Published in Finance

Capital raises bring pair of Genesis Innovation-backed startups closer to market

BY Sunday, June 21, 2020 06:02pm

GRAND RAPIDS — New capital investments involving existing investors will bring two health care startups backed by Genesis Innovation Group LLC closer to the market.

Investors recently committed $650,000 to HAPPE Spine LLC, a Grand Rapids-based startup developing and commercializing a porous, bioactive material for orthopedic implants. The investment capital came from existing financial backers of HAPPE Spine that include the Holland-based Genesis Innovation Group and its venture capital fund, Cultivate(MD), plus individual private investors, said Genesis CEO Rob Ball.

Another company formed by Genesis Innovation Group, Genesis Software Innovations LLC, raised $427,230, according to a recent filing to federal securities regulators. The capital investment for Genesis Software also came from existing investors, Ball said.

HAPPE Spine uses a material developed by Ryan Roeder and researchers at the University of Notre Dame that allows for the full or partial construction of artificial bone applications. HAPPE Spine is developing a device for spinal fusion and expects to file an application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration by the end of the year to move into the marketplace, Ball said.

“This capital gets us to that moment,” he said.

HAPPE Spine previously raised about $2 million. As the company moves toward commercialization, it will need to secure additional capital, and to decide whether to go to market alone, pursue a strategic partnership, or sell the intellectual property, Ball said. 

“All options are on the table, but we’ve had significant, inbound strategic interests in the technology,” he said. “We’re open to a strategic partnership as well.”

At Genesis Software, the new capital raised from 15 investors will take the company up to the FDA application process. The company developed a software platform that leverages artificial intelligence to allow surgeons to better plan surgical procedures. Using CT or MRI imaging, the software provides measurements, information and a three-dimensional view of a patient’s anatomy that the surgeon can use prior to a procedure “to plan his intention and what to do to help correct” a condition.

“This is more about precise device decision making: Which exactly is the best device for the patient and where is it best placed to provide the best outcomes for the patient?” Ball said.

Genesis Software co-developed and tested the platform with a “significant group of surgeons,” Ball said. The company’s initial focus is orthopedic procedures, although it’s also looking at the software’s use in cardiac procedures and other applications, he said.

“We are in full development mode and we are, similar to HAPPE, filing (with the FDA) on the technology later this year,” Ball said.

The Genesis Software platform stems from Genesis Innovation’s prior involvement in IMASCAP SAS, a French developer of pre-operative software that was acquired in December 2017 by The Netherlands-based Wright Medical N.V. for $88 million. Kalamazoo-based Stryker Corp. (NYSE: SYK) is in the process of finalizing a $4 billion deal to buy Wright Medical this summer.

“We have some experience in what these types of products can do in the marketplace,” Ball said. 

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