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Wantable, Gener8tor, and Arrowhead: This Week’s Wisconsin Watchlist

Xconomy Wisconsin — 

A new biotech laboratory, another lofty national ranking for an accelerator, and changes to a coding school’s expansion plans are among these recent headlines from Wisconsin’s innovation community:

—Milwaukee-based Wantable raised more than $2 million from investors, according to a regulatory filing. The startup ships curated boxes containing clothing, makeup, accessories, and other items to a mostly young, female customer base. The new financing brings the total amount Wantable has raised to more than $4.3 million.

—Gener8tor, a startup accelerator that runs programs in Milwaukee and Madison, was again recognized in the Seed Accelerator Rankings Project. Last year, the authors of the rankings tabbed Gener8tor as the 14th-best accelerator in the U.S. This year, instead of ranking accelerators numerically, the authors grouped them into tiers; Gener8tor is in the “gold” tier, meaning it’s somewhere between 10th- and 16th-best overall, according to TechCrunch.

—One startup in Gener8tor’s portfolio of investments is Milwaukee-based Project Foundry, which has introduced new features to its education software allowing teachers to track their progress in completing professional development requirements. The Cleveland Metropolitan School District is the first Project Foundry customer using the new tools, which CEO Bill Mortimore said were developed after the startup observed a parallel between students and instructors who were lacking engagement. Project Foundry could close on a $1.25 million seed funding round later this month, Mortimore said.

—Arrowhead Research, whose research and development operations are headquartered in Madison, said a therapeutic it’s developing could potentially prevent blood clots and treat angioedema, a condition marked by the swelling of blood vessels. Arrowhead (NASDAQ: ARWR) recently presented animal study data at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Annual Meeting. The company’s stock price rose more than 10 percent, to $4.76 per share, on March 7, the day Arrowhead announced the new data, but has since fallen about 5 percent, to $4.51.

—At the same time, Arrowhead is planning to build a 45,000-square-foot laboratory in Madison, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. The new facility will be located in University Research Park on the city’s west side, and the company expects construction to be complete by August, according to the report.

—Other real estate-related news: BioForward, Wisconsin’s life sciences trade association, will open an office within the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Innovation Campus this week, BioForward CEO Lisa Johnson told Xconomy. The campus, which is located in the Milwaukee suburb of Wauwatosa and is separate from the university’s main campus, is home to organizations like TAI Diagnostics and Bridge to Cures, a nonprofit healthcare startup accelerator. BioForward had been considering opening a satellite office in the Milwaukee area since at least September 2014.

Johnson emphasized that while BioForward is based in Madison, innovative research and development is happening in many parts of the state. “We recognize that the strength of Wisconsin is in both Milwaukee and Madison, and also statewide with our manufacturing, to support a medical device industry,” she said.

—Speaking of medical devices, Madison-based NeuWave Medical was acquired for an undisclosed sum by Ethicon, a surgery-focused subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ). NeuWave’s products use microwave energy to “ablate,” or eliminate, tumors, primarily ones located in patients’ lungs, livers, kidneys, and bones. Cincinnati-based Ethicon makes sutures, wound-close devices, and other tools used inside operating rooms.

—Madison-based Cellectar Biosciences announced a 1-for-10 reverse stock split, … Next Page »

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