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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Esmeralda Swartz, Hovhannes Avoyan, Elizabeth White, Adrian Bridgwater

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Domain Elite Makes First Investment in SMART Medical Systems to Advance Medical Devices for Gastrointestinal Medicine for Greater China

PRINCETON N.J., SAN DIEGO, BEIJING and RA'ANANA, Israel, April 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Domain Elite announces the collaboration's first investment in SMART Medical Systems, a developer and manufacturer of innovative endoscopy and colonoscopy products.  Domain Elite has invested $6.5 million, which is the first amount in a multi-phase investment plan in SMART, focusing on Greater China. Domain Elite was formed as a partnership between Domain Associates, a U.S. venture capital firm investing in breakthrough life sciences technologies, and Elite Consulting, consultants and financial advisors to the Chinese pharmaceutical and medical device industry, to bring the most advanced healthcare products and technologies to China. Part of the investment is allocated directly to SMART Medical's subsidiary in Hong Kong, to advance SMART Medical's platform of gastrointestinal (GI) medical devices for cancer prevention and endoscopic surgery in Greater China, including Hong Kong and Taiwan.

SMART’s flagship product, the G-EYE(TM) endoscope for colonoscopy, uses innovative balloon technology to uncover pre-cancerous polyps that are hidden behind natural folds of the colon to better detect colorectal cancer. SMART's CE-marked and FDA-cleared NaviAid(TM) product family is commercially distributed in key global markets.  SMART's G-EYE(TM) product (CE Marked, not yet FDA cleared) is presently under development and commercialization in selected regions, including the United States and Greater China.

"The mission of Domain Elite is to find the most effective medical technologies to fulfill important unmet medical needs and improve healthcare in China," said Brian Halak, partner at Domain Associates and founder of Domain Elite. "In so doing, Domain will create unique investment opportunities in the rapidly growing Chinese market. SMART Medical Systems has an innovative and well-validated technology that we believe accomplishes both goals."

SMART Medical Systems is the developer and manufacturer of several innovative medical devices that improve the diagnosis and therapy of GI disorders and diseases, most notably, colorectal cancers. SMART's flagship product, the G-EYETM endoscope, uses innovative balloon technology to uncover pre-cancerous polyps that are hidden behind natural folds of the colon. This product is currently marketed in Europe in partnership with Pentax Medical, a market leader in GI endoscopy. SMART Medical has additional products under development and commercialization, designed to allow standard endoscopes to access and visualize portions of the GI tract currently only accessible with the use of highly specialized equipment.

"Domain Elite offers a unique arrangement for SMART Medical to access significant experience and expertise to develop and commercialize medical devices in China," said Gadi Terliuc, CEO of SMART Medical Systems. "We will also use this new multi-step investment to advance our product platform in the United States and other global markets."

Delivering Innovative Technologies for the China Medical Device Market

In China, cancer has become the most common cause of death, and colorectal cancer is now the second most frequent cancer. Last year in Hong Kong, the Cancer Registry noted a doubling of colorectal cancer diagnoses over the past decade in the territory and warned that colorectal cancer is headed to become the most prevalent cause of cancer death in Hong Kong.  However, large survival differences are seen when access to screening technologies are available.  

"We have not only seen a significant need for endoscopy but also a substantial increase in use of endoscopy products in China," said Micah Zimmerman, partner at Elite Consulting and CEO of Domain Elite. "Working with SMART Medical Systems, we are advancing Domain Elite's mission to meet the need of the Chinese healthcare system for therapies that are more effective for the patient and less expensive for the medical system."

"For SMART Medical, this represents an important first step in Asia Pacific and a large opportunity to fill unmet medical needs in gastrointestinal medicine," said Misha Krakowsky, Executive Director of APAC for SMART Medical Systems. "Our portfolio of innovative endoscopy products fits many needs in both developed and emerging markets."

About SMART Medical Systems

SMART Medical Systems is a pioneer in the development and manufacture of innovative medical devices in the field of gastro-intestinal (GI) endoscopy. Its proprietary technology enhances the performance and capabilities of existing endoscopy equipment, in an intuitive and cost-effective manner. SMART's CE-marked and FDA-cleared NaviAid™ product family is commercially distributed in key global markets.  SMART's G-EYE™ product (CE Marked, not yet FDA cleared) is presently under commercialization in selected regions. SMART is headquartered in Israel, and operates in the United States through its wholly-owned subsidiary, SMART GI Inc., and in Greater China through its Hong Kong subsidiary, Medico HK Limited. For more information, please visit: http://www.smartmedsys.com.

About Domain Elite

Domain Elite is a partnership between Domain Associates and Elite Consulting to bring the most advanced healthcare products and technologies to China. The goal of the partnership is to establish new companies and joint ventures in China that will provide Western companies the financing, regulatory, medical, and marketing infrastructure needed to bring their breakthrough products to China. Target technologies will be mainly focused in the areas of medical devices and diagnostics.  The partnership is exclusive and it is envisioned to be the source of multiple emerging businesses in China over the course of several years. http://www.meetdomainelite.com.

About Elite Consulting and Elite Capital Advisors

Founded in 1997 by six Chinese executives from the pharmaceutical and diagnostics industry, Beijing Elite Management Consulting has an active client base of 1,200 domestic pharmaceutical and medical product companies in China. Elite Consulting provides sales and marketing management services, contract executive management, high-level SFDA experts and registration services, clinical development expertise, marketing research, and a partially owned sister company provides formulation, manufacturing, and cGMP consulting for international and domestic pharmaceutical manufacturers in China. Elite also is among the most active commercial due diligence providers in the China healthcare industry. Annually, Elite conducts diligence on more than $500 million of direct investment in the pharmaceutical, device, and hospital industries in China. Elite Capital Advisers provides mergers and acquisitions brokerage, facilitation, and capital investment to leading investors and multinational and domestic pharmaceutical companies. Elite Consulting is located in Beijing.  For more information, please visit http://www.bjelite.com.

About Domain Associates

Founded in 1985, Domain Associates, L.L.C. is a venture capital firm with an exclusive focus on investing in life science companies that advance human health. Domain's focused network, deep experience, and dependable reputation of this team have made it one of the top private-equity groups participating in healthcare investing. With $2.4 billion of capital under management, Domain invests in three major segments: pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, and medical devices. The partners of Domain have a total of close to 200 person-years of experience among them in the healthcare and venture capital industries and have been involved in the formation and growth of more than 250 life sciences companies. Representative past investments include Amgen, Amylin Pharmaceuticals, BiPar Sciences, Biosite, Dura Pharmaceuticals and Pharmion. (Domain has offices in Princeton, N.J. and San Diego. For more information, please visit http://www.domainvc.com.    

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140424/78303

SOURCE Domain Associates

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