Life sciences briefing: Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2007

Featured companies: NeurAxon, TechniScan Medical Systems, ViewRay, Advion BioSystems, NanoTek, Cerionx, Ionscope, EncorePath

neuraxon-logo.jpgNeurAxon to raise $25M for pain treatment – Waltham, Mass.-based NeurAxon, which just named Lawrence Bloch as its new CEO last week, now plans to raise $25 million in a second funding round this quarter, VentureWire reports (subscription required). The round is slated to wrap up when — and if — the company’s lead drug, a migraine treatment that targets an enzyme called neuronal nitric oxide synthase, produces positive early-stage data.

techniscan-logo.jpgUltrasound scanner TechniScan wins $1.7M grant extension — Salt Lake City’s TechniScan Medical Systems, a maker of ultrasound breast-imaging systems for cancer diagnosis in conjunction with mammography, said the NIH had extended a small-business innovation grant for another year to the tune of $1.7 million. The total grant will now amount to $2.8 million. TechniScan has raised approximately $20 million from angels and venture investors.

viewray-logo.jpgReal-time imager ViewRay raises $3M — ViewRay, a Gainesville, Fla., developer of real-time imaging systems, raised $3 million in a first funding round, VentureWire reports. Individual investors provided the funding. ViewRay’s technology combines an MRI scanner with a gamma-ray radiation treatment system to provide real-time imaging during cancer radiation treatment.

advion-logo.jpgLab-tools maker Advion BioSystems acquires NanoTek — Advion BioSystems, an Ithaca, N.Y., developer of “lab-on-a-chip” microfluidics systems, acquired Knoxville, Tenn.-based NanoTek. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Advion has raised a total of roughly $17 million in venture funding, according to VentureWire.

cerionx-logo.pngPipette cleaner Cerionx raises $2.5M in debt — Exton, Pa.-based Cerionx, a manufacturer of pipette-cleaning systems, raised $2.5 million in debt financing from BlueCrest Capital Finance, VentureWire reports. The company’s devices clean pipettes without the use of solvents, employing instead an electric field that atomizes remaining organic debris on pipette tips.

ionscope-logo.jpgMicroscopy company Ionscope raises $1.4M — Ionscope, a London-based developer of new scanning ion conductance microscopy technology, raised $1.4 million (£680,000) from individual investors of the Cambridge Angels Group. The company’s technology can allegedly image live cell membranes at resolutions up to 50 times greater than possible with existing technology.

Encore Path raises $500K for stroke rehabilitation — Encore Path, a Baltimore developer of training devices to assist in the rehabilitation of stroke patients, raised $500,000 in seed funding, VentureWire reports. Investors included the Maryland Venture Fund of the state’s Department of Business and Economic Development and the Maryland Technology Development Corp., as well as angel investors and friends and family. The company was originally founded in 2006 as NewRegen with a focus on neural rehabilitation for stroke patients. Now Encore Path is developing a training device for restoring arm movement, and hopes to raise a larger first round next year when that device launches.