Hikma Ventures, an arm of Jordanian pharmaceutical firm Hikma Pharmaceuticals, has invested $21.5 million in a Series C round of financing in US-based Propeller Health.
US conglomerates 3M and Glaxo Smith Kline too participated in the funding round, it said in a statement. This is Hikma’s second investment in just over a month.
Propeller, whose offerings target those with respiratory disorders, will use the funds for expansion.
Founded in 2010, Wisconsin-based Propeller Health, with sensors, mobile apps, and data analytics, its offerings enhance traditional therapies for respiratory illnesses.
This investment is in line with Amman-based Hikma Pharmaceuticals’ recently declared strategy. In June, it launched a $30 million strategic fund to invest in digital health startups through its investment arm Hikma Ventures.
Hikma, has been around since 1978 and is traded on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). But this is its first venture capital fund under Hikma Ventures, which was founded only in August.
Lana Ghanem, managing director of Hikma Ventures, said the fund, which will solely run on company revenue, will supplement the research and development of the main company while providing an opportunity to enter booming new markets.
While there are no outside participants in the company’s fund, Hikma has been going to incubators and accelerators to find their deals. A lot of co-investors are thus expected to come on board when stakes are announced.
According to Ghanem, the fund will be focusing on wearables (such as monitoring vests), mobile wellness apps, big data analytics, mobile apps, as well as healthcare marketing platforms.
“In terms of therapeutic areas, we consider areas that are currently strategic for Hikma: Diabetes, cardio vascular problems, obesity, respiratory products, oncology, and consumer health,” she told Venture Magazine.
Hikma Ventures will likely serve as the intelligence-gathering unit for their sales and marketing, as well as the R&D teams.
In terms of regional and global focus, the fund aims to bring international products and services to MENA in order to expedite their growth and open up new markets – and on the other hand, will strive to leverage their global network to grow local businesses internationally.
In early September, Hikma Ventures invested $47.6 million in a Series B round in US-based smoking deterrent product manufacturer Chrono Therapeutics. It acquired Instituto Biochimico Pavese Pharma in Italy in 2005 and Jazeera Pharmaceutical Industries in Saudi Arabia in 2006.