for a product like this is not great. Therefore, the risk-reward profile is attractive."
As for raising capital only from Israeli funds, Attar said, "We also spoke with foreign funds, but it's easier to talk with someone in your own language, and we gave them preference. Obviously, foreign funds have advantages and I hope to work with them later."
Lifebond is also developing the LifePatch, a biological hemostats to stop bleeding, and a product for hernias, both of which are just beginning clinical trials.
Attar and VP operations Orahn Preiss-Bloom founded Lifebond in the aftermath of the 2006 Second Lebanon War in order to develop next-generation would closure solutions for soldiers on the battlefield.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 23, 2011
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