Lucigen, EnsoData, Rowheels, & More: This Week’s Wisconsin Watchlist
Keep up with the latest news from Wisconsin’s innovation community, starting with these recent headlines:
—Middleton-based Lucigen, which makes tools for life sciences researchers, said it now has the exclusive rights to distribute Epicentre’s genomic kits, enzymes, and ancillary reagents. Madison-based Epicentre was purchased by San Diego-based Illumina (NASDAQ: ILMN) in 2011 for $71 million; Epicentre now operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of Illumina.
A spokesman for Lucigen said that the company will buy products from Epicentre and resell them under a “transfer-price” model. In December, Lucigen announced that Epicentre had licensed and transferred select products to Lucigen for manufacture and distribution. This week’s announcement is an extension of that agreement.
—The Atlantic Council, a Washington, DC-based think tank, featured Madison as one of four “tech hubs” in a report that discusses policy recommendations aimed at fostering innovation and economic growth in the U.S. The University of Wisconsin-Madison was singled out as one of the national leaders in technology transfer, through the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, an organization that manages patents and licensing of intellectual property for the university. The other three tech hubs the report looked at were the San Francisco Bay Area, the Boulder/Denver region, and Austin, TX.
—Redox, a Madison-based healthtech startup, raised $1 million from the Intermountain Healthcare Innovation Fund, which is affiliated with Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare. Leaders at Redox also said the company will work with the hospital and clinic network to bring software applications developed by Intermountain to other healthcare providers.
—Madison-based EnsoData, which is using machine learning algorithms to help clinicians score sleep data, said the FDA approved the startup’s EnsoSleep software for sale and clinical use in the U.S. EnsoSleep is aimed at automating the assessment of sleep quality in studies performed in laboratories and at patients’ homes. The company says its software is currently installed at nine sleep centers operated by three “trial customers.” Last year, EnsoData raised $550,000 in seed funding from investors.
—Kiio has now raised more than $5 million since launching in 2011. The Madison-based company is developing software for healthcare providers and insurers that’s aimed in part at getting their patients to understand and adhere to rehabilitative exercise programs.
Kiio’s latest financing was a $600,000 round of debt funding, according to an SEC filing that became public last week. Dave Grandin, co-founder and CEO of Kiio, said the proceeds from the round will primarily go toward expanding Kiio’s sales and marketing efforts, as the company continues its effort to commercialize its software products.
—Fitchburg-based Rowheels has named Fred Mindermann as CEO, according to an e-mail from Rimas Buinevicius, company’s co-founder, chairman, and previous chief executive. Rowheels engineers rear wheels for wheelchairs that allow people to propel themselves by pulling back on rims attached to the wheels, instead of pushing the rims forward.
Mindermann grew up in Wisconsin, and most of his career stops have been in the healthcare industry. His specialties include physician referral programs and implementing software used to facilitate the payment of medical claims by insurers, according to Buinevicius’s e-mail.
—Janesville-based Shine Medical Technologies, which has for years been working toward domestic production of a crucial medical isotope, raised another $2.2 million from investors as part of a debt financing round that now stands at $29.3 million. Shine plans to break ground on a production facility near its headquarters later this year, where it eventually plans to manufacture molybdenum-99. That isotope is in turn used to produce technetium-99m, the most widely used radioisotope in medical diagnostic imaging.