A Medical Device Daily

Visiogen (Irvine, California) reported that it has raised $24 million from new and current investors in support of its Synchrony dual optic accommodating intraocular lens.

Lead investor CMEA Ventures, along with Foundation Medical Partners, made major contributions to this round of financing, which was also strongly supported by current investors Three Arch Partners, New Leaf Venture Partners and Prospect Venture Partners.

Since the last round of financing in 2003, Visiogen said it has consistently met all of its timelines, received the CE mark, and advanced into Phase III clinical trials across the U.S. in late 2006.

"Based on the excitement generated from our ongoing clinical trials, we believe that investors see Synchrony as the next-generation product in the intraocular lens market," said Reza Zadno, president and CEO, Visiogen.

The Synchrony system, intended for use in cataract and refractive patients, incorporates a dual optic lens with a pre-loaded injector. The entire system is self-contained and ready for use without the need for lens handling. The dual optic lens can be inserted through a 3.6 mm 3.8 mm clear-corneal incision. The single-piece silicone lens unfolds in the eye upon insertion and features two optics connected by a spring system. The springs connect a 5.5-mm high power anterior optic and a 6-mm negative power posterior optic; the spring action moves the front optic and changes the eye's focus from near to far.

The company says that "[t]his unique combination of positive- and negative-powered optics is customized for each patient."

Visiogen is a developer of products for cataract and refractive patients.

Serica Technologies (Cambridge, Massachusetts) a company developing a silk-based biomaterial platform for connective tissue repair, said it has received $12 million in a Series C financing.

New investor Prism VentureWorks co-led the round, with existing investor Morningside Technology Ventures. Ivy Capital Partners also joined as a new investor.

As part of the financing agreement, Brendan O'Leary, PhD, of Prism VentureWorks will join the company's board as a director and Ivy's Robert Pangia will join as a board observer.

Sercia, formerly known as Tissue Regeneration, said the financing will fuel development of its lead products, SeriACL, for anterior cruciate ligament repair, a common knee injury currently requiring significant rehabilitation following surgery; SeriCuff, for rotator cuff injury; and Eplica Fascia and Eplica Silk, for aesthetic and reconstructive plastic surgery.

The body's structural tissue can be destroyed, removed or weakened due to trauma, disease or aging. Serica is developing natural silk biomaterials designed to provide immediate, temporary stabilization to soft connective tissue structures such as ligaments and tendons following surgical repair.

Serica's biomaterials act as "scaffolds" to provide support and relief to damaged tissues, promoting restored function. The product is designed to slowly resorb into the body, allowing the natural tissue to heal and resume functioning gently, and avoid further damage that can result from overuse of an injured area.

In other financing news:

Clinical Data (Newton, Massachusetts) reported that affiliates of Chairman R.J. Kirk exercised warrants to purchase 190,505 shares of Clinical Data common stock at a purchase price of $19.45 per share.

The warrants were issued in a private placement of common stock and warrants in June 2006, and became exercisable on Dec. 13, 2006. As a result of the exercise of the warrants, Clinical Data received net cash proceeds of about $3.705 million.

"The nearly $4 million in proceeds from this transaction strengthens Clinical Data's balance sheet and provides additional liquidity that will support our strategy to build shareholder value through, among other things, our ongoing Phase III clinical trial for Vilazodone which is scheduled for completion later this year, and the company's continuing introduction of its proprietary Therapeutic Diagnostics that are designed to reduce the cost of care while improving patient outcomes," said Drew Fromkin, president/CEO of Clinical Data.

Clinical Data is a biotechnology company with three divisions: Its PGxHealth division focuses on genetic test and biomarker development to help predict drug safety and efficacy; its Cogenics division provides molecular and pharmacogenomics services to both research and regulated environments; its Vital Diagnostics division offers in vitro diagnostics solutions for the clinical laboratory.