Tech Nation: Good News for MedAware, XTL and StoreDot

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The Storedot bio-organic battery, charging enviably fast.Credit: Storedot

MedAware closes $1 million in financing from GE Ventures and OurCrowd

MedAware, a Ra’anana-based company that’s engaged in big-data analytics for the medical prescription market, has closed an investment of $1 million from GE Ventures and OurCrowd, the crowdsourcing venture capital platform. MedAware’s technology is designed to identify and prevent prescription errors in real time, using data analytics and machine-learning algorithms which are then compared to physicians’ treatment of similar patients. Prescriptions largely deviating from the spectrum of standard treatment patterns are flagged for potential errors. The investment from GE Ventures – General Electric’s venture capital arm – follows the company’s investment partnership with OurCrowd, inked in November 2013. It also represents GE’s first software investment in the Israeli health-care sector. The new investment is slated to be used to bolster MedAware’s marketing efforts to health-care providers, insurance companies and major pharmacy chains. MedAware was founded in 2012.

XTL Biopharmaceuticals’ shares soar as Eli Lilly halts efforts on competing lupus drug

Eli Lilly and Co. said it would stop the development of its drug to treat the autoimmune disorder lupus, after it was found not to be effective enough in late-stage trials. While Lilly’s shares hardly budged on the news, the ADRs of Herzliya-based XTL Biopharmaceuticals Inc, which is developing its own lupus treatment, shot up 105%, to $3.38 in trading on Thursday. XTL said last month it would start mid-stage studies of its lupus drug in mid-2015, and planned to meet U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials at the end of this year to discuss the trial design. Lupus is a condition in which the body’s immune system starts attacking healthy tissues, causing inflammation, pain and, in extreme cases, death. The American FDA approved GlaxoSmithKline’s Benlysta in March 2011, making it the first lupus drug to be approved in 50 years.

Dimona reactor employees can now have smartphones at work

Employees at the high-security Dimona nuclear reactor research site are now able to bring cellphones equipped with cameras to their workplace, although a piece of software will prevent the cameras from operating on the site or its environs. Previously, employees were barred from bringing cellphones equipped with cameras to work, to ensure that no unauthorized photographs were taken inside the facility and or of any documents there. The policy has now been changed, the Mako news website reports. Employees have been upgraded to smartphones, although technology shuts down the phone’s camera function within a radius of a few kilometers of the Dimona reactor and on the site itself, Mako says. The website sought a response over the shift in policy from the Atomic Energy Commission, which runs the reactor, but the agency said it does not comment on security procedures at its facilities.

StoreDot closes $42 million funding round

Israeli startup StoreDot, which is developing fast-charging smartphone battery technology, among other products, announced Wednesday that it had completed a $42 million financing round that included $10 million from Russian-Jewish billionaire Roman Abramovich’s private Millhouse investment fund. Abramovich’s holdings include the English Premier League soccer team Chelsea. Other investors in this round include the private investment firm Singularitieam. Prior investors have included Israeli industrialist Stef Wertheimer and the South Korean electronics firm Samsung. StoreDot uses bio-organic components in its fast-charging battery technology and is also engaged in production of display screens that don’t contain poisonous chemicals. The latest funding round raised more than the $30 million planned at an earlier stage. The funding will be used in part for mass production of the battery.

Israel's Negev Nuclear Research Center, Dimona.Credit: Reuters / Haaretz Archive