Philip Morris to invest $20 mln in firm developing inhaler -report

JERUSALEM, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Cigarette giant Philip Morris International will invest about $20 million in an Israeli start-up that developed a metered-dose vaporiser of raw plants for medical use, Israeli news website Calcalist reported on Tuesday.

As part of the deal, Tel Aviv-based Syqe Medical will develop technologies for Phillip Morris that will help reduce health risks associated with smoking, Calcalist said, but provided no further details.

Officials at Syqe would not comment on the report and officials at Philip Morris could not be reached for immediate comment.

Syqe, which was formed in 2011, says it has already developed an inhaler that allows medical cannabis to be delivered in a safe and precise manner.

The technology turns cannabis into a granulate and allows it to be taken in standardized doses, Syqe says. The company plans to develop similar systems that can be used with other medicinal plants. (Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Katharine Houreld)