* Sales growing by 25-30 percent annually
* Seeking to raise $6 mln to expand into new markets
By Tova Cohen
TEL AVIV, June 18 (Reuters) - Israel-based Orcanos, whose software aims to help companies develop and produce products more cost-effectively, predicts its sales will grow by 25 to 30 percent annually as it moves into new markets and regions.
Medical device makers, who use Orcanos' software to help reduce safety risks and meet regulatory requirements, now account for half its customer base. Orcanos, which became profitable two years ago, is now seeking to expand into the pharmaceutical sector.
"Sales are growing by 25 to 30 percent every year," said Rami Azulay, vice president of marketing and sales. "We do see a change in the acceptance of the market to use different tools and methods. Definitely we can continue to grow at this rate."
Orcanos has customers in the United States, Britain and Germany and is in talks with a large vendor in Asia. It is seeking to raise $6 million from venture capital funds specialising in medical devices to help it expand to new markets.
Clients include Israeli medical device firms Mazor Robotics , Lumenis and Given Imaging as well as LifeWatch of Switzerland and West Health Institute of San Diego. Customers in other sectors include Intel and Siemens Mobility UK.
"We are very interested in Europe, specifically Germany and Belgium, which are huge hubs for medical device companies, and we are interested in the United States," Azulay told Reuters. "We also want to target pharmaceutical companies."
Orcanos has joined forces with Comply, a company that sells services to pharmaceutical companies, and hopes within two years to begin selling directly to the industry.
It competes with products from giants such as Microsoft , Hewlett-Packard and IBM. Azulay said Orcanos' advantage is that its product can be tailor-made to meet the medical device industry's needs.
Investors consider medical device companies high risk because of the amount of time it can take to obtain regulatory approval and bring a product to market.
"You can invest eight years in research and not meet expectations," Azulay said. "The objective of our company is to help medical device companies guarantee patients' safety."
Even after winning regulatory approval a company is subject to audits by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Orcanos' software, whose features include tests and defects management, digital signatures, product management and post-production management tools, can aid companies in making sure their products pass the audits, Azulay said.
"My dream is to create in Israel an environment in the high tech industry that builds foundation companies, not exit companies," he said, referring to a local entrepreneurial culture where companies are sold after a few years. "Why don't we have more companies that are built to last?"