Epic, Wellbe, WARF, & Arrowhead: This Week’s Wisconsin Watchlist

Lots of recent news from Wisconsin’s innovation community to catch up on. Let’s get to it:

Healthcare IT News spoke to leaders at Verona-based Epic Systems, including founder and CEO Judy Faulkner, about the ability of hospitals and clinics that use Epic’s patient records software to exchange data with other organizations. Faulkner told the blog that Epic clients can customize their record-keeping systems based on organizational wants and needs. However, this flexibility can create hurdles when it comes to sharing information with other healthcare providers.

—Staying in healthcare IT, Madison-based Redox struck an agreement with Kinvey aimed at simplifying the process of turning a concept for a mobile health application into a viable product. Redox’s digital tools help software developers get data in and out of healthcare organizations’ records systems. Kinvey, based in Boston, specializes in providing backend services, a category that includes things like user authentication, libraries, and analytics.

Inc. magazine ranked Madison-based Wellbe as the 322nd fastest-growing private company in the U.S. as part of the publication’s annual Inc. 5000 List. Wellbe has developed a set of digital forms, checklists, and surveys designed to help guide patients through medical treatments and procedures. Wellbe’s total revenues for 2015 eclipsed $2.1 million, up 1,201 percent from 2012, according to the ranking.

—The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, which manages intellectual property for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was issued 161 “utility” patents in 2015, seventh-best among the world’s universities. That’s according to a ranking by the National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association. Utility patents include “materials, processes, functions, and devices,” while “design” patents relate to appearance and other “nonfunctional elements,” UW-Madison said.

—gBETA, a free, six-week accelerator for early-stage companies affiliated with colleges and universities in Wisconsin, capped its latest two classes with a pitch event in Milwaukee. One of the pitches came from Drive Assured, which is developing an in-car device that the startup believes could help healthcare providers assess whether seniors are safe to drive. Gener8tor, which manages gBETA and has also run 12-week accelerator programs in Milwaukee and Madison, announced that this fall it will for the first time hold a gBETA program in Beloit, WI.

—Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ARWR), which is based in Pasadena, CA, but houses its R&D operations in Madison, said it raised $45 million in a private stock offering. In a press release, Arrowhead said a group of investors—including Orbimed, RA Capital Management, Perceptive Advisors, and RTW Investments—bought 7.6 million shares of common stock at $5.90 per share. As of 3:58 pm in New York Wednesday, Arrowhead’s stock was trading at $6.34 a share.

Last month, Xconomy spoke with Chris Anzalone, Arrowhead’s president and CEO, about current clinical trials involving the company’s drug candidates and other topics.

—The Badger Fund of Funds, a state initiative aimed at pumping more venture capital into Wisconsin startups, has raised $10 million from private investors, according to an e-mail from partner Ken Johnson. That was the amount the central Badger Fund said it would attempt to raise when it proposed the fund of funds to the state, in 2014; the state has pledged to commit $25 million to the program. Earlier this week, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that the central fund committed $4 million to the Neenah-based Winnebago Seed Fund, one of two “recipient” funds that have been launched as part of the initiative.

—Madison-based Stratatech, which is developing cell-based human skin tissue for treating burn wounds, was purchased by U.K.-based Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: MNK) for … Next Page »

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Jeff Buchanan is the editor of Xconomy Wisconsin. Email: jbuchanan@xconomy.com Follow @_jeffbuchanan

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