CytoPherx Raises $34M Toward Finishing Clinical Trial

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Ann Arbor-based CytoPherx, a medical device company focusing on inflammation-based diseases, announced yesterday that it has raised $34 million in a new round of financing. A large group of investors participated in the round, including Ohio-based Early Stage Partners, California-based Onset Ventures, and Wisconsin-based Capital Midwest Fund. This latest round of funding comes on top of a Series A round in 2007 ($4.5 million) and Series B round in 2009 ($7.5 million).

“This round included money from Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, California, London … we were busy,” says CytoPherx president and CEO Jim Danehy with a laugh. “These are challenging times, but we were very well received.”

In fact, according to Crain’s Detroit Business, this is the largest venture round collected by any Michigan company since 2009.

Danehy says that CytoPherx will use the money to finish a 344-patient clinical trial at 30 sites, including Henry Ford Hospital and the University of Michigan Health System. The clinical trial focuses on patients who are already experiencing kidney failure; the goal is to bring the mortality rate down from the current 50 percent or greater to 30 percent by using proprietary devices.

Danehy says the clinical trial involves patients with acute rather than chronic conditions. “These patients are the sickest of the sick,” he says. “The patients we see are generally healthy people who have had something really bad happen. They’re experiencing a major trauma like a gunshot wound or a car accident. Half the patients have a massive bacterial infection. The average age is 56 years old—these patients have many years ahead of them if we can get them through this acute event.”

Danehy adds that 2.7 million U.S. patients land in hospitals with acute renal failure, and about 160,000 undergo Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy, which represents a multi-billion dollar potential market opportunity.

CytoPherx, which employs 20 people, was founded in 2007 David Humes, a nephrologist at U-M’s Medical Center, using technology developed at the university. Danehy says support from Michigan and Midwestern investors, as well as a $2 million loan from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, have been critical to the company’s success.

The clinical trial is expected to conclude in late 2012.

Sarah Schmid is the editor of Xconomy Detroit. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or sschmid@xconomy.com. Follow @XconomyDET

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