While young Israeli life sciences companies are attracting interesting investments from overseas, in recent years a reverse flow has also developed, of investment by Israeli venture capital funds in overseas life sciences companies, mainly in Europe and the US. The Israeli funds developed on the basis of good investments in the Israeli market, in companies that might not have been known to overseas investors and therefore represented good opportunities for them. Now, however, they have grown, and are interested in participating in larger investment rounds, and the number of suitable Israeli companies is not large. They have also developed a network of ties over the years with foreign investors. The Israeli funds bring overseas partners into investments in Israel, and the latter return the favor. The number of investments by Israeli healthcare funds in foreign companies has therefore grown.
An example of this is the investment announced by Peregrine Ventures today of $10 million through the Peregrine Growth Fund in cancer therapies developer Ribon Therapeutics of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The round totaling $65 million was led by Deerfield Management and US Venture Partners. Existing investors AbbVie Ventures, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Euclidean Capital, Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JJDC Inc., Novartis Venture Fund, Osage University Partners, Takeda Ventures and The Column Group, also participated.
Ribon Therapeutics is a clinical stage biotechnology company that focuses on the development of therapies targeting novel enzyme families activated under cellular stress conditions that contribute to disease. The company is developing therapies that inhibit the substances that manifest themselves in such conditions of stress, in the hope of improving the patient's condition.
Peregrine Ventures has raised an aggregate of $600 million in five funds to date. In the past two years it has considerably expanded its activity, with the raising of a $115 million venture capital fund and the $300 million Growth Fund focusing on late-stage companies on the verge of going public, or targeted for M&A. Among the firm's more prominent portfolio companies are cancer treatment companies Nectin Therapeutics and Kahr Medical, and Memic, Aleph Farms and Insightec.
Peregrine Ventures managing partner Eyal Lifschitz said today, "As part of our long-term strategy, we continue to invest in cancer therapeutics companies, and recently completed three investments in this pharma segment. Additionally, we are investing in companies in the cancer medical device space, as well as in other pharma companies in the sector. According to WHO data for 2020, 10 million people died of cancer in the world last year, and that represents 2.5 times the number of deaths from Covid-19 that is upending the world. New technologies are the key to reducing mortality from cancer and therefore we are searching for additional opportunities in this field, in Israel as well as abroad."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on July 15, 2021
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