Published in Finance

Two Kalamazoo life science firms seek millions in investor capital

BY Sunday, May 29, 2016 11:02am

KALAMAZOO — Life sciences startup Innovative Cardiovascular Solutions LLC of Kalamazoo netted $1.4 million so far in a push to raise up to $7 million in Series B capital. 

The company is one of two Southwest Michigan life sciences firms currently raising millions from investors.

The funding will support clinical trials scheduled to begin this fall in Europe on the company’s Emblok Embolic Protection Catheter designed for use in aortic valve replacement surgery. The company aims to seek European regulatory approval in early 2017, said CEO Kevin Plemmons.

Innovative Cardiovascular Solutions initially sought to raise $5 million in Series B capital from investors. After that period expired March 31, the company made a new filing with federal securities regulators to raise up to $7 million.

“We essentially extended our raising period,” Plemmons told MiBiz. “We thought if we extend it, let’s just get a little more money if we need it. It’s always better to have more than not enough.”

The $1.4 million raised as of May 17 came from 23 investors, according to a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Developed by Dr. William Merhi, an interventional cardiologist at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids specializing in structural heart procedures, the Emblok Embolic Protection Catheter collects debris in the blood during a heart procedure.

The device protects vessels that supply blood to the brain, preventing an embolism during a trans-aortic valve replacement procedure. An embolism or obstruction in an artery during the procedure can cause a patient to have a stroke or neurocognitive issues.

To date, Innovative Cardiovascular Solutions has been funded primarily by angel investors and a network of colleagues and friends of its founders, Plemmons said. They eventually hope to sell the device and have been involved in a dialogue with potential “major strategic” buyers, he said.

“They have been very interested in what we’re doing,” Plemmons said. “We’re in the right space at the right time.”

The other firm that’s currently fundraising, new Kalamazoo-based firm called Octeta Therapeutics LLC, told the SEC in a filing this month that it has raised nearly $16.4 million toward a $20 million goal in an equity offering. The capital came from 21 investors.

In the SEC filing and a February business registration the company filed with the state, Octeta Therapeutics lists as its principals several individuals who are involved in Kalamazoo-based Metabolic Solutions Development Co., which is developing compounds to treat diseases connected to metabolic dysfunctions.

Principals listed in the SEC filing include retired MPI Research Inc. CEO Bill Parfet of Kalamazoo, Van Andel Institute CEO David Van Angel, and former Perrigo Co. Chairman and CEO Mike Jandernoa.

Metabolic Solutions, which last year began raising $25 million to $35 million in capital, has targeted compounds that could treat kidney, liver, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, as well as Type 2 diabetes.

A spokesperson for Metabolic Solutions wrote in an email to MiBiz that the company planned to make an announcement soon. 

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