Israel’s Dental Space: Where Innovation Drives Acquisition
For decades, Israel has been well-known as a hub for innovation, producing multiple successful start-ups and large firms in numerous sectors including AI, robotics, cybersecurity, social media, and agriculture. This is no different in the health care sector, where Israeli companies have seen tremendous success in recent years; for example, Mazor Robotics and Nutrino Health, both Israeli companies, were acquired by Medtronic in 2018, while pharmaceutical company NeuroDerm was purchased by Mitsubishi in the previous year—all three acquisitions were highly lucrative and represented some of the largest exchanges to have ever taken place in Israel.
The Israeli dental space, in particular, has seen significant growth in recent years, which is perhaps best demonstrated by a notable increase in the number of Israeli companies that operate in this sector over the past decade, as well as the continued rise in Israeli dental exports, which first exceeded the half billion mark only in 2013—a substantial feat for a country with a population of only about 9 million people. In addition, a clear indication of the growing robustness of the dental space in the country is the establishment of a dental industry department in the Israel Export Institute, a government agency within the country’s Ministry of Trade and Labor that encourages and facilitates the export of a wide variety of local products.
This strong performance has resulted in significant M&A activity surrounding the Israeli dental implant space. For instance, in June 2018, US- and Israel-based investment firm Accelmed announced its intention to acquire Keystone Dental, with the aim of later acquiring value Israeli dental implant manufacturers and integrating their value products under the Keystone Dental brand; this will allow Accelemed to rely on Keystone Dental’s strong distribution network to better penetrate the global value dental space while continuing to offer the latter’s premium products. This acquisition was preceded by a number of other notable deals surrounding value manufacturers in the Israeli dental space in recent years, including Dentsply Sirona’s acquisition of MIS Implants Technologies in 2016, Align Technology’s purchase of Cadent in 2011, and Nobel Biocare’s purchase of Alpha-Bio Tec in 2008.
The expansion of the Israeli dental implant market and strong interest in Israeli dental companies, especially those offering value products, is only expected to strengthen going forward. Given that dental procedures are mostly paid out-of-pocket, demand for innovative but cost-effective solutions continues to increase worldwide, and a growing number of competitors, including dental giants such as Straumann, are shifting their portfolios to include more value offerings. Because innovation in the Israeli dental sector is well aligned with this trend—in that the industry in the country continues to focus on providing high-quality, technologically advanced, novel solutions at lower costs than US- and Europe-based manufacturers—the appeal of Israeli dental companies will continue to expand on a global scale.
More particularly, the emphasis placed on innovative R&D in Israel, coupled with a strong entrepreneurial culture, a robust educational system, vigorous academic and industrial contact and information exchange with major medical centers in the US and Europe, and a highly developed tech industry—which affords a number of local technologies to inspire and support innovation in the dental space—will ensure that the Israeli dental industry remains at the forefront of innovation in the years to come. DRG’s dental market analysts believe that a number of acquisitions of Israeli manufacturers will occur in the coming few years, and that this market will continue to see significant growth for decades to come and will represent a major space in the global dental market going forward.
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