TEL AVIV, July 1 (Reuters) - Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Philips are together investing up to 100 million shekels ($26.5 million) over eight years in medical device and health technology start-ups in Israel.
The joint venture, called Sanara Ventures, said on Wednesday it had already invested in two companies: Kaleidoscope Medical, which developed a system for X-ray radiation shielding during catheterisation procedures; and MGD, which is creating a portable device for measuring lung function in patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
Sanara Chief Executive Assaf Barnea said it had made another two investments that could not yet be disclosed, and that two or three more were expected by the end of the year.
Frans Van Houten, CEO of Dutch firm Philips, said: "We see Sanara Ventures as a strategic way for Philips to tap into new developments in the health technology industry."
Erez Vigodman, his counterpart at Israel's Teva, the world's biggest generic drugmaker, said the healthcare industry was being transformed as consumers devote more time and money to staying healthy, rather then just waiting to treat an illness.
"That is driving the space. It means we can't confine our business model to finding a new chemical entity," he told a conference to launch Sanara. "We need branded and generic drugs, medical devices and diagnostic capabilities."
$1 = 3.7730 shekels Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Pravin Char