A Medical Device Daily

Atherotech (Birmingham, Alabama), a developer of cardio-diagnostic technology, reported receiving $7.5 million in financing from Orix Venture Finance. The transaction includes a $2.5 million, two-year revolving line of credit and a $5 million, three-year term loan.

Roseanne Varner, Atherotech's president and CEO, said the proceeds will be used to refinance existing debt and provide additional working capital for future growth.

Varner said that the investment "reinforces the significant progress Atherotech has made in encouraging further adoption of the VAP [Vertical Auto Profile] Cholesterol Test among physicians, as well as the company's strong financial growth. It also demonstrates the investment community's understanding of the VAP Test's role as an answer to the challenges faced by clinicians in the ongoing battle against heart disease."

Routine cholesterol tests often fail to identify more than half the patients at risk for heart disease, in part because they are based on a calculated low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which often is inaccurate, according to Varner.

Atherotech's VAP Test complies with National Cholesterol Education Program guidelines which focus on emerging risk factors and secondary targets of therapy for heart disease. The guidelines highlight the importance of direct-measured LDL, LDL pattern size and lipoprotein, the latter also known as the "widow-maker."

The VAP Test includes these measurements, and the results – along with risk assessments based on these values – are reported to the physician in a patient profile. The VAP Test is available through national and regional diagnostic laboratories and is reimbursed by most payers, including Medicare, Atherotech said. Samples are processed in the company's Birmingham laboratory.

William Bishop, principal of Orix Venture Finance, said that Atherotech's growth and the increasing demand for its proprietary VAP Test technology "have led us to provide this financing."

Orix Venture Finance is a member of the Corporate Finance Group of Orix USA, with offices in Silicon Valley, California, Hartford, Connecticut, and New York.

In other financing news:

BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics (Tel Aviv, Israel), an emerging company developing stem cell therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases, reported the closing of private seed financing of about $1.5 million. Previous closings under this private placement occurred in October and November of last year, Brainstorm said.

The funding will be used to meet BrainStorm's financing obligations of a technology license accord with Ramot at Tel Aviv University, it said. Based on this license, the company is developing its NurOwn platform, an autologous cell therapy for Parkinson's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis Alzheimer's and other neurogenerative diseases. BrainStorm said the funds also will cover the costs of extending its management base, recruiting senior scientific personnel and building laboratory R&D facilities.

Dr. Yaffa Beck, company CEO, said, "We are now exploring longer-term financing mechanisms so that we can spearhead preclinical research and development with a view towards clinical trial activities."

NurOwn – a patent pending technology – is based on autologous bone marrow-derived stromal cells for treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, using scientific discoveries made at the Felsenstein Medical Research Center of Tel-Aviv University.