Ascent Medical Technology Fund I Portfolio
Bioenergy Inc. was a biotechnology company focused on the development and global commercialization of high value products from the D-Ribose (a simple five-carbon sugar) family for nutritional, medical and pharmaceutical use. Ribose is found naturally in the body and is the carbohydrate backbone of RNA, DNA and ATP.
Bioheart, Inc. was a biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of adipose-derived stem cell based therapy products for the treatment of cardiovascular disease including myocardial infarction and congestive heart failure.
Comedicus, Inc. manufactured and marketed a cardiovascular device developed to enable the direct delivery of current existing therapeutic and diagnostic devices and drugs to the pericardial space surrounding the heart. This represented a unique opportunity in three cardiovascular markets: the two billion-dollar electrophysiology market, the ten billion-dollar drug delivery market and the four billion-dollar instrumentation market.
Enhanced Living Technologies, Inc. designed, developed and marketed assist devices for persons whose physical capabilities have been restricted either by age or disease.
First Circle Medical, Inc. was a biotechnology/device company that manufactured and marketed patented techniques and technologies to treat patients with infectious diseases (AIDS/Hepatitis-C) and certain cancers. The company applied the science of hyperthermia and used its technology to heat the blood of affected patients in order to increase the core body temperature to 108 degrees F without killing the patient.
InLet Medical, Inc. was sold to Cooper Surgical in 2005, for an initial down payment with a subsequent earnout paid in 2007. This investment provided the Fund with an exceptional return.
Lifespex, Inc. The Fund co-invested with Johnson & Johnson Development. At that time, Lifespex had developed and just completed Phase II testing of their patented platform technology designed to diagnose cancer at a very early stage, using light to fluoresce tissue. The primary focus of the company was in the twenty billion dollar a year uterine cancer diagnostic market. Current technologies (PAP and Thin Layer PAP) require the specimen to be sent out to a lab and may take up to two weeks to get results, with the results often incorrect. The Lifespex device uses light to excite tissue. Reflected light from the tissue is sent back to the device and is converted, real time, into an image that a physician can read in his office, so that the patient can be informed immediately of the diagnosis. The company felt that accuracy of 98% could be achieved.
Enova (Micronet), Inc. The Fund invested $1.26 million in July of 2001 at a time when the company had just completed the development of an innovative neurosurgical device to alleviate pain. The funding was used to complete the clinical testing and begin marketing the device. Within three years, the company successfully sold the neurosurgical device to Advanced Neuromodulation Systems Inc., which was subsequently acquired by St. Jude Medical at a nice profit for the Fund.
Surgical Connections, Inc. developed an innovative and patented surgical device that is designed to connect any two contiguous sections of tissue through an endoscope. Depending upon the diameter, length, and compression of the spiral connector, the device can be used to sew tissue together (heart by-pass, tissue anastomosis) or restrict or decrease the opening or diameter of an organ. The first indication for the product was to reduce the diameter of the bladder neck opening in patients suffering from urinary stress incontinence.
Urometrics, Inc. was a women's healthcare company that developed and was marketing innovative, non-invasive and patient controlled medical devices to treat conditions that are not effectively treated by drugs or surgical intervention. The company's primary focus was treating female sexual dysfunction (FSD) and urinary urge incontinence (UI). We led the company's first preferred round and had as co-investors Johnson & Johnson Development and Tyco.
Uromedica, Inc. has developed and is marketing patented devices for both men and women that are self-contained, long term, post-operatively adjustable and fully implantable treatments for urinary stress incontinence (USI). USI affects over twenty million Americans and treatment modalities create a six billion-dollar market. In spite of all the advances in technology there still does not exist another simple, non-destructive, reversible and adjustable treatment.
Uromedica's ACT and pro-ACT devices give physicians the opportunity to implant patients in an office environment so that they gain urinary control, demonstrated in over ninety percent of these patients. The company has gained approval to market the devices in the international markets and is completing U.S. clinical trials. The low cost of this therapy compared to currently available therapies will result in rapid adoption. The company continues to pursue FDA approvals.
Viacell, L.L.C. is a biotechnology company that addressed one of the largest problems in the eight billion-dollar per year transfusion medicine market: the ability to store fresh platelets and red blood cells. Current technology allows for the safe storage of platelets for no more than five days and red cells for thirty. During this time interval, the viability and function of the platelets and red cells decreases geometrically. In the case of platelets, by day five, the platelets have less than five-percent viability. Viacell developed a patented technology that increases shelf life of platelets to seven days and further increases viability from five percent at day five to sixty percent at day seven.