Featured companies: CeraPedics, Lab21, Incisive Surgical, Orasi Medical, Transoma Medcal, ZyGem
(UPDATED: Expanded items on Transoma, Lab21 and Orasi.)
Medical-device maker Transoma files for $75M IPO — St. Paul, Minn.-based Transoma Medical, a developer of implantable wireless diagnostic sensors, filed to raise $75 million in an initial offering. The company is currently focused on the markets for heart patients and general biomedical research.
Transoma received FDA “clearance” for its first product on Oct. 1. That device, called the Sleuth ECG system, records, analyzes and transmits electrocardiogram data for patients at risk of irregular heartbeats. The company anticipates expanding its use to a broad range of cardiovascular conditions, and also sells the technology for data collection in test animals during preclinical drug and device trials. (If the technology eventually makes its way to human tests, it will certainly be interesting to see how trial participants react to the notion of being “wired for sound” this way.)
Diagnostics firm Lab21 raises £2M in debt — Lab21, a U.K. biotech that makes a variety of genomic and other diagnostic tests, raised £2 million ($4.1 million) in venture debt, VentureWire reports (subscription required). The company declined to say who provided the funding. Lab21 had previously raised £10 million in equity from Merlin Biosciences.
The company also recently licensed a coronary heart-disease test from Ark Therapeutics Group. Terms of that agreement weren’t disclosed.
Lab21 was considering a £2.5 million third funding round in April, and told VentureWire it is still looking into that and the possibility of an IPO, although the company would like to boost its valuation first. It has previously raised £10 million in equity from Merlin Biosciences. “We’re still considering the IPO route, even though everyone knows the IPO market isn’t the greatest right now,” CEO Jerry Walker told VentureWire. “The next step is to get revenue from the coronary [diagnostic] product, which will come to market early in the new year.”
Orasi Medical raises $2.4M for Alzheimer’s diagnostic — It’s a big day for companies based in St. Paul, Minn. (Incisive Surgical, headlined below, makes the third such in today’s news). Orasi Medical, a University of Minnesota spinout that’s developing a diagnostic test for Alzheimer’s disease, raised $2.4 million, according to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal. (There’s no release that I can find.) Investors included PrairieGold Venture Partners, CentreStone Ventures and individuals.
Orasi is apparently still pretty quiet about its strategic direction — its Web site is barely a stub. It does, however, point the curious to mainstream-press articles such as this one (PDF) in the Economist, which describes University of Minnesota neuroscientist Apostolos Georgopoulos and his work studying the magnetic fluctuations of the human brain for possible clues to the onset of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia. It’s not too hard to connect the dots from there.
OTHER HEADLINES OF NOTE: