Life-science briefing: Thursday, March 13, 2008

TODAY’S HEADLINES:

Aperio Tech raises $20M for digital pathology – Aperio Technologies, a Vista, Calif., developer of systems for digitizing and analyzing medical images, raised $20 million in a third funding round. With the new investment, Aperio has now raised a total of $53 million, including $11 million it pulled in from existing investors last May.

Investors in the latest round included HLM Venture Partners, Galen Partners, Advanced Technology Ventures, Acadia Woods Partners and BlackRock Alternative Advisors. The startup’s tools allow pathologists to scan microscope slides of biopsied tissue or other biomedical samples at high resolution, then view and analyze them for signs of disease.

Over the past six months, Aperio’s tools have received FDA approval for use in manual and automated analysis of tumor-biopsy samples intended to determine whether a patient should receive the breast cancer drug Herceptin.

salient-surgical-logo-150px.gifTissueLink changes name, files for $86M IPO – The medical-device startup formerly known as TissueLink Medical, now renamed Salient Surgical Technologies, filed to raise $86.3 million in an IPO. That makes Salient either the sixth or seventh life-science company to brave the IPO waters this year — a number that’s now maintaining parity with the number of IPOs that have collapsed.

Salient makes surgical tools that use radio-frequency energy to seal up surgical cuts. Although it launched those devices roughly two years ago, the company’s losses have widened since then. Last year, Salient reported a net loss of $14.7 million on sales of $29.5 million.

We previously wrote about TissueLink’s last round of funding.