An Israeli medical device company backed by a Northeast Ohio venture capital firm has raised more than $10 million in an initial public offering on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
Now the company, IceCure Ltd., is exploring whether to set up its U.S. sales and marketing headquarters in Northeast Ohio, though CEO Hezi Himelfarb stressed that no final decision has been made. But Northeast Ohio would seem to have a leg up on the competition because it’s the home of the Bridge Investment Fund, which has invested more than $1 million in IceCure since 2008.
“We are fortunate to have the help of our Cleveland-based investor the Bridge Investment Fund and their partner BioEnterprise as we move forward with our U.S. market entry,” Himelfarb said. “Although at this point we have not finalized our U.S. commercialization plans, we have been extremely excited by the reaction to IceCure from leading breast surgeons in the Cleveland area affiliated with Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals.”
If it establishes an office in Cleveland, IceCure would be the latest in a long line of Israeli biomedical firms that have based their U.S. operations in Northeast Ohio, including Simbionix, MDG Medical and NI Medical.
Tom Sudow, a vice president with business attraction and retention group Team NEO, said the connection between Northeast Ohio and Israeli biomedical companies “runs deep and continues to grow.”
“The connection to leading healthcare organizations, like the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals, access to funding, a highly qualified workforce and a nurturing community have made the transition to the region seamless for Israeli biomedical companies,” he said.
IceCure’s lead product, IceSense3, is used to freeze and destroy benign breast tumors in women via a process called cryoablation. It received 510(k) marketing clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration late last year.
IceCure says its method of treating fibroadenomas, noncancerous breast tumors, offers a number of advantages over the conventional way of treating them, typically a lumpectomy. Because cryoablation is a minimally invasive procedure, the IceSense creates less scarring and can be done quickly at a doctor’s office using only a local anesthetic, according to the company.
The company plans to conduct clinical trials to study using the IceSense3 to treat breast cancer, Himelfarb said.
IceCure started in 2006 and has raised about $20 million in investment funding, including the IPO, Himelfarb said.