• Clinton Pinto posted an article

    Venture Capital vs. Bootstrapping: Brianna McDonald of Keiretsu Forum On How To Determine If Fundraising Or Bootstrapping Is The Right Choice For Your Startup

    Understand your capital-raising plan long term. see more

    Understand your capital-raising plan long term. Most companies are not going to exit in three to five years. The fundamental question to ask is, ‘how much will I need to get me through exit’ while understanding this number is going to change. You must work backwards from the exit-strategy, to work forward properly: if bringing in outside capital from investors you must understand how you will return that capital before you even start your fundraising processOnce you put the time and energy into this exercise you will have a proper framework to execute on.

    Founders are often faced with the nagging question of whether Fundraising or Bootstrapping is the best choice for them. What is better, having access to capital or maintaining full control over your vision and profits? What is preferred, to have the seasoned oversight of an experienced investor, or to plow forward with a disruptive and pioneering ‘can do’ attitude? Of course, every situation is different, but what standards can be used to help a founder decide? As a part of this series called “Venture Capital vs. Bootstrapping: How to Determine If Fundraising or Bootstrapping Is the Right Choice for Your Startup,” I had the pleasure of interviewing Brianna McDonald, president of Keiretsu Forum Northwest. Keiretsu Forum Northwest is a part of Keiretsu Forum, a global investment community of accredited private equity angel investors, venture capitalists and corporate/institutional investors. Keiretsu Forum members invest in high-quality, diverse investment opportunities. To date it has invested over $900 million in 2000+ companies. The community strengthens through its involvement in social and charitable activities.

    Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

    In2000 I was selling real estate for executive relocation for Microsoft, working specifically with its acquisition hires. In 2005, my fiancé Nathan McDonald had the opportunity to start up the Pacific Northwest chapter of Keiretsu Forum, part of what is now the world’s largest Angel investing group. Nathan invited me to see what went on in the investor meetings but at first, I balked. I wasn’t an investor. I was 26 at the time and intimidated. At the same time, I found it fascinating. It was exciting hearing about innovative companies, the entrepreneurs behind them, the pitch, and the potential market impact. I immediately caught the bug, but still had feelings of imposter syndrome. This went on for about a year before I finally raised my hand at a meeting and asked my first investor question. In 2018 I became president of the Keiretsu Forum Northwest Chapter. What a fascinating journey it has been.

    Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or takeaway did you learn from that?

    Like many beginners, I was so excited about my first angel investment of $25,000. I thought then that it would end up as my retirement plan! But the novice I was, I was passive and didn’t engage with the company or ask questions. In fact, I didn’t even read the quarterly reports. Luckily the company is still operating and going strong, and yes, I got my money out about three years ago. It took 12 years, but I made a 2X return. My retirement plan is still a work in progress.

    The major takeaway from that endeavor is, in investing, communication is everything. You need to ask questions. You need to have a clear line to the CEO. Back then I made the mistake of trusting the CEO 100%, I never challenged anything I was hearing. As it was, we missed the exit window.

    Early-stage investing is not something you do passively unless you’re putting money into a fund. As a private investor, you need to be active and engaged with your investments. Communicating early and often is paramount to understand not just the growth metrics, but also the macro and micro challenges facing the company. This is my #1 advice for how you drive ROI on your investments.

    You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

    1. Speak the truth. I don’t tell people what they want to hear, and I try to be 100% authentic in everything I show up to do. I think that my authenticity and my ability to be open and honest and show vulnerability are critical. That also means ask for help when you need it.
    2. Compassion. I am a servant leader who endeavors to treat everybody on my team as an equal; and empower them to execute and get done what they need to get done. People appreciate knowing where they stand. As a manager the greatest gift you can give is when people feel that you value their contributions, and you respect the time and energy they put into their work.
    3. Commitment. Commitment is a powerful word, if I make a commitment, there is nothing else that is more important than honoring that. We make a commitment to our members and to our portfolio companies to support them in the best way possible. That attitude drives and permeates everything we do within Keiretsu Forum. I think that “commitment to commitment” should be a hallmark of every organization.

    Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?

    Being named president of Keiretsu Northwest and transitioning from “member” and “wife of the Chairman’’ was a huge tipping point. There are so many lessons and takeaways that I’ve gained from the experience. Out of the gate I looked to improve processes that could make the organization more efficient. Getting full support from the member community was a huge confidence-builder.

    As I also found out, if you’re not doing the job, it’s hard to know what goes into the job. There were assumptions I made, where I thought it would be easy to iterate, fix, and do things differently. This was not necessarily the case once I got behind the scenes and started working on improving systems. Just because you have the title, don’t assume you have all the answers. Often you don’t realize how complicated it is to execute, and what the commitment will be. Understanding that gap has been transformative. I listen much more now and ask more questions. For me, curiosity and kindness are the best pathway to getting a broader depth of understanding.

    None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person or mentor to whom you are grateful who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

    Joe O’Neill, managing director, Sikich investment banking, has mentored me over the past 15 years. He is an original Keiretsu Forum charter member who I sat next to quite often during meetings and who was exceedingly kind to me. When I finally got up the courage to ask that first question, I was so nervous, my palms were sweating, and I was shaky. When I finally asked it, Joe leaned over sitting next to me and told me it was a good question. The validation in that moment is hard to put into words. I feel incredibly lucky to know him and his wife and family.

    You have been blessed with great success in a career path that many have attempted, but eventually gave up on. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path but are afraid of the prospect of failure?

    My outlook is there is no such thing as failure, only opportunities to gain experience and grow. The greatest lessons are when you fall flat on your face and pick yourself up again. If life were good all the time, and we never had anything bad happen to us, would we learn anything? This really holds true for investing; in this profession you need tough skin, and you need to be risk averse.

    Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the main part of our discussion. Can you share a story with us about your most successful Angel or VC investment? Or an investment that you are most proud of? What was its lesson?

    My first investment that I outlined above is still my most proud investment. This is the point where I broke my self-imposed glass ceiling. That was the catalyst. From there, the biggest lesson I learned is that I had a rightful seat at the table; and that my investing intuition, and knowledge about how and what to invest in, was just as viable as anybody else in the Keiretsu Forum group. I’ve never looked back.

    Can you share a story of an Angel or VC funding failure of yours? What was its lesson?

    Again, the lesson is things are harder than what they seem from the outside. I found that out the hard way with my attempt to start a consumer-focused business. We were going to design an online, direct-to-consumer yoga clothing line that yoga instructors would wear and endorse. Instructors and the studios would share in the profits, which we thought altruistic. There were no barriers to entry. But it was a highly competitive marketplace and the businesses ended up failing and I lost about $50,000. It wasn’t a bad business idea, but I underestimated the commitment, and having gotten pregnant with my third child, bad timing also was a downfall.

    Yoga is more of a lifestyle than it is about making money, so the aim was not to build a billion-dollar company on the backs of yoga instructors. Instead, it was to partner with them in the sales and profits. We got the clothing designed, imported fabric, had manufacturing in place, built out the financial projections, and initiated fundraising.

    But what about the $2 million valuation we gave ourselves, and how we thought it was so amazing to have this idea and think it was worth $2 million? Unfortunately, the valuation was just too high, for what we had it was stupid. In the end, any of the big retail brands could have switched to a direct-to-consumer model at the drop of a dime. The amount of capital required to build a brand was greater than I thought. The “channel conflict” between the yoga instructors and studio owners was another valuable lesson learned.

    Is there a company that you turned down, but now regret? Can you share the story? What lesson did you learn from that story?

    There are bad deals out there; and so many people who raise money, who shouldn’t raise money. The biggest lesson is that Investing is not emotional. They call it angel investing for a reason. Early-stage companies fail. When you fold a hand at poker you learn to just move on. In angel investing you will need to fold 80–90% of your hands. It’s a business transaction. So, I don’t have any regrets. Besides, it would be impossible for me to invest in every one of the 80–90 deals that come my way.

    Super. Here is the main question of this interview. Let’s imagine that a young founder comes to you and asks your advice about whether Venture Capital or Bootstrapping is best for them? What would you advise them? Can you kindly share “5 things a founder should look at to determine if fundraising or bootstrapping is the right choice”? If you can, please share a story or example for each.

    1. I love a good, bootstrapped company, and hate the new Shark Tank mentality of ‘I’m going to build this business, so I need to raise this much money.” This question should be, ‘what is better, raising capital, fundraising, or bootstrapping the company?’ There are myriad ways to sell off your company and get capital. One hundred percent of the time I will encourage the entrepreneur to bootstrap the company for as long as possible. It is up to that entrepreneur to hold onto the business, simply because they built it.
      Vita Inclinata, which develops and produces helicopter and crane load stabilization and precision hardware, is a great example. The founders bootstrapped for eight years until they got to working prototype, and from that point, cultivated the business plan and went out and did a raise. This approach shows me, when the time comes to finally fundraise, you know the value of a dollar, you know how to stretch it, and you’re completely bought into this business based on the time and capital you’ve personally invested. Even better, that gives me the confidence you can execute and maximize the money I invest into your company.
    2. Number two, bring on advisors to support growth. Business advisors are there to support the CEO and the founders of the company. These are not “attorneys” or “CPAs” specifically, but individuals you can tap for knowledge and advice who have been there, done that. These are people who can function as a point of reference and bounce ideas off as you work through the most difficult challenges. Most people don’t understand what it’s like to be an entrepreneur, having those people that you can trust and talk to and pick their brain, who are outside the company, is critical.
    3. Understand your capital-raising plan long term. Most companies are not going to exit in three to five years. The fundamental question to ask is, ‘how much will I need to get me through exit’ while understanding this number is going to change. You must work backwards from the exit-strategy, to work forward properly: if bringing in outside capital from investors you must understand how you will return that capital before you even start your fundraising processOnce you put the time and energy into this exercise you will have a proper framework to execute on.
    4. This is going to be a long-term relationship, do the proper research ahead of time so you can bring in the smart money. The ‘spray and pray’ approach to fundraising you see right now on LinkedIn is just not working for me. Take the time to understand your local investors and angels so you can determine who you really want on your cap table. Don’t just boldly reach out to a bunch of investors because you desperately need money. Instead, be strategic about the investors you bring in: can you leverage their network, will they provide access to private resources and support you, right alongside you? Oftentimes on LinkedIn I respond to people who are actively seeking funding but have no idea who or what I represent. If you are looking for dollars, please visit my website and look at my process.
    5. Read your term sheets and understand how they affect building out your capitalization table long term. A broken cap table with too many safes and convertible notes will hurt your opportunity to exit the company. Just because a safe note or a convertible note is a cost-effective way to raise money doesn’t mean it’s the best way to raise money. Leverage your general counsel and have good general counsel to ensure your deals are fair and balanced, and investors aren’t negatively implicated. These are long term relationships; most investors prefer equity which gives them greater stake in the deal. There are exceptions, but outside of Silicon Valley, most private investors don’t like safe notes.

    You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

    Empowering more than three percent of the U.S. population to fund innovation. Sadly, of that three percent, only one percent writes checks greater than $10,000. So, part of this movement would be encouraging more people who have built businesses, who are entrepreneurial, to give back and support innovation. Innovation helps make the world a better place, an endeavor that is a grander ideal, compared to a Paul Allen, Bill Gates, or even a Warren Buffett, where the model is to start charitable foundations and the like.

    We are very blessed that a lot of amazing founders and social impact organizations read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you’d like to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this. :-)

    Dave Matthews from the Dave Matthews Band has built an amazing business and organization from top to bottom. Even though he’s not a businessperson or one who “likes to do business.” He is the perfect example of a servant leader; you will find that the people who are with him have stayed with him since the beginning. He has seamlessly merged venues, merchandising, et al into one brand with appealing core values. I find him truly inspiring, and what he’s done makes me think how a similar, down-to-earth approach may be applicable to different businesses.


    Credit: Authority Magazine

    Main Article Link: https://bit.ly/3gzzf3r

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     August 26, 2021
  • Clinton Pinto posted an article

    Keiretsu Forum Global Investor Network Ranked #1 Angel Investor, U.S. Region, by The Angel Resource Institute 2020 HALO Report

    The Angel Resource Institute (ARI) 2020 HALO Report ranked Keiretsu Forum as the #1 angel group, U.S see more

    Keiretsu Forum Global Investor Network Ranked #1 Angel Investor, U.S. Region, by The Angel Resource Institute 2020 HALO Report based on the number of deals - lauds Keiretsu Forum’s leadership presence for both entrepreneurs and investors in key, localized markets.


    Keiretsu Forum is known by investors and entrepreneurs alike for its proven approach for originating quality deal flow and success in syndicating early and late-stage investment opportunities around the world.  According to the report, “This year Keiretsu Forum’s participation put them in the top position nationwide for a number of deals in 2020. They also have many chapters across the country – with direct leadership in each region.” 2020 was a banner year for Keiretsu Forum, with the organization achieving a record 300 + fundings (including follow-on fundings) into seed, early-stage, and late-stage companies in 2020. Deal activity increased approximately 16% compared to 2019. Keiretsu Forum deal flow and fundings continue to be diverse and across all technology sectors, prop-tech and Real Estate. Life Science, Medical Devices, Environmentally Sensitive/Aware; and solution-driven Technologies attracted a significant amount of capital.


    Keiretsu Capital, the exclusive worldwide fund partner of Keiretsu Forum, continues to be a top-tier funder of late-stage investment deals in the network. The 2020 Halo Report is based on an analysis of 2,198 transactions completed in 2020. The focus of the report primarily focused on Seed and Series A companies. These transactions represented a total of  $4.617B invested, of which $2.84B is clearly Seed or Pre-Seed, and $1.024B is Series A, A1, or a convertible note leading to a Series A. In addition to industry growth in general, the 2020 HALO report pointed to the increasing spread of investors across the US, and the need for angel groups to accommodate investors in those areas. Keiretsu Forum, which has recently launched a number of regional and localized chapters in emerging markets, now boasts 50+ chapters on four continents.


    About The Angel Resource Institute (ARI)

    Founded in 2005, The Angel Resource Institute (ARI) is a charitable organization devoted to increasing the effectiveness and availability of financial and mentor capital to entrepreneurs. The organization provides education, training, and information on best practices related to the earliest stages of angel investing and new venture development. Through its core competencies of research, data collection and analysis, ARI develops educational workshops, white papers, and toolkits for angel investors, entrepreneurs, and the entire startup community. The founders of the Angel Resource Institute include leading angel investors and entrepreneurs in collaboration with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

    About Keiretsu Forum

    Keiretsu Forum is a global investment community of accredited private equity angel investors, venture capitalists, and corporate/institutional investors. Keiretsu Forum was founded in 2000 by Randy Williams. Keiretsu Forum today is a worldwide network of capital, resources, and deal flow with 50+ chapters on four continents. Keiretsu Forum members invest in high-quality, diverse investment opportunities. To date, it has invested over $900 million in 2000+ companies. The community is strengthened through its involvement in social and charitable activities.

     August 18, 2021
  • Clinton Pinto posted an article

    Novel Treatment For Breast Cancer Shows Progress

    Novel Treatment For Breast Cancer Shows Progress see more

    REDMOND, WA, June 03, 2021 – Pattern Computer® Inc. is pleased to announce that the recently completed testing of a novel and newly developed candidate treatment for triple negative breast cancers has shown statistically significant positive results.

    The Pattern Computer team has developed a unique process in computational biology for discovering the genetic causes of a range of cancers, and is using this system to design new treatment regimens comprised of known drugs and therapies. The Pattern Discovery Engine™ (PDE) from PCI enables high- performance, distributed, heterogeneous computing, and exponential increases in complexity of analyzing multiple gene-level interactions and conditions that lead to a wide range of cancers.

    A prime objective of this Pattern Computer project is to discover the complex origin conditions and drivers behind the genesis of triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC). If successful, this could allow the discovery of effective treatments that could in turn be quickly and safely brought to clinical testing, and to the market. This subclass of breast cancer was chosen for its current dearth of targeted treatments. The ultimate goal of the PCI team is to reduce costs of treatments, increase the number of people who can be treated, to improve the standard of care, and to save lives.

    “Using off-the shelf, FDA-approved drugs dramatically decreases the cost and time to market of our solutions. National Lab testing has already validated that the drug cocktails we have designed address the interactive nature of the gene pathways we are seeing; in vitro, we can kill TNBC cells with little or no harm to healthy cells. The current report on our first cocktail candidate indicates that these drugs can work effectively together in select doses in mice. This type of approach may provide a major step forward in addressing a number of the devastating diseases afflicting people today,” said Mark R. Anderson, CEO of Pattern Computer.

    The Pattern Computer team discovered a large new constellation of genes correlated with the breast cancers being studied, using PCI’s PDE. The team then leveraged the PDE to analytically design 17 different new candidate cocktail treatments. Initial testing was done in organoids at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, winnowing the candidates list to two cocktails. The process was then moved to a world class private laboratory, where statistically significant positive results were achieved in animal tests.

    “Pattern has developed a new methodology for discovering and exploiting important pathways in tumors to design novel, precisely targeted therapeutic cocktails. Making use of published datasets in conjunction with a proprietary knowledgebase on approved drugs, Pattern has identified combination therapies that, in preclinical trials, have shown efficacy against models of recalcitrant tumor types, and have demonstrated remarkable safety profiles. Pattern’s innovative and unique approach to AI-driven computational biology stands to significantly reduce the time to market of novel cancer therapies, to improve the quality of life relative to chemotherapeutic treatments, and, ultimately, to save lives,” said Prof. J. Ben Brown (UC Berkeley & Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory).

    The testing process will continue, evaluating the safety and efficacy of this new treatment at varying dosage amounts and durations. A second, different PDE-derived cocktail for the same disease is still in animal testing.

    PCI is currently using the PDE to obtain results in breast, prostate, ovarian, lung, and colorectal cancers, with other diseases in process. One of the primary goals of the Pattern Computer team is to reduce the time and high costs required to analyze the origin conditions that allow the growth of cancers, and then to develop novel treatment options in days or weeks, rather than in years. The world has recently seen impressive reductions in time to market for life-saving vaccines, and PCI is driving this same type of step change in applying new computing and analytical techniques to solving some of the most vexing problems in the areas of genetic oncology.

    The foregoing contains statements about the Pattern Computer’s future that are not statements of historical fact. These statements are “forward looking statements” for purposes of applicable securities laws, and are based on current information and/or management’s good faith belief as to future events. The words “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “project,” “should,” “could,” “will,” and similar expressions signify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements should not be read as a guarantee of future performance. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve inherent risk and uncertainties, which change over time, and actual performance could differ materially from that anticipated by any forward-looking statements. Pattern Computer undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement.  

    About Pattern Computer

    Pattern Computer, a Seattle-area startup, uses its proprietary Pattern Discovery Engine to solve the most important and most intractable problems in business and medicine. Its proprietary mathematical techniques can find complex patterns in very-high-order data that have eluded detection by much larger systems.

    While the company is currently applying its computational platform to the challenging field of drug discovery, it is also making pattern discoveries for partners in several other sectors, including additional biomedical research, materials science, aerospace manufacturing, veterinary medicine, air traffic operations, and finance.

    For more information on Pattern Computer Inc., visit: https://www.patterncomputer.com

    For more information about Mark Anderson, visit: https://www.patterncomputer.com/founders/

    Credit: https://www.patterncomputer.com/news/novel-treatment-for-breast-cancer-shows-progress/

  • Clinton Pinto posted an article

    New View Surgical, Inc. Announces FDA Clearance of its VisionPort™ System for Minimally Invasive Surgery

    New View Surgical, Inc., received clearance from the U.S. FDA for its VisionPort™ System see more

    The VisionPort™ is the first surgeon-controlled, multi-camera laparoscopic visualization system.


    BOSTON, MA - June 22, 2021 New View Surgical, Inc., a medical device company developing proprietary imaging and access technologies for minimally invasive surgery (MIS), announced today that it received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its VisionPort™ System. The VisionPort™ imaging and access system simplifies laparoscopic procedures for hospitals and provides surgeon-controlled visualization. Its dual-camera design offers multiple, simultaneous views of the anatomy and surgical instrumentation­­­­ – unavailable with conventional laparoscopic systems. The VisionPort puts the most advanced visualization technology more readily in the hands of customers and is intended to be used in a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures within the thoracic and abdominal cavities. It is adaptable to a wide variety of surgical environments, representing a significant market opportunity.


     “The VisionPort System allows the surgeon to control the scope and keeps the tip of the instruments within the field of view at all times. This has significant potential to make the operation easier for the surgeon and reduce risk to the patient,” commented David Earle, MD, FACS, Director of the New England Hernia Center and Associate Professor of Surgery at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, MA. “Additionally, the VisionPort provides multiple, simultaneous views of the operative field. Previously, changing the viewing angle was only possible by removing the laparoscope and moving it to another port, frequently wasting time and causing frustration. Furthermore, the VisionPort eliminates a separate incision and the need for a surgical assistant to hold the scope. The elimination of the camera port and assistant means surgeons and hospitals can expand access to the operating room without increasing staffing requirements. This increased efficiency is good for the surgeon, the facility, and most importantly, the patient.”


    Added Dr. Earle, “It’s been exciting to collaborate with the New View Surgical team during the development of the VisionPort. Not only will this technology allow more patients to access minimally invasive surgical techniques, but it will also make many high volume procedures easier for surgeons to perform.”


    “FDA clearance of the VisionPort is a significant milestone for New View Surgical. We’re excited to bring revolutionary technology to market that supports our overall mission to improve the outcomes and efficiency of laparoscopic surgical procedures, all while increasing patient access to minimally invasive surgical techniques worldwide,” said Bryce Klontz, President & CEO. “The FDA clearance process for the VisionPort was completed in less than 90 days. We are incredibly pleased with the timeline as we can now move ahead with the next stages of company development and commercialize this exciting technology.”  


    credit: http://newviewsurg.com/news-events.html

  • Clinton Pinto posted an article

    LumiThera Announces Valeda Treatments Improve Vision and Retinal Function in Top Line Data from the ELECTROLIGHT Pilot Study in Dry AMD patients

    LumiThera Inc., announced the final topline data from the ELECTROLIGHT pilot study. see more

    SEATTLE, July 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- LumiThera Inc., a commercial stage medical device company offering a photobiomodulation (PBM) treatment for ocular damage and disease, today announced the final topline data from the ELECTROLIGHT pilot study in intermediate dry AMD patients. 

    A total of 23 eyes from 15 subjects with Dry AMD were enrolled into the prospective clinical study and treated with PBM using the Valeda® Light Delivery System (3 times per week for 3 weeks). Eight Caucasian males and seven females were enrolled with a mean age of 75.1 years (65-93 years). The mean time since AMD diagnosis was 5.0 years (0-14 years). Subjects were tested for safety and functional vision improvements using the Diopsys electroretinogram (ERG) device. ERG is a diagnostic test that measures the electrical activity of the retina of the eye in response to a light stimulus. All subjects were tested at weekly intervals for ERG function prior to the start of the next week of PBM treatments. The study followed the patients out to 6 months. The study was conducted by Dan Montzka, M.D. and Larry Perich, D.O. at the Perich Eye Center (New Port Richey, Florida).

    Multi-luminance Electroretinogram (ERG) Magnitude AUC improved by 14.4% from baseline after completion of the Month 1 treatment and showed a 9% improvement at 6 months in the ITT population. A positive correlation between multi-luminance ERG and best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was seen (p < 0.05) following initial PBM treatment. Positive correlations between multi-luminance ERG and fixed luminance (R = 0.870) and chromatic ERG outcomes (R = 0.676) were also reported in the Month 1 interim analysis.

    Subjects showed approximately 12.8 ± 0.98 letter improvement in BCVA at Month 6 compared to BL scores. Mars Contrast Sensitivity (CS) also showed improvement from BL to Month 6 at 40 cm (0.202 log + 0.02), 80 cm (0.197 log + 0.02) and 120 cm (0.28 log + 0.03).

    "Valeda provided statistically significant and sustained improvements in BCVA, CS and multi-luminance ERG function from baseline out to Month 6 time point following 9 PBM treatments," stated Dan Montzka, M.D. "Diopsys multi-luminance ERG is an early, sensitive and quantitative measure of visual dysfunction in dry AMD patients."

    "The study further confirms previous LIGHTSITE I and II studies that the Valeda Light Delivery System improves visual function," stated Larry Perich, D.O. "The subjects were very pleased with the results of their treatments and no safety issues were seen."

    Diopsys ERG testing is a powerful and quantitative diagnostic that can be coupled with LumiThera's PBM treatments to characterize early patient benefits on visual function," indicated Joe Fontanetta, CEO, Diopsys. "These results of this work will allow physicians to diagnose, treat and monitor patients and provides physicians a solution for a disease with limited treatment options."

    "We are strong supporters of treating degenerative disease early to slow the progression of vision-threatening disease." stated Clark E. Tedford, Ph.D., President and CEO, LumiThera, Inc. "The key in chronic ocular disease is early diagnosis, treatment and monitoring and we hope studies such as this pilot pave the way to a more preventative approach. The patients in the ELECTROLIGHT study are similar in demographics as the LIGHTSITE III US study in terms of time from dry AMD diagnosis, AREDs use and age. Previously, we reported the US LIGHTSITE III dry AMD trial fully enrolled 100 subjects in 1Q of 2021 and is continuing to move forward with the 13-month efficacy timepoint for all patients in 1Q of 2022."

    About AMD

    AMD is a leading cause of vision loss for people age 65 and older.  Losing central vision can make it harder to see faces, drive, or do close-up work like cooking or fixing things around the house.  The overall prevalence of AMD is estimated to increase 7-fold with age, from 4.2% in those aged 45–49 years, to 27.2% in those aged 80–85 years. Globally, the prevalence is estimated to increase by 20% between 2020 (195.6 million) and 2030 (243.3 million).

    About Diopsys

    Diopsys, Inc. is a leader in modern visual electrophysiology medical devices that help eye care professionals analyze the entire visual pathway for visual and neuro-visual disorders. The company provides both Visual Evoked Potential (VEP) and Electroretinography (ERG) vision testing technology. It is this technology that powers Diopsys, Inc.'s medical devices – the Diopsys® NOVA, Diopsys® ARGOS, and Diopsys® RETINA PLUS ERG and VEP Vision Testing System product series and the Enfant® Pediatric VEP Vision Testing System.

    About LumiThera Inc.

    LumiThera is a commercial-stage medical device company focused on treating people affected by ocular damage and disease including dry age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness in adults over 65. The company is a leader in the use of PBM for treatment of visual disorders. The company is commercializing the office based Valeda Light Delivery System to be used by eye care specialists as medical treatments.

    The Valeda Light Delivery System has been granted authorization to use the CE Mark by an EU Notified Body as required for commercial use in the European Union only. Valeda is not approved for use by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in the USA.



  • Clinton Pinto posted an article

    Kineta Announces Patent Issuance for U.S. Patent Covering Composition of Matter of KCP506, a Novel Non-opioid Therapy for Chronic Pain

    Kineta Inc, has received a patent for Modifications and Uses of Conotoxin Peptides from the USPTO see more

    Seattle, WA -- (August 10, 2021) Kineta Inc, through its subsidiary Kineta Chronic Pain LLC, announced today that the company has received Patent No. 11,014,970 for Modifications and Uses of Conotoxin Peptides from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) related to KCP506, the company’s novel non-opioid therapy in development to treat chronic neuropathic pain. Among other claims, the patent covers the composition of matter of KCP506.

    “The allowance of this patent in the U.S. substantially strengthens our intellectual property position, an important milestone for KCP506’s development and potential commercialization,” said Kineta Eric Tarcha, PhD., EVP Research and Development at Kineta. “With a significant need for an effective therapy to treat chronic neuropathic pain, KCP506 has the potential to provide a non-opioid treatment option with a novel drug mechanism relative to conventional pain therapies.”

    A Notice of Allowance is issued after the USPTO makes a determination that a patent should be granted from an application. The patent will have a term that expires no earlier than 2035.


    KCP506 may potentially be an effective treatment for many types of chronic neuropathic pain including radiculopathy, chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, and diabetic neuropathy. The global neuropathic pain market was $6.3 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach to $9.9 billion by 2027.

     August 10, 2021
  • Clinton Pinto posted an article

    Healionics raises $4.7M equity round to support commercialization of STARgraft vascular graft

    The company also announced the conversion to equity of $5.2M in previously outstanding notes see more

    SEATTLE, May 13, 2021 -- Healionics Corporation, a private medical device company, announced today the completion of a $4.7M equity financing round led by Keiretsu Capital. The company also announced the conversion to equity of $5.2M in previously outstanding notes and interest.

    Healionics is preparing to commercialize its innovative STARgraft vascular graft, designed to provide a safer and more reliable means to access the bloodstream for dialysis in patients with kidney failure.  An initial human study was completed last year, and a follow-on human study is now in progress.  The financing will be used to complete this study and obtain FDA market clearance.

    "We appreciate the strong support in this round by existing shareholders and welcome the participation by several new angel and venture investor groups," said Mike Connolly, Chief Executive Officer of Healionics.  "We are targeting early next year for commercial launch of STARgraft.  This novel synthetic blood vessel, based on our proprietary STAR biomaterial technology, has the potential to improve the lives of dialysis patients by reducing the frequency & severity of infections and the frequency of interventions required to maintain dialysis access."

    About Vascular Grafts
    More than 500,000 people in the United States suffer from kidney failure and require frequent dialysis to filter waste from their blood.  Current methods of creating and maintaining regular bloodstream access for dialysis are unreliable and account for a significant portion of the $50 billion spent each year on U.S. kidney-failure patients.  A vascular graft (synthetic blood vessel) is often implanted to create an access site with a sufficient flow rate for dialysis, but conventional grafts can develop life-threatening infections and frequently develop blockages that require expensive interventions.

    About Healionics Corporation
    Healionics is a clinical-stage company addressing the critical need for safer, more reliable means to access the bloodstream for dialysis in patients with kidney failure.  Its STARgraft vascular graft is designed to resist the problems of infection and occlusion suffered by current devices.  The company also has an exciting product pipeline based on its platform STAR® biomaterial, which has a unique ability to resist both infection and scarring, two problems that affect all implanted devices.  www.healionics.com

    SOURCE Healionics Corporation

  • Clinton Pinto posted an article

    Wells Fargo Private Bank Named National Sponsor for Global Angel Investment Group, Keiretsu Forum

    Keiretsu Forum welcomes Wells Fargo Private Bank as a national sponsor. see more

    Keiretsu Forum welcomes Wells Fargo Private Bank as a national sponsor. Keiretsu Forum is a private, global investment community with over 3,000 members in 55 Chapters across 4 Continents; this partnership will elevate awareness of the investment opportunity in early-stage companies.

    SAN FRANCISCO, June 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Keiretsu Forum is pleased to announce the addition of Wells Fargo Private Bank as a national sponsor. Wells Fargo Private Bank joins a prestigious group of companies and organizations worldwide to provide financing and resources to the angel investing ecosystem.

    Keiretsu Forum is the world's largest angel investor network. The organization is known by investors and entrepreneurs for a proven approach for screening deals, rigorous due diligence, and syndicating investment opportunities. According to Pitchbook's 2020 Annual Global League Tables, Keiretsu Forum is the U.S. Region's #1 and #2 Most Active in Late and Early Stage investments. 

    "Last year was a banner year for Keiretsu Forum with the organization achieving a record of 314 fundings (including follow-on funding) into seed, early-stage, and late-stage companies," says Randy Williams, Founder and CEO of Keiretsu Forum. "As we look at early returns for Q1 and the addition of Wells Fargo Private Bank as a national sponsor, we are optimistic for another banner year in 2021."

    About Keiretsu Forum

    Keiretsu Forum is a global investment community of accredited private equity angel investors, venture capitalists and corporate/institutional investors. Keiretsu Forum was founded in 2000 by Randy Williams. Keiretsu Forum today is a worldwide network of capital, resources, and deal flow with 50+ chapters on four continents. Keiretsu Forum members invest in high-quality, diverse investment opportunities. To date it has invested over $900 million in 2000+ companies. The community is strengthened through its involvement in social and charitable activities.

    Additional information may be found at www.keiretsuforum.com 

    Investment and Insurance Products are:

    • Not Insured by the FDIC or Any Federal Government Agency
    • Not a Deposit or Other Obligation of, or Guaranteed by, the Bank or Any Bank Affiliate
    • Subject to Investment Risks, Including Possible Loss of the Principal Amount Invested

    About Wells Fargo Private Bank

    Wells Fargo Private Bank and Abbot Downing, a Wells Fargo businesses, provide products and services through Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Member FDIC, and its various affiliates and subsidiaries. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., is a bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.

    About Wells Fargo

    Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a leading financial services company that has approximately $1.9 trillion in assets and proudly serves one in three U.S. households and more than 10% of all middle market companies and small businesses in the U.S. We provide a diversified set of banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through our four reportable operating segments: Consumer Banking and Lending, Commercial Banking, Corporate and Investment Banking, and Wealth and Investment Management. Wells Fargo ranked No. 30 on Fortune's 2020 rankings of America's largest corporations. In the communities we serve, the company focuses its social impact on building a sustainable, inclusive future for all by supporting housing affordability, small business growth, financial health and a low-carbon economy. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.