Life sciences briefing: Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2007

Featured companies: AgraQuest, BridgeHealth, CardioMems, Collegium Pharmaceutical, Emergin, Entegrion, gDiapers, Precision Therapeutics, PregLem

UPDATED: Expanded items on Entegrion, Collegium, and gDiapers. Added CardioMems item. New items posted on AgraQuest (link), BridgeHealth (link) and Precision Therapeutics (link).Entegrion draws $4.7M for bleeding control — Entegrion, a Research Triangle Park, N.C., biotech focused on products that stop bleeding, raised $4.7 million in a second funding round, VentureWire reports (subscription req’d). Investors included BD Ventures, Catalysta Partners and unnamed individuals.

Entegrion’s main product is Stasix, a formulation derived from human platelet cells that promote blood clotting. Those cells are processed and freeze-dried into a powder, which can be applied directly to wounds or reconstituted and infused throughout the body. The U.S. military has picked up the tab for much of the product’s development, courtesy of congressional earmarks arranged by the North Carolina delegation.

collegium-pharma-logo-150px.gifSpecialty drug maker Collegium Pharma nets $2.5M — Collegium Pharmaceutical, a Cumberland, R.I., specialty pharma developing drugs for neurological, respiratory and skin disorders, raised $2.5 million from insiders, VentureWire reports. Westfield Life Sciences Fund and Boston Millennia Partners provided the funding.

Like most specialty pharmas, Collegium licenses cast-off or failed drugs from other companies and pushes them through clinical testing. The company, which already markets drugs for acne and wound healing, said it may seek a fourth funding round depending on its 2008 sales. Collegium hopes to request marketing approval for a new allergy early next year.

cardiomems-logo-150px.jpgCardioMems closes $33M funding for wireless heart sensors — Atlanta’s CardioMems, a device maker focused on wireless heart sensors, raised $33 million in a fifth funding round. Investors included Arcapita Ventures, Boston Millennia Partners, Medtronic, Easton Capital Partners, Foundation Medical Partners, Arboretum Ventures, Deerfield Capital Management, Vision Capital Advisors, Aperture Venture Partners and Rockport Venture Securities.

CardioMems’ first product is a sensor that can detects the pressure within an aneurysm, a weakened section of an arterial wall that is susceptible to rupture. We previously covered the company here.

Eco-friendly gDiapers pulls in new funding — Portland, Ore.-based gDiapers, a maker of biodegradable, flushable baby diapers, raised a second funding round. The company didn’t disclose how much it raised. 2x Consumer Products Growth Partners provided the funding. (For the amusing tale of a columnist who tried these diapers — complete with a mildly panicked online comment apparently from the gDiapers CEO — see this NJ Star-Ledger piece.)

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