Medical Device Daily Contributing Writer

ZICHRON YAAKOV, Israel - The financing and funding deals in the Israeli medical devices sector is continuing to be robust and growing.

A total of 70% of the $200 million invested in Israeli life sciences in 2005 was channeled into medical device development, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, Israel - Kesselman & Kesselman's Money Tree survey on the life sciences.

The survey was released ahead of the BioMed Israel 2006 meeting in May, which for the first time gives medical devices full partnership (by renaming the meeting called BioTech Israel for the previous five years).

UltraShape raises $15 million

UltraShape (Tel Aviv), a privately held start-up specializing in non-invasive focused ultrasound devices that body contour by destroying fat cells, late last month reported the completion of a $15 million round of funding.

Polaris Venture Partners led the round and was joined by previous investor Israel Seed Partners.

Ultrashape, founded in 2000 by plastic surgeon Ami Glicksman, company president, and physicist, Yoram Eshel, CEO, has raised $12 million in two previous rounds. Israel Seed Partners invested $6 million; and the seed round was funded by Israel Seed Partners, in addition to the Israeli Office of the Chief Scientist and other investors.

The company's flagship product, Contour 1, obtained CE mark clearance in July 2005 for the ultrasound device.

Eshel told Medical Device Daily, "Ultrashape is currently selling in 37 countries throughout Europe, Asia and Africa and has several million dollars in sales, past our breakeven point," adding, "We anticipate FDA approval in 2007 and hope to be on the U.S. market in 2007, where we have already set up a sales and marketing infrastructure from our U.S. office in San Ramon, California."

Ultrashape plans to use the proceeds of the financing to expand commercialization of Contour 1.

As part of the financing, Polaris Venture Partners' general partner Brian Chee will join the company's board of directors.

EnzySurge device targets chronic wounds

EnzySurge (Shoham, Israel) - which is focused on developing innovative hybrid medical devices that are disposable, implantable and centered on hard-to-heal chronic wound management - obtained FDA approval for DermaStream, its platform hybrid medical device.

DermaStream gently debrides the wound through continuous, controlled irrigation of the patient's skin with proprietary therapeutic solutions, an approach developed by EnzySurge founder Amihay Freeman, director of the Institute of Biotechnology of Tel-Aviv University and an expert in the field of enzymatic processes.

Freeman, with Ramot, the technology transfer office at Tel Aviv University, founded EnzySurge in 2001 in the Misgav incubator, with seed funding from the Office of the Chief Scientist. Freeman said, "Our proprietary biotechnology, know-how and integrative approach embedded in our products, can provide healthcare professionals with the means to complete wound management faster and at lowered total costs of treatment."

Allon Leibovitz, CEO of EnzySurge, told MDD, "DermaStream treatment significantly accelerated healing, which reduces therapy time and, we expect, will lower staff intervention time and shorten hospitalization and overall cost of care."

Leibovitz added: "FDA approval for DermaStream is for continuous streaming over wounds and skin, so it covers a broad range of medical indications, facilitating the fast introduction of the product for additional clinical applications. We are hoping to make a significant impact on clinical care."

More than five million Americans suffer from hard-to-heal wounds, including diabetic and venous insufficiency ulcers, and pressure sores. The company anticipates receiving CE marking later in 2006.

Adi Ickowica, EnzySurge's manager of regulatory and quality affairs and its U.S.-based MedicSense co-CEO, said, "FDA clearance opens the door to marketing and business opportunities in the U.S. where we are considering several possible partnerships with American companies."

The wound management market is a rapidly-growing market due to the massive increase in morbid obesity and diabetes.

EnzySurge has raised about $2 million from private investors led by Eli Gilboa of the Gilboa & Licht Investment House (Tel Aviv). Gilboa also serves as chairman of EnzySurge's board.