Featured companies: Adenosine Therapeutics, Allylix, Caprotec BioAnalytics, Equipois, F-Star, Insightec, MedNets.com, Renal Solutions, Transport Pharmaceuticals, VeriCare Management

UPDATED: Expanded items on Transport Pharmaceuticals, InSightec and VeriCare Management.

transport-pharma-logo.jpgTransport Pharma aims for $35M for cold-sore treatment — Framingham, Mass.-based Transport Pharmaceuticals, a dermatology-focused biotech developing a new treatment for cold sores, is looking to raise $35 million in a fifth funding round, VentureWire reports (subscription required). Hillman Co., Quaker BioVentures, Carlyle Group and EGS Healthcare Capital Partners have pledged $15 million in the round, which the company expects to close in February.

Transport’s leading product candidate is device that uses a low-voltage electrical current to improve the absorption of drugs through the skin. The handheld device, which the company calls the Solovir electrokinetic transdermal system, delivers a reformulated version of the antiviral drug acyclovir directly to cold sores in a ten-minute treatment. The company has so far raised roughly $36 million in venture funding.

insightec-logo.jpgInSightec takes in $30M for ultrasound surgery — Israel’s InSightec, a developer of ultrasound-based surgical systems, raised $30 million in a new funding round. Investors included Elbit Imaging, GE Capital Equity Holdings, MediTech Advisors and directors and managers of the company.

InSightec’s system combines MRI scanning and focused ultrasound in order to attack tumors in a non-invasive fashion. The device has been approved in the U.S. for treatment of uterine fibroids, which are non-cancerous tumors of the female reproductive system. InSightec is currently studying ways to apply the system to brain, liver and bone tumors as well.

vericare-logo.gifVeriCare Management gets $9.5M for mental healthcare services — San Diego’s VeriCare Management, a provider of mental-health care to the elderly, raised $9.5 million (MS Word document) in a second funding round. Investors included HLM Venture Partners, Salix Ventures, Acacia Venture Partners and Aetna Ventures.

This is sort of an interesting investment, as VCs haven’t traditionally been all that interested in healthcare providers. In the release, Aetna managing director Adam Grossman notes that the investment is aimed specifically at improving the quality of healthcare, which suggests that some VCs, at least, are starting to view quality improvements as financially rewarding. The logic isn’t entirely clear to me, but it seems to parallel the effort that David Brailer’s new outfit, Health Evolution Partners, is just getting off the ground. (See our coverage of Health Evolution here.)


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