Personal Genome Diagnostics closes $75 million financing round

Personal Genome Diagnostics, a Baltimore-based cancer diagnostics company, has raised $75 million to expand access to genomic testing for cancer patients.

The Series B financing round was led by pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb and existing investor New Enterprise Associates with contributions from Inova Strategic Investments, Co-win Healthcare Fund, Helsinn Investment Fund, Windham Venture Partners and the Maryland Venture Fund.

Douglas Ward, CEO of Personal Genome Diagnostics, or PGDx, described the new funding and test development as an “important next step in our effort to empower the fight against cancer.”

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Baltimore-based Harpoon Medical acquired for $100 million

Harpoon Medical, a Baltimore-based medical device company, has been acquired by Edwards Lifesciences Corp. for $100 million.

Under the deal, Harpoon, which is developing a device for minimally invasive heart surgery, will become part of California-based Edwards while retaining its West Camden Street offices. All 18 of Harpoon’s employees are joining Edwards.

The acquisition, which closed Dec. 1, stems from a structured financing agreement Harpoon struck with Edwards in 2015. In that deal, Edwards made an investment of undisclosed value in Harpoon’s research and development efforts in exchange for the option to acquire the company after completion of key clinical trials in Europe.

Harpoon’s device is a less invasive alternative for mitral valve repair, designed to shorten the duration of the procedure and recovery period.

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Aledade raises $23 million in new funding round

Aledade, a health technology startup that works with doctors to analyze patient data and coordinate care, has raised $23 million in a new funding round, according to a securities filing. It’s part of a $28 million offering. Venrock, Biomatics Capital and other existing investors were part of the latest round.

Why it matters: Farzad Mostashari, the former top health care technology official in the Obama administration, co-founded Aledade in 2014 and has raised $97.5 million to date. The company clearly has attracted interest from doctors who want to create so-called accountable care organizations and structure new payment contracts with Medicare and private health insurers.

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Maryland Venture Fund Announces Successful Raise of its New Fund with $25 Million of Committed Capital

Columbia, MD – The Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), through its Maryland Venture Fund (MVF) program, today announced the closing of the Maryland Innovation Opportunity Fund I with $25 million of committed capital. The Maryland State Retirement and Pension System is the sole investor for this fund.

The fund will target new investments led by pioneering entrepreneurs building innovative technology, healthcare and life science companies in Maryland. The fund is sector and stage agnostic.

“We appreciate the Pension System’s trust and confidence in our team,” said George Davis, CEO of TEDCO. “We are committed to delivering both outstanding returns to the Pension System as well as growing the economy in Maryland through the success of our portfolio companies.”

“This new fund is an important milestone in the turnaround and re-invention of the Maryland Venture Fund,” said Andy Jones, Managing Director of the Fund. “We have built a new team of experienced operators and investors. Now the job in front of us is to deliver top-quartile returns to the Pension System and in the process, build the next generation of great businesses in the State of Maryland.”

In 2017, MVF invested in Optoro, Personal Genome Diagnostics (PGDx), Graybug Vision, and StayNTouch. In addition, MVF is pleased to launch its Operating Partner Network. The Operating Partner Network is comprised of a highly selective group of seasoned executives with expertise in strategy, technology, finance, sales and marketing. MVF portfolio companies will now benefit from the experience of executives in the Operating Partner Network.


Optoro Is Building A Billion-Dollar Business Helping Companies Cope With A Glut Of Rejected Stuff

In Optoro’s 300,000-square-foot warehouse outside Nashville on a stiflingly hot afternoon in late August, Susan Cohan scans the bar code on a cardboard box holding 97 pink crocheted bikinis. The tops were priced at $27.99 and the bottoms at $19.99 at one of America’s best-known big-box retailers. But the suits had failed to sell. Optoro’s software tells Cohan to route the box to Bulq.com, a website run by Optoro that sells in bulk to mom-and-pop dollar outlets and online discount stores. The bikinis will fetch 20% of retail, says Tobin Moore, Optoro’s 35-year-old cofounder and CEO. “People aren’t going to be buying bikinis in September,” he notes.

Those bathing suits and the 50,000 other boxes of returned and rejected stuff sitting in Optoro’s warehouse represent a pounding headache for retailers and manufacturers. Of the $3.3 trillion Americans spent on merchandise in 2015, they returned 8%, or $260 billion worth, according to the National Retail Federation’s most recent figures. That doesn’t count items, like the pink bikinis, that never leave store shelves.

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Aledade and Founder Farzad Mostashari Featured in NYT

Winfield, Kan. – If you watched the drama in Washington last month, you may have come away with the impression that the American health care system is a hopeless mess.

In Congress, a doomed plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s health care law, has turned into a precarious effort to rescue it. Meanwhile, President Trump is still threatening to mortally wound the law — which he insists, falsely, is collapsing anyway — while his administration is undermining its being carried out.

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Weather Analytics Raises $17 million in Series B Funding

Washington, DC – Weather Analytics, the leading provider of weather and predictive risk software for the insurance industry, announced today that global insurers Tokio Marine HCC and W. R. Berkley Corporation together have funded a $17 million Series B financing round. With the new capital, Weather Analytics’ total funding now exceeds $30 million.

“This financing will accelerate scientific and technical innovation that vastly improve decision support in risk selection, pricing and policyholder services for insurance companies across the globe,” said Bill Pardue, Chairman & CEO of Weather Analytics. “Established providers are charging insurers too much and delivering too little. Weather Analytics is disrupting that equation.”

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Aledade Raises $20 Million to Grow Value-Based Care Network

Bethesda, Md. – Aledade, Inc., a national leader in value-based care, today announced it raised an additional $20 million in funding. This funding will accelerate Aledade’s efforts to grow its provider network and expand partnerships with commercial and Medicare Advantage health plans. The round is led by Biomatics Capital, with participation from new investors including GV (formerly Google Ventures) and the Maryland Venture Fund, and existing investors Venrock and ARCH Venture Partners.

Aledade’s Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are at the forefront of the shift to value-based reimbursement across both public and private payer health care markets. After doubling last year, the Aledade ACO network now includes more than 200 independent, physician-led practices across 15 states that together represent more than 240,000 covered lives and $2 billion in health care spending. In addition to its work with the Medicare Shared Saving Program (MSSP), Aledade has expanded its payment contracts with commercial payers (such as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield) and public payers (such as the West Virginia Public Employees Insurance Agency).

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BrainScope Launches the Ahead 300 for Objective Assessment of Mild Head Injury, Including Concussion

Ahead 300 Offers Objective, Configurable Panel of Capabilities at the Point of Care

Company’s First Commercial Product to Ship in Q1

Bethesda, MD – BrainScope Company, Inc. announced today the market release of its flagship Ahead 300 product, and will initiate a limited launch to a select group of thought leadersthrough its Centers of Excellence program later in the first quarter. These institutions will represent a cross-section of market segments including Urgent Care Clinics, Concussion Clinics, Emergency Medicine Departments, and University and Professional Sports. BrainScope will also be selling the Ahead 300 to various branches of the U.S. military and government.

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