Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Israel’s MediGuide Bought For $300 million by St. Jude

Thanks to Israelnewsletter.com for contributing this story.

What would you say if I told you that there was a company that developed GPS-like technology for the human body? You’d probably say that that is really cool. Well leave it to Israeli ingenuity and creativity to create such a cutting-edge technology. In fact it’s such an interesting technology that St. Jude Medical(STJ) has bought the Israeli company for $300m.

In a market with very little M&A, this makes 2 acquisitions of Israeli companies in as many months. Johnson & Johnson(JNJ) bought Omrix Biopharmaceuticals(OMRI) as well. This shows that multi-nationals would rather outsource their R&D than develop it in-house. if this trend continues, it could get very interesting for Israeli hi-tech.

MediGuide was founded in 2000 by Gera Strommer, president and CEO, and Uzi Eichler, vice president technology, as a spin-off from Elbit Systems (Nasdaq: ESLT), which owns 41.3% of the company, and with backing from Israeli venture capital fund Vitalife.

According to Globes: “MediGuide has developed technology and products for minimally invasive navigation and tracking within the human body. Its devices are for use in cardiac procedures and catheterization. The system consists of sensors mounted on a catheter introduced into the body, with the locating done on the basis of the distance of the sensors from several sources of magnetic radiation, with an accuracy of fractions of a millimeter.
The information from the sensors is combined with an image of the interior of the body, in a way that is similar to the way locating using a GPS device works. Since in catheterization or other invasive procedure, the human body undergoes changes, the device measures physiological indications from the body breathing, EKG, and so on and amends the picture accordingly.”

What will they think of next?

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