Israel’s Robotic Legs Maker Said to Work With Jefferies on IPO

Jun 30, 2014 2:49 pm ET

June 30 (Bloomberg) -- Argo Medical Technologies Inc., which last week received U.S. regulatory approval for a robotic device to help paraplegics walk, is working with Jefferies LLC on an initial public offering in the U.S., according to two people familiar with the matter.

The maker of the ReWalk device, a motorized “exoskeleton” approved for those whose lower body is paralyzed from a spinal cord injury, is planning to raise more than $50 million in a listing this year, said the people, who asked not to be named because the plans are private.

Argo, founded in Israel in 2001, is part of a wave of Israeli health companies raising money in the U.S. to finance product development or marketing. They’ve announced 11 stock sales totaling about $582 million this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Argo is backed by investors including SCP Vitalife Partners, Pontifax Venture Capital Fund, OurCrowd, and Technion Research & Development Foundation Ltd. The device was developed by Argo founder Amit Goffer in 2001 after he was paralyzed in an accident with an all-terrain vehicle. ReWalk has been available in Europe since 2012.

Argo, which has offices in the U.S., Germany, and Israel, markets a $69,500 personal system that consists of a metal brace, motors, and a backpack that contains the computer and power supply. Hebrew daily Calcalist reported in March the company was considering an IPO at a $250 million valuation.

About 200,000 people in the U.S. are living with a spinal injury, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Food & Drug Administration cleared ReWalk through its process for novel devices that are considered low-to moderate-risk.

A Jefferies spokeswoman declined to comment on a possible IPO by Argo. An Argo executive declined to comment via a spokeswoman.

MacroCure Ltd., a Petach Tikva, Israel-based company that’s working on a cell therapy for treating severe wounds, said last week it plans to raise as much as $75 million in an IPO.