January 9, 2019 / 11:11 AM / in 10 days

Israel health fund aMoon II gets $600 million in investor commitments

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Israel-based healthcare fund aMoon II has received commitments of $600 million from investors and aims to raise up to $750 million by its close in February, according to an investor document obtained by Reuters.

This is up from an original $500 million target set by the fund, which is investing in mid- to late-stage companies in digital health, medical devices and biopharma in Israel, the United States and Europe.

Launched in 2018, aMoon II said in May it had secured a $250 million investment commitment from Credit Suisse’s asset management and private banking divisions.

The fund intends to invest $10 million to $40 million in 15 to 20 companies over the next five years.

aMoon was founded in 2016 by Marius Nacht, co-founder and chairman of Check Point Software Technologies, and Yair Schindel. Their first fund, the $200 million aMoon I, invested in 20 startups.

A third fund, aMoon Velocity, which will focus on early-stage startups, is open only to investors in aMoon II and has a fundraising target of $120 million.

Nacht is investing $360 million of his own money in the three funds, according to the document.

Company officials on Wednesday declined to comment.

Israel has about 1,500 life science companies, a number expected to reach 2,500 in the next five years as the government provides tax breaks and other financial incentives.

Israel also has two of the largest healthcare databases in the world and multinationals such as Novartis, Johnson & Johnson and Merck Serono operate research centers there.

aMoon II has invested in four companies, including $10.6 million in cancer therapy firm Ayala Pharmaceuticals, in which Bristol-Myers Squibb co-invested. aMoon’s investment was worth $145 million according to Ayala’s last fundraising round.

Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Steven Scheer and Alexandra Hudson

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