May 13, 2018 / 9:22 AM / 3 months ago

CORRECTED-Israel life sciences firms raised $1.2 bln in VC funds in 2017

(Corrects amount raised in first paragraph)

JERUSALEM, May 13 (Reuters) - Israeli life science companies raised $1.2 billion from venture capital funds in 2017, up 41 percent from 2016, published data showed on Sunday.

The data from a combination of private and government reports showed that while the life sciences sector in Israel is young, the industry has experienced a compounded annual growth rate of 10 percent between 2008 and 2017, with 60 percent of the 1,200 firms founded in the last decade.

More than 65 percent of the companies are considered tiny with up to 10 employees and 41 percent of the firms are focused on medical devices. The first company founded was Teva Pharmaceutical Industries in 1901.

The data will be presented later this week at the MIXiii Biomed conference in Tel Aviv.

“The data indicate that the areas of focus of the Israeli life science industry are aligned with the current trends in the global life sciences industry,” a report from MIXiii said, noting that cancer and neurodegenerative, fibrotic and anti-inflammatory diseases are the most active therapeutic areas. (Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Tova Cohen)

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