General Electric invests in Israeli maker of blood monitoring device

Israel's Ornim pulled in $20 million in a Series B funding round from the likes of General Electric ($GE) and others to help advance further testing and marketing of its non-invasive device that monitors oxygen levels and blood flow. GE Healthcare, which makes diagnostics and other medical equipment, is pursuing a possible strategic relationship with the company as part of the deal.

OrbiMed Israel also committed money to the funding round, Ornim disclosed, as did Agate Medical Investments. GE invested in the company through its GE Healthymagination Fund, which the company's GE Capital and GE Healthcare divisions jointly manage. Launched in 2004, Ornim has raised about $30 million to date, the Israeli business newspaper Globes reports.

Plans call for using the money to accelerate development and clinical trials for Ornim's CerOx monitor, and also invest in global marketing and commercialization efforts. The product is already FDA cleared and obtained its CE mark. Ornim wants to start selling it in both regions within 18 months.

CerOx stands out because it uses near-infrared spectroscopy and ultrasound waves to measure oxygen levels in the brain or muscles, and also determine blood flow in tissue. Ornim says the product is the only one of its kind that does both at once.

GE's $6 billion Healthymagination Fund launched a few years back and is designed to invest in promising healthcare technology companies. Among previous deals: GE committed $5 million to CardioDx, which is developing diagnostic technologies to treat patients with cardiovascular disease.

Separately, Ornim has appointed Israel Schriber as its CEO. He previously ran companies including ITGI Medical and Itamar Medial, according to the announcement.

- read the release
- check out Globes' take