TechNation: Nurtrinia Secures $30 Million for Preemie Intestinal Treatment

CellSavers raises $15 million for smartphone repair service; Quixey shutting its Tel Aviv R&D center.

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This is the sort of water technology most often associated with Israel: At the IDE and Veolia Sea Water Reverse Osmosis Desalination Plant in Ashkelon.
A seawater desalination plant in Ashkelon.Credit: Eitan Simanor / Alamy Stock Photo

Nurtrinia secures $30 million for preemie intestinal treatment

Last week Nutrinia, an Israeli-U.S. startup developing treatments for intestinal malabsorption in preemies and short bowel syndrome in infants, announced that it secured $30 million in financing to fund two pivotal trials for marketing approval. TPG Biotech, the life science investment arm of the private equity firm TPG, led the round, joined by HIG BioHealth Partners and WuXi Healthcare Ventures, along with existing investors including OrbiMed and Pontifax. Nutrinia plans two pivotal trials for indications related to intestinal malabsorption in newborns born between 26 and 32 weeks’ gestational age, and infants with SBS under 1 year old. “We're beginning two trials in the U.S. and Europe that will provide robust data as to the safety and efficacy of our proprietary oral formulation of insulin These are orphan indications that affect fragile populations with high levels of unmet medical need,” said CEO Miki Olshansky. (TheMarker Staff) 

CellSavers raises $15 million for smartphone repair service

CellSavers, whose technology matches consumers with broken mobile devices and technicians, said Thursday that it raised $15 million in financing led by Carmel Ventures, with the participation of Sequoia Capital Israel. The round, just eight months after the startup raised $3 million seed funding from a group led by Sequoia Capital, will be used to accelerate the growth of its platform, including hiring 12 more staffers for its 10-person Israeli R&D center, the company said. Formed last year, CellSavers seeks to reduce the downtime users suffer when their smartphone or other mobile device fails by enabling qualified technicians to reach the user within 60 minutes. CellSavers’ service is available in 18 U.S. cities, including New York, Boston and Los Angeles. Company CEO and co-founder Eyal Ronen said the platform would be expanded to include repairs for devices such as game consoles, smart TVs and Wi-Fi routers.  (Ruti Levy)

Quixey shutting its Tel Aviv R&D center

Quixey, a U.S. company that is developing search engines for mobile platforms, is closing its Tel Aviv R&D center and laying off its 30 employees. Founded in Silicon Valley in 2009 by Israelis Tomer Kagan and Yaron Shapira, the startup has struggled to make a profit with its original product and in the last year has concentrated on advertising technology for mobile apps. At its peak a year-and-a-half ago, the company raised $60 million from blue-chip investors like Alibaba, Softbank and Goldman Sachs at a $600-million valuation, but then suffered from missed sales forecasts, management changes and disagreements among its backers. According to The Washington Post, Albaba promised to invest $110 million in Quixey in two rounds in 2013 and 2015, but at some point stopped paying its commitments after a dispute over a proprietary search engine it was supposed to develop for the Chinese ecommerce site. Quixey declined to comment. (Ruti Levy)

IDE named No. 2 by Fortune among companies changing the world

Calling it the “Rumplestiltskin of the desert,” for turning saltwater into fresh, Israel’s IDE was cited as No. 2 among a list of companies that Fortune magazine said are changing the world. It noted that equipment made by IDE, owned by Israel Chemicals and the Delek Group, provides 70% of Israel’s desalinated water and has built facilities in some 40 countries, including Mexico, Chile and China. It recently opened the largest desalination plant in the Western hemisphere near San Diego. Fortune cites IDE’s technology that makes use of “waste steam” to generate electricity and patented membrane technology that don’t require chemical-intensive cleaning. “Given recent water shortages in some regions of the world ... those kinds of breakthroughs are almost as good as gold,” Fortune said. IDE, however, has failed to break into the key Middle East market because of the Arab boycott and is up for sale. (Yoram Gabison)