We Got Deals: Financings Breathe New Life Into Local Life Sciences Companies
We turned up some recent funding deals for several San Diego life sciences, including venture funding for a medical device startup, and financing deals for one company developing anti-cancer drugs and another developing medical diagnostics. Here’s a rundown of what I found:
—Access Scientific, a San Diego-based medical device startup, has collected more than $2.6 million in a secondary venture round that aims to raise a total of more than $2.9 million, according to a recent regulatory filing. The company moved to San Diego after it was formed in New York two years ago by David Geliebter, managing partner of Carrot Capital Healthcare Ventures. He had licensed core technology from Yale University and other patent holders for a faster, safer, and easier vascular insertion device. Access says its “Wand” is designed to reduce the risks associated with inserting a small flexible tube (cannula) into blood vessels. Geliebter also assembled the startup’s management team, most of who had previously worked with Venetec International, a San Diego medical device company acquired in 2006 for $166 million. Access, which raised $5.5 million in 2008, identifies San Diego serial entrepreneur Jim Sweeney, CEO of PatientSafe Solutions, as an investor. ASI Investors, an affiliate of private equity firm Wasserstein & Co. also is an investor, and a presumed investor, RLH Enterprises, has a representative on its board of directors.
—San Diego-based Cylene Pharmaceuticals, an anti-cancer drug developer, has raised $6.1 million in a round that targets $14 million in debt, options, and equity, according to a recent regulatory filing. The biotech has raised a total of $77 million since it was founded more than a decade ago. Cylene raised the largest portion of that—$44 million—more than three years ago in a Series C financing co-led by HBM BioVentures (Cayman) and Lilly Ventures. Previous investors include Sanderling Ventures, Novartis BioVenture Fund, RCT BioVentures West, IngleWood Ventures, Coastview Capital, BioVentures Investors, Mitsui Venture Partners, Viterbi Group, Celgene, and Morningside Technologies.
—Ridge Diagnostics, a San Diego medical diagnostics startup previously known as Precision BioLaboratory, has raised $577,000 in an intended $3 million round of debt, options, and securities, according to a regulatory filing. Ridge says it tests blood samples, using diagnostic assays and a proprietary library of biomarkers to analyze and diagnose Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and other neuropsychiatric disorders. Ridge was founded in 2006, and received initial funding from a National Science Foundation grant and a $250,000 strategic growth loan from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. (The company’s operations were divided between San Diego and Research Triangle Park, NC, at the time.) The company also has received investment funding from Hale BioPharma Ventures and KI Investment Holdings.