Wisconsin Roundup: Illumina, Kohl’s, Arrowhead, TAI Diagnostics, & More

Xconomy Wisconsin — 

Here’s a collection of recent announcements by Wisconsin’s technology and innovation community:

—Wauwatosa-based TAI Diagnostics raised north of $6 million from investors in a seed funding round that could reach $8 million, according to an SEC filing. The company was a finalist in last year’s Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest. It’s developing a non-invasive test to monitor the health of patients who received organ transplants.

—Brookfield-based EmOpti raised $523,000 from investors, including Golden Angels Investors, an SEC filing shows. The company is developing software and hardware to boost the quality and efficiency of emergency healthcare.

—The FDA has granted Arrowhead Research (NASDAQ: ARWR) orphan drug status for ARC-AAT, its experimental RNAi drug currently in Phase 1 testing to treat liver disease associated with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (AATD), a rare genetic disorder affecting the liver and lungs. Pasadena, CA-based Arrowhead has its research and development operations in Madison, WI.

—Meanwhile, Arrowhead received approval to begin two additional Phase 2b trials of another one of its drug candidates, ARC-520, in Germany. The drug candidate was developed to treat hepatitis B. Arrowhead is also seeking the green light to add trial sites in Hong Kong and South Korea.

Arrowhead received FDA approval in April to start a Phase 2b trial of ARC-520 in the U.S., but at a lower dosage than the company initially proposed.

—Marquette University announced the 38 grant recipients of its new $5 million innovation fund. The projects include new academic programs, a proposed co-working space for university startups located in the campus Alumni Memorial Union, a 3D-printed implant for cleft palates, a pilot research project at the downtown Global Water Center, support for The Commons student startup accelerator, and more.

—Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS) unveiled its new “innovation center” on its corporate campus in Menomonee Falls. The retailer spent $75 million turning the 300,000-square-foot building into an open, collaborative space for hundreds of employees in IT, store design, purchasing, and supply chain operations, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

—Illumina (NASDAQ: ILMN) recently completed a 13,000-square-foot expansion of the facility of its Madison subsidiary, Epicentre. The company now occupies 40,000 square feet and employs around 70 people in Madison, a number that could grow to 90 by the end of the year, a spokeswoman told Xconomy.

The Commons, which helps Milwaukee-area university students form startups or work on research and development projects for local corporations, has moved into the Ward 4 co-working space owned and operated by Milwaukee venture fund CSA Partners. Other Ward 4 tenants include startup accelerator Gener8tor, Gener8tor grad Bright Cellars, OnKol, The Firm LLC, law firm Quarles & Brady, and CSA.

—Monona-based Shine Medical Technologies said that Argonne National Laboratory successfully completed a demonstration of Shine’s technology and process for producing medical radioisotopes. Shine intends to begin manufacturing the isotopes itself in 2018 at a planned facility in Janesville.