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Pharmos acquired drug developer company Vela Pharmaceuticals October 26, 2006

Posted by israelhealthcare in Drug Discovery.
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Pharmos has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Vela Pharmaceuticals, a privately owned company specializing in the development of medicines related to diseases of the nervous system, for about $19.2 million in cash and stocks.

This acquisition is a strategic and significant step forward in broadening our pipeline with later stage products targeting important unmet needs,” said Haim Aviv, Ph.D., Chairman and CEO of Pharmos. “In particular, dextofisopam for IBS, the leading Phase 2 clinical asset acquired, combined with cannabinor, our phase 2a CB2-selective compound, provide our pipeline with the critical mass necessary to grow shareholder value.”

Dextofisopam, the leading asset acquired by Pharmos in the transaction, is a promising and innovative new drug with positive Phase 2a data for the treatment of diarrhea-predominant and alternating-type irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS is a chronic, recurring condition with symptoms that affect roughly 10% of American adults and is two to three times more prevalent in women than in men.

At the closing of its acquisition of Vela, Pharmos issued 6.5 million shares to Vela shareholders and paid $6.2 million in cash. Additional shares and cash are to be issued to Vela’s existing shareholders in connection with the completion of stipulated milestones for development of dextofisopam.

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EarlySense raises $3 million from Challenge Fund and ProSeed Venture Capital October 24, 2006

Posted by israelhealthcare in Monitoring System.
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Healthcare monitoring system developer EarlySense has closed a $3 million second round of financing from Etgar Challenge Fund, and ProSeed Venture Capital Fund. The financing round will allow EarlySense to accomplish two significant milestones: submitting our system for FDA approval to and making first system installations in the USA.

“Early identification of chronic disease deterioration is the missing link in improving the outcomes of hundreds of millions of chronic patients across the globe,” said Avner Halperin, EarlySense co-founder and CEO. “EarlySense provides an early warning for chronic disease deterioration, enabling patient to get therapy, just in time.”

EarlySense developed a monitoring system focused on improving the care of Asthma, COPD and Congestive Heart Failure patients. The system operates without any contact with the patient’s body and without the need for patient compliance. A few weeks ago the U.S. Patent Office granted the company a wide ranging patent which covers the system’s application for several chronic conditions.

The Israeli medical device firm was founded about two years ago by Avner Halperin, a former Vice President at Radcom and Lenslet, Yossi Gross, a serial medical-device entrepreneur, Guy Shinar, former CEO of X-Technologies and Dr. Danny Lange who founded IDesia and Algodyne. To date, the company had raised about $1.25 million in two rounds: the seed round in 2004 from private investors and a first round from the Challenge Fund in 2005.

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