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Arrowhead, Baird, & UW-Madison: This Week’s Wisconsin Watch List

Xconomy Wisconsin — 

Before heading home to feast on turkey and spend time with family and loved ones, check out these recent headlines from Wisconsin’s innovation community:

—Madison-based Arrowhead Research (NASDAQ: ARWR) released data last week that “strongly support” the advancement of its lead hepatitis B virus (HBV) drug candidate, the company said in a press release. The data show that the candidate, known as ARC-520, effectively reduced HBV viral antigens derived from cccDNA, a special DNA structure that appears and can stay in a cell nucleus as a virus spreads, Arrowhead said. Shares in the company briefly shot up to $7.50—a 32 percent increase from the previous day’s close of $5.70—but fell back below $6 later in the day. Arrowhead’s stock closed at $6.08 Wednesday.

—Robert W. Baird & Co. said it will acquire Boulder, CO-based Chautauqua Capital Management, an international investment manager. Milwaukee-based Baird, which is privately held, did not disclose financial terms of the transaction in a press release announcing the agreement. Baird said Chautauqua, which has about $700 million in invested assets, will continue to operate under its own name after the deal closes in early 2016.

—A new startup hub located on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus opened last week, the Capital Times reported. The building, dubbed “@1403,” is owned and operated by University Research Park, a business park associated with UW-Madison located on the city’s west side. Discovery to Product, the Madworks Accelerator, and the university’s Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic are among the entities that will call @1403 home.

—Speaking of the state’s flagship university, UW-Madison recently got two other pieces of good news. First, it maintained its fourth-place ranking on the National Science Foundation’s list of U.S. universities that spend the most on research. UW spent more than $1.1 billion on R&D in 2014, down slightly from 2013. Second, the school‘s reputable Computer Sciences department received a $7 million donation from Sheldon Lubar, a Milwaukee businessman and investor, and his wife Marianne.

—The Commons, a seed accelerator for students from universities in Southeastern Wisconsin, will focus more on soft skills like communication and critical thinking with its next class, which it will enroll in the spring, the Milwaukee Business Journal reported. The shift was a result of feedback from program participants and Milwaukee-area corporate partners, which include Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS) and Briggs & Stratton (NYSE: BGG). The spring program is scheduled to run for nine weeks, one week shorter than the most recent session, which culminated with a “demo day” pitch event Sunday.

—Cellular Dynamics, a Madison-based biotech that researches and develops stem cells,  … Next Page »

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