Life-science briefing: Thursday, March 6, 2008

TODAY’S HEADLINES:

France’s TxCell raises €11M for cell therapy – TxCell, a French cell-therapy biotech, raised €10.5 million ($16 million) in a second funding round. Investors included Auriga Partners, AXA Private Equity, Bioam Gestion, CDC Innovation and Seventure.

The biotech is developing a patient-specific cell therapy for the gastrointestinal autoimmune condition Crohn’s disease. Its technique involves isolating specific regulatory immune cells known as Tr1 cells, which help tamp down inflammation, from a patient’s blood. After selecting only Tr1 cells that respond to a particular biochemical stimulus (technically, a particular antigen) and reinfusing them into the patient, doctors would then activate the cells locally — here, presumably, in the gut — by administering the trigger antigen and thus “downregulating” the immune response that’s causing problems.

trihealix-logo-150px.gifHealthcare IT firm TriHealix takes in $7M – Norwalk, Conn.-based TriHealix, a healthcare IT provider focused on payment processing and consumer accounts, raised $7 million in a third funding round. Lemhi Ventures led the funding.

The TriHealix system integrates financial and medical information by tying together doctors and hospitals with insurers and patients. In theory, at least, the idea is to give patients a single card that handles both insurance and payments and may even provide a line of credit to handle deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses. This approach is also supposed to free consumers from having to fill out reimbursement forms, as their medical information is forwarded directly to their insurer.

anodyne-health-logo-150px.gifHealthcare-software provider Anodyne Health acquires Piedmont Healthcare – Venture-backed Anodyne Health, an Alpharetta, Ga., developer of “revenue-cycle management” services for doctors and hospitals, agreed to acquire Charlotte, N.C.-based Piedmont Healthcare Management Group. The companies’ release is here.

The firms didn’t announce financial terms. Anodyne’s technology is designed to streamline the process of billing insurers and patients for medical services. Piedmont does much the same thing, only with a particular focus on emergency-room care. Anodyne is backed by Brook Venture Partners and Frontier Capital.