Wisconsin Roundup: Epic, Exact Sciences, Semba, Wicab, & More

Xconomy Wisconsin — 

With the holidays behind us, it’s time to catch up on some recent news in the world of Wisconsin technology and innovation:

—Madison-based Semba Biosciences raised $511,175 from investors, according to a new SEC document. Investors have put at least $2.4 million into the company since it was founded in 2005, SEC documents show. Semba makes instruments and reagents that researchers use to purify biomolecules and chemicals.

—Madison-based Exact Sciences (NASDAQ: EXAS) said the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will pay $492.72 for Medicare patients who take Exact’s stool-based DNA test for colorectal cancer. That’s lower than earlier plans for a $502 reimbursement rate, but Exact CEO Kevin Conroy said the company is “pleased” with the final figure.

On Jan. 2, the day of the announcement, Exact stock closed at $26.79 per share, down from $27.60 at the opening bell. The stock was trading around $26.11 per share this morning.

—Epic Systems, the fast-growing health records software leader, unveiled details of the latest expansion of its Verona headquarters, near Madison. Like previous construction projects, the new buildings in Epic’s fifth campus expansion will have a whimsical theme, this time paying tribute to famous literature like “The Wizard of Oz” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

The plans call for five office buildings totaling 500,000 square feet, the newspaper said. Epic employs more than 8,000 people.

—Monona-based Shine Medical Technologies and Phoenix Nuclear Labs have signed an agreement in which Shine will fund additional refinements to Phoenix’s neutron generator technology, and Phoenix will be the exclusive supplier of the neutron generators that Shine will use to manufacture the medical isotope molybdenum-99. Shine is planning to construct a production facility in Janesville, a project aimed at helping to solve a looming medical isotopes shortage.

The supply agreement comes as no surprise. Shine is a spinoff of Phoenix, both of which were founded by Shine CEO Greg Piefer. The two companies are currently housed in the same Monona facility and have had a research and development partnership for the last five years.

—Middleton-based Wicab is suing two former employees for patent infringement, alleging the pair left the company and started a business based on technology similar to Wicab’s, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. Wicab makes the BrainPort, a device that “translates digital information from a video camera into gentle electrical stimulation patterns on the surface of the tongue,” according to its website. The technology is meant to assist blind people.