Entrepreneur Dr. Amir Belson has announced that he will join the Guangzhou Sino-Israel Bio-industry Investment Fund (GIBF), under the management of Dr. Shuki Gleitman, Prof. Shlomo Noy and Avner Lushi.
Belson is the founder of numerous successful medical device companies, such as Neoguide Systems (acquired by Intuitive Surgical in 2009), Vascular Pathways (acquired by CR Bard in 2014), Zipline Medical (acquired by Stryker in 2019), Qool Therapeutics, Radiaction Medical and Emboline. He also serves as an independent board member at a number of prominent Israeli companies such as GI View and Ceretrieve.
GIBF is a Chinese medical investment fund established in 2016 in partnership with the Government of Guangzhou, the capital of Southern China. The first fund, which is valued at about $100 million, has so far made 12 investments in Israeli medical device and digital health companies.
GIBF recently announced it was closing its second fund, which was planned to amount to about $300 million and will focus on Western pharmaceutical companies that develop innovative drugs in phase 2-3 of clinical trials.
As part of the collaboration announced Sunday, GIBF invested in two of Belson’s new companies: $4 million in Modular Surgical, which develops innovative endoscopic tools including for robotic surgeries; and $3.5 million in Follisave, which develops a novel solution for preventing hair-loss in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, especially women with breast cancer.
“My activity has focused so far mainly on the American market. However, for many years, I was looking for the right pathway to operate also in China, which is the fastest growing medical device market worldwide,” Belson said.
“When I met with GIBF people I realized this is the best model currently available for foreign medical device companies to remove concerns regarding their IP protection, while building their own value in the huge Chinese market and not giving it away early in the process in favor of a local partner.”
Noy, who will serve as a board member on behalf of GIBF in the two companies, added: “We are proud of the collaboration with an entrepreneur on the scale of Dr. Belson, that illustrates the power of our investment model. The Covid-19 pandemic not only did not stop us, but actually highlighted the fact that our set-up is one of the only ones currently capable of executing cross-border transactions in China.”