A Medical Device Daily
A group of firms announced a $7 million investment for SupplyScape (Cambridge, Massachusetts), a provider of what is termed "pedigree" solutions for tracking of drugs, generically known as Universal Pedigree, to help in identifying and thus avoiding counterfeit drugs.
IDG Ventures, North Bridge Venture Partners and Pilot House Ventures have invested $7 million into the software manufacturer.
"Over the past year, SupplyScape has worked hand-in-hand with government agencies and the pharmaceutical industry to develop a universal, electronic pedigree solution, which provides a common approach to finally stemming the tide of counterfeit drugs," said Shabbir Dahod, president of SupplyScape. He said the funding will help the company "meet the industry demand for pedigree solutions as more states adopt the model developed in Florida, which requires pedigrees for all drugs by July 2006."
Since 1987, the FDA has urged the pharmaceutical industry to increase patient safety by tightening the supply chain's vulnerability to counterfeits. Several states now mandate a drug pedigree, a certificate of authenticity detailing a drug's movement through the supply chain. Without the pedigree, it is difficult to determine where a drug has been and if it is safe, according to SupplyScape.
The company said that with creation of a universal pedigree model – derived from federal and state laws established throughout the country – companies in the pharmaceutical supply chain can adopt a single format that allows pedigrees to be implemented in electronic or paper formats.
"With a universal pedigree in place, we anticipate rapid, national adoption of pedigree solutions for the full supply chain from manufacturer to wholesaler to pharmacy," said Jack Cooper, former chief information officer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, the newest member of SupplyScape's board of directors. "And safeguarding the supply chain is only the first benefit. SupplyScape's solution provides enormous business value for the long-term, including streamlining business operations, improving the speed and quality of shipping and receiving, and expediting returns processing and improving recall precision."
Jeffrey Beir, general partner, North Bridge Venture Partners, said, "The SupplyScape team has done a fabulous job creating this opportunity and is optimally poised at the nexus of technological innovation, market requirements and regulatory momentum."
SupplyScape bills itself as "a leader in defining a standards-based electronic pedigree solution for the pharmaceutical industry." SupplyScape is the solution architect for the Capgemini Drug Security Network, built on the SupplyScape E-Pedigree system.
B-Bridge International (Sunnyvale, California), a provider of tools and technology for life science research laboratories, reported the closing of $4.2 million in private investment.
The company said that in addition to its efforts to ramp up its R&D for the development of new technology, it will use the funds to develop an infrastructure connecting investigators with the latest technology and services more effectively and rapidly than current sales and distribution systems.
B-Bridge said that the major sources for this investment came from Bio-sight Capital (Osaka), Hokkaido Venture Capital (Sapporo) and the Marubeni (Tokyo), as well as from current shareholders.
Hiro Masumoto, president and CEO of B-Bridge, said, "Advances in life-science research benefit us all by improving health, medical treatment, agriculture and our understanding of the environment. . . . This funding will enable us to begin development of a network infrastructure that provides researchers with more information and faster access to tools and services that enhance their research efforts."
Starting as a small trading company in 2000, B-Bridge says its business now runs to "several million" dollars annually.
B-Bridge International says it has access to worldwide markets in the academic, government, pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors.
• Clinical testing laboratory NeoGenomics (Fort Myers, Florida) reported an agreement with Aspen Select Healthcare (formerly MVP 3; Naples, Florida) for new funding supporting the company's business plan and repayment of indebtedness.
Aspen, controlled by Steven Jones, a director of NeoGenomics, will make available up to $1.5 million of debt financing in a revolving credit facility, with an initial maturity of March 31, 2007. The facility refinances indebtedness of $740,000 owed to Aspen, due on March 31, 2005, and makes available up to another $760,000. The company will be able to borrow up to 80% of its accounts receivable less than 90 days old; 50% of its net property, plant and equipment balance; up to $500,000 on an unsecured basis; and another $500,000 on or before April 30, 2005. As part of this transaction, Aspen, NeoGenomics, Dr. Michael Dent, chairman of NeoGenomics, and certain other individual shareholders have amended and restated their shareholders agreement in order to provide that Aspen will have the right to appoint up to three of seven directors of the company and one mutually acceptable independent director.
Robert Gasparini, president of NeoGenomics, reported "tremendous progress . . . in extending our business model into the Eastern U.S., and we believe the recapitalization gives us sufficient capital to become cash flow-positive [anticipated] in the second half of this year."
Steven Jones, managing director of Medical Venture Partners and a director of NeoGenomics, said "NeoGenomics has the right people and the right product line-up in place to begin to substantially increase revenues. Our confidence in Bob Gasparini and his team to execute on the plan was a major factor in our decision to renew and extend the Credit Facility."
NeoGenomics offers genetic and molecular diagnostic testing services to the oncology and perinatology markets.