A Medical Device Daily

Sadra Medical (Campbell, California), a private development-stage Silicon Valley firm developing therapies for aortic valve disease, reported recently completing a $19 million Series B round of funding.

Oakwood Medical Investors and Boston Scientific (Natick, Massachusetts) joined the company’s Series A investors, Pequot Ventures, Onset Ventures and SV Life Sciences Advisors, in the financing.

Amr Salahieh, president/CEO of Sadra, said, “Our momentum is building and we look forward to initiating clinical evaluation of the Sadra Lotus Valve within the next several months.”

Raul Perez, president of Oakwood Medical, said, “This investment in Sadra Medical reflects the consensus of the group of investors that the innovative second-generation repositionable Lotus prosthesis developed by Sadra has great potential.”

Treatment of aortic valve disease remains a significant and growing unmet clinical need. As many as 3 million people in the U.S. have aortic stenosis; however, only a small percentage of those are treated with the current standard of care, open-heart valve replacement surgery, using cardiopulmonary bypass. By delivering aortic valve replacement that reduces the risks and morbidity associated with surgery, Sadra seeks to provide a therapeutic option for patients who are not being treated today.

Sadra Medical was founded in 2003 by Salahieh and a group of cardiovascular clinicians. Board members include Salahieh, Leslie Bottorff of Onset Ventures, Juliet Tammenoms Bakker of Pequot Ventures, David Milne of SVLS, and Fred Khosravi, CEO of Access Closure.

Asthmatx (Mountain View, California) said it has decided against proceeding with its initial public offering and that it has decided to pursue an “alternative strategic option.” No shares of common stock have been sold under the terms of the company’s to registration statement.

Piper Jaffray & Co. and Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. were slated to serve as joint book-running managers for the offering, with First Albany Capital and Jefferies & Company serving as co-managers.

Asthmatx is focused on developing a therapeutic device treatment for asthma. Its Alair System, consisting of a single-use device and a controller that delivers controlled thermal energy to the airways of adult patients to reduce the mass of airway smooth muscle in an investigative outpatient bronchoscopic procedure known as Bronchial Thermoplasty.

In other financing activity:

• Iomai (Gaithersburg, Maryland) reported entering into agreements to privately place newly issued shares of common stock to Essex Woodlands Health Ventures and New Enterprise Associates (NEA), to produce expected gross proceeds of $10 million.

“The funding from Essex and NEA gives us additional resources with which to continue our clinical programs designed to show the clinical benefits of the Iomai vaccine patch,” said Stanley Erck, president/CEO of Iomai. “We are developing our novel, patch-based vaccines and immunostimulants in influenza, pandemic influenza and traveler’s diarrhea.”

Iomai develops vaccines and immune system stimulants, delivered via needle-free technology called transcutaneous immunization (TCI). TCI, the company says, “taps into the unique benefits of a major group of antigen-presenting cells found in the outer layers of the skin (Langerhans cells) to generate an enhanced immune response. Iomai is leveraging TCI to enhance the efficacy of existing vaccines, enable new vaccines that are viable only through transcutaneous administration and expand the global vaccine market. The company has four product candidates in development: three targeting influenza and pandemic flu and one to prevent E. coli-related travelers’ diarrhea.

• GetWellNetwork (Bethesda, Maryland) a provider of interactive patient care (IPC) solutions, reported closing a $9 million Series B round of financing led by Valhalla Partners.

Also participating were first-round investors, including The Grosvenor Funds, Point Judith Capital, Long River Ventures, Village Ventures and Tall Oaks Capital.

GetWellNetwork says that by the end of 2006, more than 30% of the 50 largest health systems will be “live” with an IPC implementation in at least one system facility. It estimates the emerging IPC market is estimated to be valued at $1 billion annually.

“Factors such as government compliance standards and potential changes in Medicare reimbursement are driving hospitals to adopt IPC solutions in record numbers,” said Scott Frederick, general partner of Valhalla. “As an early leader in the growing IPC market, GetWellNetwork is poised to become the global leader in this space, and Valhalla Partners is excited to work with the company as it expands its reach throughout the country and the world.”

The GetWellNetwork PatientLifeSystem provides information and entertainment services to patients and families through existing in-room TVs/monitors. By integrating the PatientLifeSystem with hospital IT systems, the GetWellNetwork patent-pending Patient Pathway software can automatically send pertinent information to patients at the point-of-care, documenting quality and service requirements. By deploying Patient Pathways, hospitals can automate many patient care processes including patient education, pain management and patient satisfaction survey collection.

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