Life sciences briefing: Friday, Jan. 25, 2008

TODAY’S HEADLINES:

brightheart-vet-logo-150px.jpgBrightHeart Vet corrals $29M to acquire animal hospitals — BrightHeart Veterinary Centers, an Armonk, N.Y., operator of veterinary hospitals, raised $28.5 million in a funding round intended to further the chain’s expansion. Investors included LLR Partners and Caltius Mezzanine.

BrightHeart currently runs facilities in New York, Connecticut, Illinois and Alberta, Canada, two of which it acquired just last week. The company intends to continue growing via acquisition.

aviaradx-logo-150px.gifAviaraDx raises $8M for cancer diagnostics — AviaraDx, a Carlsbad, Calif., developer of molecular cancer diagnostics, raised $8 million in a first funding round, peHUB reports, citing a regulatory filing. AviaraDx was spun out of the former Arcturus Bioscience, whose other assets were mostly acquired by Molecular Devices in 2006.

AviaraDx sells tests that identify tumors by their molecular “fingerprints” and predice which breast-cancer tumors are most likely to recur following surgery. The company isn’t providing much detail on its future development plans.

valor-medical-logo-150px.jpgValor Medical aims for $15M for brain-aneurysm treatment — Valor Medical, a San Diego device maker developing a new polymer-based treatment for brain aneurysms, is seeking $15 million in a second funding round, VentureWire reports. The company’s Neucrylate is a substance designed for use as a “filler” in aneurysms, which are dangerous arterial swellings that can rupture unexpectedly. Valor intends to begin clinical testing this year.

phenomix-logo-150px.jpgPhenomix, diabetes and hepatitis drug maker, files for $86M IPO — San Diego-based Phenomix, a biotech developing new drugs for diabetes and hepatitis, filed to raise $86.3 million in an initial offering. The company aims to be a “fast follower” that develops new drugs that address biological mechanisms that have been “validated” by successful drugs elsewhere.