A biotechnological venture
in the sphere of cosmetics and medications
We invite you to join us in an exciting business opportunity with excellent growth potential, scented with an aura of history and romance
The Revival of the Balsamon Industry
The essence of our biotech venture is the revival of the legendary medications and cosmetics industries that prospered in the Kingdom of Judah along the shores of the Dead Sea until about 1,500 years ago.
Both industries were based on an aromatic plant called Balsamon or Balm of Gilead, which produced some of the ancient world’s most desired perfumes and important medicaments.
Experts agree that the ancient plant on which the balsamon industry was based is a small tree whose scientific name is Commiphora gileadensis (hereinafter: “our plant”) (1). The plant still grows wild in Oman, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and other countries bordering the Red Sea.
Our Mission is to provide the fragrance, cosmetics and nutraceutical industries with unique and innovative Balsamon essences, extracts and active substances, adding significant value to their product line.
We plan to revitalize the legendary Balsamon industry using state-of-the-art biotech tools and scientific know-how, thus positioning ourselves as an international company that will be the world’s sole producer of Balsamon in commercial quantities (at least for the first few years). We will provide relevant modern solutions to the age-old quest for products that offer proven benefits in the realms of health and beauty.
Within three years of intensive research and development, we intend to provide specialty ingredients that meet the marketing needs and highest quality standards of two huge markets: the global cosmetics market (beauty care and perfumes) and the global dietary supplements market (as an active natural remedy).
Our dream is to revive the Balsamon industry in its original ancient home in Israel, after almost 1,500 years in exile. We will strive to create value for the founders and the owners, as well as contributing to the region’s residents through the creation of direct and ancillary employment opportunities, tourist attractions, environmental preservation and more.
A brief historical perspective
A world-renowned cosmetic and drug industry, based on an aromatic desert plant called Balsamon, flourished in the Land of Israel near the Dead Sea for hundreds of years.
The Balsamon was cultivated by Jewish farmers who developed unique expertise in growing it and processing its various parts to yield costly and highly valued health and beauty products.
The industry developed before the rise of the Greek Empire and enjoyed significant commercial success for more than 900 years until it declined and finally disappeared in the early Middle Ages.
Balsamon’s popularity peaked during the Roman Empire since the Romans, whose culture incorporated baths and cosmetics, were heavy consumers of perfumes and cosmetic products from all over the ancient world. They were absolutely passionate about Balsamon and willingly paid top prices to enjoy the exceptional perfumes and balms produced from it. Cleopatra was a big fan (as was the Queen of Sheba many centuries earlier). Aelius Galenus (Galen of Pergamon), the most accomplished medical researcher of antiquity, listed it among the world’s finest drugs.
The industry’s collapse started with the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD. The fall of the Roman Empire (476 AD) was a harsh blow for the Balsamon industry, which lost its major market. The conquest of the Holy Land by the Muslims in 636 AD brought down the final curtain on the Balsamon industry in the Dead Sea area and throughout the Land of Israel.
Realizing the dream – the comeback
In order to implement our vision, we gathered a group of excellent people with the wide-ranging expertise and skills.
Guy Erlich is an innovator and a farmer and to the best of our knowledge, at the moment he is also the biggest Balsamon farmer in the world.
Dr. Ram Snir, Israel’s leading expert in the field of herbal extracts and the former VP Natural Extracts unit of Frutarom Industries Ltd, is our industry mentor and will serve as our CEO.
Dr. David Iluz, of Bar-Ilan University, one of the leading researchers of balsamon in Israel, brings with him years of academic expertise in this field.
Dr. Elaine Solowey, a world-renowned specialist on desert agriculture is the head of our agricultural R&D team.
Dr. Nativ Dudai, a researcher at the Volcani Institute of Agricultural Research, will participate in our agricultural R&D team.
Eyal Erlich (Guy’s brother) advises us in the business field.
Dr. Mina Faran, Israel’s leading expert in the field of herbal remedies (Medicinal plants) is our guidance counselor regarding food supplements.
Our initial culture development and testing of various agricultural and processing concepts is already yielding promising directions for further development:
• Commercial procedures for propagation from cuttings and seeds have already been achieved. Additional field research is necessary to further increase success rates.
• Propagation through tissue culture technology is in the development stages with initial signs of success.
• Our ongoing study of both greenhouse and open-field culture is yielding new data about important factors such as soil type, climate requirements, water quality and horticultural and harvesting techniques.
• Our development plan offers opportunities for further advanced optimizations based on our commercial and academic expertise.
• We have already gathered and applied valuable information about harvest, post-harvest and extraction technologies that will be most helpful in directing the future development program.
• We have already identified important studies supporting the historical reports, in support of our planned bioactivity screening and preclinical research.
• Clinical studies are beyond the scope of the first three years, but will be considered toward the end of the second year, depending on the preclinical results and additional financing capabilities.
The founders’ exceptionally capable management and technical teams are ready to begin carrying out the company’s mission as soon as financing is available.
The first three years will be dedicated to establishing the agricultural infrastructure and cultivation technologies, as well as extraction and preclinical research leading to commercial application and development of products for the various industries (markets).
A total investment of $3.3 million is required for the first three years.
Commercial sales will commence during the fourth year and are expected to reach about $10 million per annum during Year 12.
The output of Years 4-6 will serve for marketing, R&D and product promotion purposes.
The cash flow will become positive in the fifth year.
The cumulative flow will become positive in the eighth year.
Projected Internal Rate of Return – IRR 34.7%
Markets and products
We will be supplying various Balsamon specialty ingredients to leading players in the cosmetics industry and natural health-related businesses.
The development of consumer goods is not included in our current working plan, but is not excluded from future plans.
A special line of aromas will be developed for the $17-billion global fragrance industry. Concurrently, we will initiate the more challenging endeavor of developing active cosmetic substances for the skin care business, valued at $45 billion annually worldwide.
The dietary supplements market, which generates global sales of $81 billion annually, is a major sub-branch of the global nutraceutical industry, whose total annual volume stands at $140 billion. Our focus will be on the medicinal botanicals and plant-derived drugs that make up about one-quarter of the annual dietary supplements sales, reaching $20 billion in 2010.
We will initially focus on the promotion and recognition of Balsamon as a dietary supplement or “herbal remedy” for use in the complementary medicine field. During the first three years, we will carry out preclinical studies of its safety and efficacy in preparation for seeking regulatory approval in Israel, Europe and the United States.
In addition, during our studies we will aspire to achieve knowledge and intellectual properties (IP) that are necessary to a future development of a conventional medication.
By obtaining the necessary financing and implementing our business plan, we will have significant commercial advantages:
Our plant comes with a huge economic potential and an exciting historical background.
We will benefit from being the first reliable supplier to offer the cosmetic and natural health industries professionally produced Balsamon ingredients. We will work to strengthen our brand identity and safeguard intellectual property (IP) rights in order to further expand our market lead.
(1) See essay by the late Prof. Judah Felix, “Perfume, Forest and Ornamental Trees”, volume 2, p. 37-61. Also the series of articles by Prof. Zohar Amar (“The Book of Incense”, “The Persimmon in the Land of Israel”, City of David and Ancient Jerusalem Studies, Convention 11, p. 61, etc.) And also: “Date Palms and Opobalsam in the Madaba Mosaic Map“, F. Nigel and Joan E. Taylor, Palestine Exploration Quarterly, 136, 1 (2004), 35-44