Epic, OnKöl, Wicab, & ConjuGon: This Week’s Wisconsin Watchlist
An up-and-down week for Verona, WI-based healthtech giant Epic Systems highlights these recent headlines from the state’s innovation community:
—The U.S. Coast Guard has pulled out of an agreement to install Epic’s electronic health records software, Politico reported. “The decision was driven by concerns about the project’s ability to deliver a viable product in a reasonable period of time at a reasonable cost,” a spokesman for the Coast Guard said in a prepared statement. About a year ago, Epic reportedly refunded about $2.2 million of the original $14 million contract, which was awarded in 2010.
—Meanwhile, a jury ruled that India-based Tata Consultancy Services must pay Epic $940 million in damages for violating trade secret rules, Reuters reported. In October 2014, Epic sued Tata, alleging that its consultants working with Epic’s software stole thousands of documents containing proprietary information that could be used to improve Tata’s own healthcare software. Tata, which reportedly has more than 300,000 employees scattered across the globe, said it intends to appeal the decision.
—Milwaukee-based OnKöl took home the top prize in the “Safety and Health Monitoring” category of the Edison Awards. The startup’s flagship product is aimed at older adults and ties together myriad home and health monitoring devices. The awards, which are bestowed by Edison Universe, a Chicago-based nonprofit, honor “excellence in new product and service development, marketing, human-centered design, and innovation,” according to the organization’s website.
—Middleton-based Wicab has raised $2.4 million in an equity financing round that could climb as high as $10 million, according to a regulatory filing. The company’s “BrainPort” device allows blind people to, in a way, “see” the world around them by substituting touch for sight. Using a small camera fastened to sunglasses, the device converts video signals to electronic impulses that are felt on the user’s tongue. In January, the startup disclosed that it had raised $975,000 from investors.
—More funding news: Madison-based ConjuGon raised $375,000 in a financing round of debt and equity that could exceed $5.7 million, a new SEC filing shows. Among the products the firm is developing are conjugation-based drugs to fight bacterial infections of the skin and other soft tissues that are resistant to antibiotics. According to the filing, the company’s official name is “CONJUGON INC”; however, on its website it appears to be doing business as Atterx BioTherapeutics.
—Cellectar Biosciences (NASDAQ: CLRB) said it raised $8 million in a public stock offering. In a press release, Cellectar president and CEO Jim Caruso said the money “positions the company to execute our operating plan to achieve a number of meaningful milestones,” which include a phase 1 clinical study of a therapeutic Cellectar is developing to treat multiple myeloma. Last month, Cellectar announced a 1-for-10 reverse stock split, meaning stockholders were given one share for every 10 company shares they owned.
—Madison-based AkitaBox, whose software allows users to access and edit documents containing data on buildings and the machines inside of them, raised $1.1 million in seed funding. The round was led by Rock Oak Capital Partners, which is an investing arm of Practice Velocity, a Machesney Park, IL-based healthtech company. AkitaBox CEO and co-founder Todd Hoffmaster told Xconomy his company is concentrating on adding customers in three main industries: healthcare, education, and property management.