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The Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse Starts 2009 With Investment Momentum

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse (PLSG), the premier life sciences seed and early-stage investor in western Pennsylvania, has surpassed the $13 million mark in committed investments. The PLSG's $13.2 million in direct investments in nearly 60 companies has attracted over $400 million in additional capital for the region. The PLSG continues to propel the growth of western Pennsylvania's life sciences economy by enabling the commercialization of promising life sciences technologies through its Investment and Executive Programs.

"Since hitting our $10 million investment milestone in the spring of 2008, we have continued to prime the commercialization pipeline and have made 25 additional investments, nine of which were in new companies," said John W. Manzetti, PLSG President & Chief Executive Officer. "As each of us is aware, the current business climate and funding market are very uncertain. Everywhere you look, read and listen there are warnings about the scarcity of capital and the continued downturn of the economy." Mr. Manzetti continued, "Accordingly, we have made adjustments to our plan so that we can continue to evaluate, help develop and invest in additional promising life sciences innovations, while we help secure the sustainability of our existing portfolio companies."

The nine new company investments include; Biomed Research & Technologies, Inc., Blacktown NC LLC, Caliber InfoSolutions, Inc., Chronic Health Metrics, Circadiance LLC, Complexa, LLC, Flexicath Ltd., NeuroInterventional Therapeutics, Inc. and Wright Therapy Products.

Biomed Research & Technologies, Inc. is a therapeutic company developing products based on its proprietary "pro-lipid" technology. Pro-lipid technology stimulates the body's own skin cells to produce the full complement of skin lipids necessary to maintain the optimum barrier function of the skin. The Company's products are being developed for the OTC and Rx skin care markets. The pro-lipid technology helps improve barrier functions in a number of places including the oral cavity and bladder.

Blacktown NC LLC is a spinal disorder treatment company in Mercer County developing rehabilitation solutions through innovative medical devices. The Accelerated Flexion/Extension Table/Therapy (AFXT(TM)) is a computer controlled rehabilitation table that will make a revolutionary difference in management of lower back pain by combining physical therapies with the latest robotic control methods into a new therapeutic approach. AFXT(TM) is currently in clinical trials at Cleveland Clinic (CCF) for FDA approval.

Caliber InfoSolutions, Inc. is a healthcare information technology company featuring CaliberLIMS(TM). It was designed using cutting edge web technologies to help pharmaceutical and biotech companies comply with stringent international regulatory norms like FDA 21CFR PART 11, GLP, GAMP, etc. CaliberLIMS(TM) ensures regulatory compliance and increases quality output in the laboratory. About 90% of the current user companies are USFDA certified pharmaceutical companies and CaliberLIMS(TM) has successfully passed through the FDA audits.

Chronic Health Metrics is a disease management company specializing in the application of statistical monitoring tools for the management of patients with serious mental illnesses. The company's patent-pending core product CHTrac_1(TM) is used as a proprietary monitoring and crisis alert service for managing the risk of relapse in 3 million patients with schizophrenia. Chronic Health Metrics' innovation lies in its ability to quantify changes -- i.e., variability -- in the individual patient that signal relapse before serious symptoms develop. Clinical trials are underway in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Circadiance LLC is a medical device company that has developed a new cloth mask for use with commercial CPAP devices for treating obstructive sleep apnea. Unlike existing products, this patent pending mask naturally contours to the face, is soft and pliable, and is extremely comfortable, for more restful sleep. In tests, patients found it superior to all other sleep apnea masks.

Complexa, LLC is a biopharmaceutical company developing a new class of drug molecules to address conditions characterized by underlying inflammation and dysregulation of metabolism. The Company's lead program targets Type 2 diabetes with the potential to expand indications into the treatment of multiple aspects of dysmetabolic syndrome.

Flexicath Ltd. is a medical device company that has a finalized product, FDA approval and is now launching sales in U.S. and global markets. Flexicath develops and manufactures sterile catheter insertion systems that address catheter related blood stream infection control issues. The Company's first product, the FirmGrip(TM) System, is a soft, mini-midline catheter maintained in a complete sterile field to help prevent contamination during insertion -- potentially removing the need for an external sterile field (draping) -- with proprietary Flexicath features to facilitate the insertion procedure.

NeuroInterventional Therapeutics, Inc., is a medical device company that designs and manufacturers advanced systems to dissolve, remove, and/or find, trap and extract blood clots in a wide range of cerebral vessels, and where necessary deliver therapeutics to the diseased site after clot removal. NeuroInterventional Therapeutics' catheters can enable physicians to extend the applicability of interventional procedures to a wide variety of clinical conditions. The Company's catheters are designed to improve clinical outcomes, permitting more complex procedures to be performed interventionally and by reducing treatment times.

Wright Therapy Products manufactures and distributes a full line of products that reflect the Company's commitment to truly effective treatment of edema and circulatory disorders. The Company's prime products are compression therapy devices and the patient interface garments that are integral to the system.

Summary of PLSG Accomplishments to Date:

  • The PLSG has invested $13.2 million directly into 57 companies to help leverage over $400 million in additional capital.

  • The PLSG has assisted 283 clients/companies through its Executive-in-Residence program.

  • The PLSG has invested $15.2 million in venture capital funds to help leverage an additional $110 million in total funding.

  • The PLSG's SBIR Advance program has assisted nearly 100 companies with their federal grant strategies. To date, these companies have received over $14 million in federal grant funding.

  • The PLSG has provided 27 early stage companies and venture capital and life sciences organizations with office and laboratory space in our incubator.

  • The PLSG has assisted 13 life sciences companies with relocating to our region and is working with other companies who would like to establish operations in southwestern Pennsylvania.

  • The PLSG has leveraged $2.4 million in federal grant money to help provide core and customized life sciences specific workforce training to over 6,000 trainees since September, 2005.

  • The PLSG has helped create 5,000 jobs directly/indirectly including university faculty and facilities. (400 jobs created in invested companies and 1,200+ jobs in PLSG active companies/clients)

  • 28 executives have participated in the PLSG EIR program: seven are currently active at PLSG and 17 former EIRs remain in the region.

  • The regional life sciences company formation rate has increased from 2-3 per year to 15-20 new companies per year.

About the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse (PLSG)

The Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse (PLSG) provides capital investments and customized company formation and business growth services to our region's life sciences enterprises. The PLSG supports biosciences companies with promising innovations in the following concentrations: Biotechnology Tools, Diagnostics, Healthcare IT, Medical Devices and Therapeutics. The PLSG is propelling the sustainable growth of western Pennsylvania's life sciences economy by accelerating research and technology commercialization with seed and early-stage companies; connecting investors with their Investment Portfolio companies; expanding established life sciences ventures and relocating biomedical companies to Pennsylvania.

SOURCE Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse
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