TechNation: HealthWatch Raises $20 Million for Smart Garment to Monitor Vital Signs

Israelis’ online shopping soared in 2016 | Check Point cofounder takes stake in company developing universal flu vaccine | Two Israeli biomed companies on the block

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Credit: Reuters

HealthWatch raises $20 million for smart garment to monitor vital signs

HealthWatch, which has developed smart garments that monitor the wearer for ECG and other vital signs and send the information in real time by smartphone, said Monday it had raised $20 million from Shijiazhuang Yiling Pharmaceuticals. The Chinese company will pay $15 million for a 23% stake in HealthWatch and pay another $5 million for the rights to sell the company’s Master Caution device in China. Master Caution comprises an embedded processor to collect, store and process data together with an accelerometer, infra-red sensor and Bluetooth capability. Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Europe’s CE mark, the device monitors ECGs as well as activity, respiration and skin temperature. Its sensors are interwoven into garments so that they appear as design elements rather than a monitoring device. The startup was founded by Yoram Romem and Amos Shattner, and had previously raised one round of capital. HealthWatch will use the proceeds to add a further 20 staff to its current payroll of 18. (Ruti Levy)

Israelis’ online shopping soared in 2016

Israeli consumers went on an online shopping spree last year, making the country the biggest recipient of deliveries on a per capital basis of any country belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Israel Post reported on Monday. Israelis took delivery of 52 million packages over the year, a 30% increase over 2015 and a combined 8,100 tons. Rishon Letzion was the most online-shipping-crazy city on a per capital basis, with 390,000 deliveries to its residents. The flood of online orders overwhelmed Israel Post, spurring customer complaints about lost, delayed and damaged goods. Last month, the British fashion retailer ASOS stopped working with the postal authority in favor of a private company. But Danny Goldstein, Israel Post’s CEO, said he had taken steps to improve service, adding 300 new pickup sites and sorting equipment. A new logistics center capable of handling 100 million items will open in the next few months, he added. (Hadar Kane)

Check Point cofounder takes stake in company developing universal flu vaccine

Marius Nacht, cofounder and chairman of Check Point Software Technologies and a leading tech investor, has acquired a major stake in BiondVax Pharmaceuticals, a company developing a universal flu vaccine. BiondVax said Monday that Angels High Tech Investments – Nacht’s investment vehicle – had agreed to invest 10.9 million shekels ($2.8 million) for a 19.99% stake in the tiny company, which is traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and Nasdaq. Angels paid 32.30 shekels per share, the equivalent of BiondVax’s December 29 closing price on the TASE. “We are now better positioned to complete our development plans and commercialize our vaccine worldwide,” said Ron Babecoff, BiondVax’s founder and CEO. “This strategic partnership, together with clinical results and ongoing clinical trial collaborations in Europe and the United States, will enable us to proceed confidently into Phase III [clinical trials] as planned,” he added. Shares of BiondVax closed up 10.9% at 36 agorot. (Yoram Gabison)

Two Israeli biomed companies on the block

BioLight, which is developing products to treat ophthalmic conditions like glaucoma and dry eye syndrome, said an unnamed Chinese investment fund had made a nonbinding offer to buy all of the company’s Tel Aviv Stock Exchange-traded shares for $5.1 million. The offer was for 16.50 shekels ($4.28) a share, a considerable premium on the traded price, which closed up 0.4% at 13.01 shekels on Monday. Meanwhile, Medical Compression Systems, which is developing a device to replace drugs to treat blood clots during orthopedic surgery, said last week it was entertaining offers from unnamed overseas medical companies to buy some or most of its shares for several million dollars. The decision came after talks to establish a collaborative agreement with a major international company failed. Medical Compression shares ended down 0.5% to 61 agorot. (Yoram Gabison)

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