A Medical Device Daily

Epocal (Ottawa), a private developer of point-of-care blood diagnostic products, reported the closing of a $31 million Series C equity financing.

The Series C round was led by Highland Capital Management (Dallas) and also included participation from founding investor, Genesys Capital Partners.

The company said that proceeds of the financing will be used to commercialize Epoc, the company's FDA 510 (k) approved blood diagnostic platform, as well as develop its immunoassay technology.

The company says that its Epoc system, an "enterprise" point-of-care blood analysis platform, combines smart-card-like diagnostic cards containing biosensors and fluidics-on-flex circuits with bedside card readers. The readers communicate wirelessly to a mobile handheld computer or PDA for immediate bedside results and to a portal on a hospital network for centralized data management.

The platform delivers lab quality results to the bedside at a significantly lower manufacturing cost of conventional point-of-care testing solutions, the company said. The product development pipeline includes cards for a variety of test applications including immunoassay biomarker tests, general chemistries, hematology and hemostasis.

Aquilo Partners, a life science investment bank, was placement agent for the transaction.

Applied Spine Technologies (AST; New Haven, Connecticut) reported closing a $28 million Series C round of financing led by Investor Growth Capital. MB Venture Partners also participated in the round.

The company said a portion of the proceeds will finance a U.S. investigational device exemption clinical trial, a pivotal study now under way, comparing posterior dynamic stabilization using AST's Stabilimax NZ dynamic spine stabilization system to patients receiving traditional fusion stabilization to treat degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis.

Stabilimax NZ is designed to support an injured or degenerated spine and to be substantially less-invasive for patients currently limited to fusion and already implanted in several patients at medical institutions across the country.

"Back pain patients remain one of the most underserved clinical populations today. Many years of research have led to the development of Stabilimax NZ," said Thomas Wood, president/CEO of AST. "This device is designed to be a dramatic advance in back and leg pain treatment by stabilizing the spine without eliminating motion. This therapy has the potential to be far less invasive than fusion, and the technique can be easily adopted by most spine surgeons. Equally important, Stabilimax NZ may delay or prevent progression of degenerative spine disease, while leaving the door open to future treatments, such as fusion, should they be necessary."

Stephen Campe, managing director of Investor Growth Capital, has joined AST's board in connection with the financing.

In other financing news:

• Tutogen Medical (Alachua, Florida) said it has entered agreements with institutional investors for the placement of about 1.6 million shares of its common stock, at $7.38 a share.

Net proceeds to Tutogen from the sale of the shares will be about $11.5 million and will be used for working capital and general corporate purposes, Tutogen said.

The company said it expects to close the transaction on or prior to April 30.

Institutional investors participating in the placement included HealthCor Management, acting on behalf of funds managed by HealthCor, Visium Asset Management, and Deerfield Capital Management.

Tutogen manufactures biological implants made from human and animal tissue, using its Tutoplast Process of tissue preservation and viral inactivation to manufacture bio-implants for spinal/trauma, urology, dental, ophthalmology, and general surgery procedures.

• Andover Medical (North Andover, Massachusetts), a provider of orthopedic, podiatric and urological durable medical equipment (DME) and incontinence treatment solutions, said it has closed a $5.6 million private financing.

Proceeds from the offering totaled $5,612,492. Participating investors purchased in the aggregate 112 units of the company's securities, representing principal amount of 6% Series A convertible preferred stock at $50,000 per unit.

Each unit consists of: $50,000 face value of 50 shares of preferred stock, convertible at 35 cents a share into 142,850 shares of common stock; class A warrants exercisable for five years at 35 cents a share to purchase 142,850 shares of common stock; and class B warrants exercisable for five years at 35 cents a share to purchase 142,850 shares.

"I believe Andover Medical is now adequately capitalized to pursue our near term business objectives," said Edwin Reilly, CEO of Andover. "These proceeds will be used — in part — to acquire and integrate new companies into a nationwide subsidiary network, which will assist practitioners in providing quality care and services to their patients."

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