(UPDATED at 3:10pm PT: See below.)
Featured companies: Agendia, EndoGastric Solutions, FlowCo, Gentris, MedManage Systems, ParagonDx, Presidio Pharmaceuticals, Xoova
Presidio Pharma raises $26M for viral treatments — San Francisco’s Presidio Pharmaceuticals, a biotech developing new antiviral drugs, raised $26 million in a second funding round. Investors included Panorama Capital, Baker Brothers Investments, Bay City Capital, Ventures West Capital, Nexus Medical Partners, Sagamore Bioventures, George Rathmann Fund and Peninsula Overview Partners.
Presidio’s lead drug candidates take aim at HIV, hepatitis C and other viral infections. None of its drugs have entered human tests yet.
EndoGastric Solutions pulls in $30M for “transoral” surgeries — Redmond, Wash.-based EndoGastric Solutions, a medical-device maker developing products for incision-free gastrointestinal surgery, raised $30 million in a fourth funding round. Investors included DeNovo Ventures, Chicago Growth Partners, MPM Capital, Advanced Technology Ventures, Foundation Medical Partners, and Oakwood Medical Investors.
In March, EndoGastric received FDA clearance for a device it calls the StomaphyX, a disposable surgical instrument that can be passed into the stomach or the intestines via a patient’s mouth. Although EndoGastric isn’t too clear on exactly what the StomaphyX is for — the company says it’s for use in “endoluminal transoral tissue approximation and ligation” — the device appears to be a sort of staple gun that can fasten together parts of the stomach or intestines. EndoGastric says the device can be used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease, and its Web site appears to suggest that it can also perform bariatric surgery from inside the stomach as a treatment for obesity.
Agendia gets $34M for gene-based diagnostics — Amsterdam-based Agendia, a developer of gene-based diagnostic tests for cancer, raised $34 million (€25 million) in a fourth funding round. Investors included ING, Van Herk Biotech, Gilde Healthcare Partners and Global Life Science Ventures.
Agendia, founded in 2003, sells diagnostic tests that assess the “activity level” of various genes in tumor tissue, a technique that allows it to predict whether, for instance, a woman has a high or a low risk of seeing her breast cancer return. That test, sold under the brand name MammaPrint, was approved in the U.S. in February. Agendia has developed similar tests for identifying unknown cancers and for assessing the prognosis of colon cancer.
MedManage Systems, a drug-sampling service provider, receives $5M — MedManage Systems, a Bothell, Wash., company that helps drug manufacturers push free samples into the hands of doctors in order to “build brands,” raised $5 million of a planned $10 million financing, PE Hub reports, citing a regulatory filing. Investors include Lilly Ventures, Prism VentureWorks, QuestMark Partners and Versant Ventures.
At heart, MedManage’s business seems to be a consulting service that uses a mix of technology, data analysis and old-fashioned legwork make it easy for physicians to hand out free drug samples, which the MedManage site calls “a proven marketing strategy” for “influenc[ing] physician prescribing behavior.”
The company’s Web site is larded up with all manner of marketing buzzwords, but it’s actually fascinating to read through. That’s because most folks in the pharmaceutical industry would never admit that drug samples are part of a sophisticated marketing program aimed at getting doctors used to particular brands and patients to request them by name. (Large drug companies would prefer you to believe that they give away free drugs out of the kindness of their heart and sympathy for the people who can’t afford their products.) MedManage, however, makes no bones about using samples to push particular drugs. So for a peek behind the curtain, check out MedManage’s description of what it calls its “OmniSample Solution” — it’s very illuminating.
Xoova raises $2.5M for medical social-networking — Santa Monica, Calif.-based Xoova, a social network for doctors and patients, has raised $2.5 million in a first funding round last year, VentureWire reports (subscription required). Spark Capital Partners provided the funding.
Xoova allows physicians to post profiles of themselves online, much the way Facebook and similar services do for the general population. Xoova CEO Tommy McGloin estimates that 20,000 doctors have already done so, a number he hopes will grow to 100,000 by the time he begins raising an expected $5 million round next year.
Consumers can search the doctor profiles and, in some cases, can make appointments online if the doctor has signed up for a free Xoova service. McGloin said the company intends to roll out new features in coming months, although the one cited by VentureWire — allowing patients to both book and cancel appointments online — sounds awfully mundane.
Cardiac-device maker FlowCo raises $250K — FlowCo, an Indianapolis medical-device developer, raised $250,000 in a seed financing. BioCrossroads provided the funding. FlowCo, which doesn’t have a Web site, is working on a new catheter for deploying arterial stents, the wire-mesh devices that prop open clogged arteries, more accurately.
ParagonDx acquires Gentris unit for early diagnostics — ParagonDx, apparently a newly formed Morrisville, N.C., biotech firm focused on molecular diagnostics, said it acquired the Gentris Diagnostics unit of Gentris, a pharmacogenomics firm also based in Morrisville. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
It’s not immediately clear exactly what this transaction means — I’m assuming ParagonDx was essentially spun out of Gentris, but the release isn’t terribly clear on that point. There are also some other oddities, such as the fact that as of this moment, the ParagonDx URL redirects to the Gentris site. It’s entirely possible that they’re just working out merger-day glitches, but it’s also possible something else weird is going on.
UPDATE (3:10pm PT): Added items on MedManage Systems, Xoova, FlowCo and ParagonDx/Gentris.
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