Venture-capital financing may be at a six-year high, but the picture in life sciences is a mixed one. After a blowout first quarter, second-quarter fundings in biotechnology actually dropped 19 percent, to $1.1 billion, compared to the same period last year, according to data from Dow Jones VentureOne and Ernst & Young. Medical-device investments, however, were on a tear, with VCs funneling more than $1 billion into the sector during the quarter — the highest total on record.
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Ablation Frontiers, a Carlsbad, Calif., developer of devices for treating irregular heartbeats known as cardiac arrythmias, raised $21.8 million in a third funding round. The Novartis Venture Fund led the round, joined by Affinity Ventures, Hexagon Investments, Trellis Health Ventures, Versant Ventures, Aberdare Ventures, and Pequot Ventures.
Precision Dynamics, a San Fernando, Calif., developer of patient-identification wristbands, raised $75 million (PDF link) from Water Street Healthcare Partners.
OuroBoros, a San Diego developer of devices for minimally invasive spinal fusion, raised $1.17 million in a planned $4 million first funding round, PE Wire reports, citing a regulatory filing. The deal was led by Ascent Medical Ventures.
Amedica, a Salt Lake City device maker focused on spine, knee and hip implants, set its IPO terms and now hopes to raise as much as $80.2 million. The company plans to sell up to 5.3 million shares at a price of $13 to $15 apiece.
Satiety, a Palo Alto, Calif., device maker focused on obesity, raised $30 million in a fourth round of funding. Skyline Ventures led the round, joined by HLM Venture Partners, Pinnacle Ventures, Venrock, Three Arch Partners, Morgenthaler Ventures and Thomas Fogarty.
Saratoga Ventures, a Los Gatos, Calif., venture-capital firm specializing in early-stage medical-device investments, has raised $3 million as part of an expected $25 million sixth fund, PE Wire reports.
Entrigue Surgical, a San Antonio, Tex., medical-devices maker, raised $6.3 million in a first funding round, VentureWire reports (subscription requires), crediting the San Antonio Express-News (no link available). Vertical Group and Prism VentureWorks provided the investment.
For Micell Technologies, a Raleigh, N.C., materials company that recently reinvented itself as a developer of drug-releasing stents, perhaps the third time will be the charm.
NeoMend, an Irvine, Calif., biomaterials company focused on wound care, raised $6 million in a third funding round, VentureWire reports (subscription required). Investors included Prospect Venture Partners, Sanderling Ventures and other unidentified venture capitalists. Four million dollars in bridge loans from Prospect and Sanderling also converted into equity.
Aragon Surgical, a Palo Alto, Calif., medical-devices maker, said the FDA cleared its LapCap product for use in general surgery. Aragon, which doesn’t seem to have a Web site, gained ownership of the LapCap when it acquired VeriSure, another device maker, in March.
CardioMind, a secretive Sunnyvale, Calif., developer of stents designed to prop open blocked arteries, raised $33 million in a third round of funding, VentureWire reports (subscription required). From the VentureWire story:
Syncro Medical Innovations, a St. Petersburg, Fla., developer of magnet-assisted feeding tubes, raised $300,000 in a bridge financing leading to an expected $5 million round later this year, VentureWire reports (subscription required). Norwich Ventures provided the financing.
Wilmington, Mass.-based ONI Medical Systems, a developer of new magnetic-resonance imaging systems, raised $12.5 million in a third funding round. Ziegler Meditech Equity Partners led the round, joined by private-equity firms Galen Partners and Ivy Capital Partners.
TissueLink Medical, a Dover, N.H., developer of systems that limit blood loss during surgery, raised $20 million from insiders in a fifth funding round, VentureWire reports (subscription required).
(UPDATED: See below.) Paracor Medical, a Sunnyvale, Calif., startup developing a mesh restraint designed to support failing hearts, raised $44.35 million in a fourth round of funding. The company is vying with another device startup, Acorn Cardiovascular, to prove that this sort of device works and to bring it to market.
U-Systems, a San Jose, Calif., maker of ultrasound systems for breast imaging, raised $16.5 million in a fifth round of funding. The company, founded in 1997, markets its systems for the early detection of breast cancer, particularly in women with dense breast tissue.
Generic Medical Devices, a Gig Harbor, Wash., company that wants to do for medical devices what generic-drug makers did for pharmaceuticals, is seeking up to $10 million in a first institutional round, VentureWire reports (subscription required). The company, which has previously raised $1.5 million from individual investors, hopes to complete the round later this year.
Medical Carbon Research Institute, a Austin, Tex., developer of mechanical heart valves, raised $32 million in debt, revenue interest and royalty conversion in a recapitalization that the company said eliminated most of its debt. MCRI also renamed itself after its leading product candidate, and will now be known as On-X Life Technologies.
Boston Scientific agreed to acquire Remon Medical Technologies, an Israeli maker of wireless technology for communicating with implanted medical devices. The companies didn’t disclose financial terms; their release is here.
Gentis, a Philadelphia developer of an injectable spinal implant, raised $10 million in a first round of funding. Pappas Ventures and Easton Capital led the round, joined by Ivy Capital Partners and Matignon Technologies.
CSA Medical, a Baltimore developer of endoscopic cryoablation systems, raised $8.3 million in a first round of funding, VentureWire reports (subscription required). New Markets Growth Fund and angel investors provided the funding.
Equipois, a Los Angeles developer of assisted-support devices for the prevention of repetitive stress injury, is partway through raising a $1.5 million first round, VentureWire reports (subscription required). The company plans a larger $10 million round by the end of this year.
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Intelect Medical, a Cleveland developer of neuromodulation devices for the treatment of brain injury, raised $7 million in a second funding round. The company is currently exploring ways of using deep-brain stimulation, in which implanted electrodes zap particular regions of the brain with calibrated jolts of electricity, in order to rehabilitate brains damaged by injury or stroke. DBS — which is sometimes described as a “pacemaker for the brain” — is currently approved for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and various forms of tremor.
San Francisco’s EndoVention, a developer of catheters for use in blood-clot removal, raised $1.5 million of an expected $2.5 million first round, VentureWire reports (subscription required). Such catheters are flexible tubes that doctors can insert into blocked blood vessels in order to “vacuum out” clots, sometimes with the assistances of clot-dissolving drugs. EndoVention’s device has an “expandable mouth” to regulate the intake of clots.
(UPDATED: See below.) Ever since the Clinton health plan went down in flames 13 years ago, discussion of significant reforms to the U.S. healthcare system has been largely academic. Until now.
Thermocure, a new Sunnyvale, Calif., medical-device company, raised $125,000 in a first funding round, VentureWire reports. The funding came from Arboretum Ventures.
Ekos, a Bothell, Wash., maker of ultrasound-enhanced drug-delivery systems, raised $10 million in debt capital from Hercules Technology Growth Capital. The financing will support the sales and marketing of drug-delivery catheters that feature an ultrasound system designed to help drugs break up blood clots more quickly. Ekos launched its catheters in early 2006.
Aperio, a Vista, Calif., maker of systems that digitize medical images for use in the diagnosis of disease, raised $10.6 million from existing investors. It last raised $17 million in a second round of funding in Nov. 2005, and has now garnered a total of $33 million in equity capital. The company’s release is here.