A Medical Device Daily
PhotoThera (Carlsbad, California), the developer of transcranial laser therapy (TLT) designed for acute ischemic stroke within 24 hours of stroke onset, said it has closed a $50 million Series D round of financing led by Warburg Pincus.
The company said the financing would fund a planned follow-on phase III 'NEST-3' (NeuroThera Effectiveness and Safety Trial) clinical study. The company previously reported that NEST-3 would build upon the results of its NEST-2 trial, which revealed a statistically significant treatment effect for patients with moderate to moderately severe ischemic strokes using a post-hoc data analysis.
In addition to Warburg Pincus, participating investors include The Vertical Group, Hamilton BioVentures, Delphi Ventures, DeNovo Ventures, and certain individual members of Monterey Advisors.
PhotoThera also reported that Arthur Taylor, former chief operating officer of Kyphon, has been appointed as president/CEO. Taylor succeeds Thomas Wilder III who has decided to pursue other opportunities after securing the Series D funding and serving as the company's president/CEO since April 2006.
"I am very excited about the opportunity to lead PhotoThera during this critical period of building the clinical evidence to support use of our TLT technology in treating acute ischemic stroke patients," Taylor said.
Taylor most recently served as VP and general manager for the Kyphon Products, Spinal & Biologics Business of Medtronic. Prior to Medtronic's acquisition of Kyphon in late 2007, Taylor served as Kyphon's COO from 2006, and as CFO from 2004 through 2006. Prior to his Kyphon tenure, Taylor served as CFO for ReSound, a hearing healthcare company, and in executive positions with Allergan, and American Hospital Supply.
The results of the NEST-2 study, which demonstrated both the safety of the TLT treatment and statistically significant effectiveness for certain cohorts of stroke patients, were recently presented at the American Heart Association's (Dallas) International Stroke Conference in San Diego, by Justin Zivin, MD, PhD, professor of neurosciences at the University of California San Diego and principal investigator for the NEST-2 study. The results were also published online in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association on Feb. 20, the company noted.
In other financing activity:
• The Life Sciences Greenhouse of Central Pennsylvania (LSGPA; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) reported that it is investing $750,000 in Nittany Polymedics (NPI), a spin-out of Polymics (State College, Pennsylvania).
NPI makes specialty polymer-based products for medical and dental companies, using materials with characteristics such as permeability to X-rays, extreme wear resistance, biological compliance and tissue in-growth, or the capacity to withstand repeated sterilizations.
"We delight not just in solving customers' problems," said NPI CEO Jeffery Sheldon, "but also in forging partnerships with customers to bring improved products and supply chain efficiencies to the marketplace." NPI says that its materials are being used in a range of orthopedic devices and dental implants, and are expected to appear in surgical tools debuting later this year.
LSGPA promotes commercialization of life science products through seed and pre-seed investments of up to $1 million. It says that it has more than $17 million in central Pennsylvania's life sciences.
• MMR Information Systems (Los Angeles), which through its subsidiary MyMedicalRecords provides personal health records and electronic safe deposit box storage solutions, said that, with The RHL Group (Beverly Hills, California) owned by Robert Lorsch, president/CEO and chairman of MMR and a significant stockholder of the company, agreed to restructure MMR's credit facility with RHL. MMR said the details will be provided in an SEC filing on Monday.
Lorsch said, "It is clear that health IT and particularly personal health records are going to be as mainstream as a personal credit report. Everyone should have one and most will ultimately get one.... Given that our www.mymedicalrecords.com site is available in Spanish, MMR is also positioned to launch in Mexico where there is a critical need for electronic personal health records.... [W]ith the world on the edge of a pandemic, the importance of a personal health record and an ESafeDepositBox could not be clearer."
MMR reported that Lorsch also has agreed to exercise all of his 2,464,816 outstanding options no later than May 1. "Exercising all of my stock options helps the financial position of the company while providing me with favorable tax treatment for any subsequent appreciation."