Israel Biotech Fund (IBF) has closed its $112 million second fund. The fund was founded by managing partners Dr. David Sidransky, Dr. Yuval Cabilly, and Ido Zairi. The main investors in the second fund include Harel Insurance Investments and Financial Services Ltd. (TASE: HARL), pharmaceutical giant Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) and the CBG Capital private equity fund.
IBF's second fund is larger than its first fund, which amounted to $70 million, and slightly larger than the amount that it set out to raise.
IBF focuses on investments in drug development and medical diagnostics companies in all stages. IBF has a distinguished panel of venture advisors including Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (Nasdaq: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) chairman Dr. Sol Barer, and former Pfizer CEO Jeff Kindler.
Over the past year, major achievements have been reported by some of IBF's portfolio companies. Immunotherapy company, Biond Biologics, founded by Dr. Tehila Ben-Moshe and Ori Shilo, sold the rights to its lead product for treating cancer to Sanofi for a first payment of $125 million, with anticipated milestone payments and royalties of over $1 billion. The company has been closely involved with Biond, supporting it since its first financing round.
Personalized medicine oncology treatment company Ayala Pharmaceuticals, managed by Roni Mamluk, founded by IBF in 2017, raised $55 million in a Nasdaq IPO and is currently traded with a market cap of $136 million. Another oncology company in which IBF invested is Biosight, which is developing a treatment for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and which raised $46 million recently.
Several months ago, IBF won the Israel Innovation Authority tender to set up an AI pharma laboratory together with its partners Pfizer, Astrazeneca, Merck, Teva and Amazon.
IBF has also partnered with Clal Biotechnology Industries Ltd. (TASE: CBI) in setting up a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) to merge with an Israeli life sciences company.
Dr. Sidransky said, "Our strategy is based on leading major investment rounds in companies so that they can conduct clinical programs in the best and most professional way. The results speak for themselves and we are excited to support the process, the maturation, and the growth of our portfolio companies while placing emphasis on the highest level R&D."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on April 5, 2021
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