Epic, Wellbe, WARF, & Arrowhead: This Week’s Wisconsin Watchlist
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an undisclosed sum. Stratatech said its core skin replacement product, StrataGraft, is in late-stage clinical trials, though an approval decision may not come from the FDA until 2020. Mallinckrodt spokeswoman Rhonda Sciarra said in an e-mail that the company currently expects Stratatech, which has about 50 employees, to continue operating in Madison.
—Researchers at the UW-Madison’s nursing and medical schools plan to conduct a pilot study on how concussions affect the academic performance of young athletes, the university said. Traci Snedden, a postdoctoral fellow at UW-Madison who is co-leading the study, says that compared to the pro and college levels, there’s relatively little attention being paid to head injuries in youth sports. Last October, Greg Landry, a physician at UW Hospital and Clinics, co-authored a paper from the American Academy of Pediatrics that addressed the relationship between tackling and head injuries in youth football.
—Mequon-based Smart Choice MRI, a chain of imaging centers that charges patients a flat rate of $600 or less for scans, said it plans to open its first location outside of the Midwest next year. The news comes amid an aggressive growth period for Smart Choice, which just this year announced plans to move into Illinois and Minnesota. The company has been raising money to fund the expansion, including rounds of $3 million in February and $7 million in May.
Smart Choice also said that it has brought on Roland Wikstrom to serve as its president and chief operating officer. Wikstrom’s career has included stops at Citigroup and BMO Harris Bank, Smart Choice said.
—NASA has selected Sierra Nevada Corp.—which is based in Sparks, NV, and is the parent company of Madison-based Orbital Technologies, aka Orbitec—to design and develop a prototype for a “deep space, long-duration, human habitat” that could go to Mars and other space destinations, the company said in a press release. The habitat will likely include Orbitec-developed systems for propulsion and environmental control, said Mark Sirangelo, Sierra Nevada’s vice president of space systems, in the release. Sierra Nevada acquired Orbitec in 2014 for an undisclosed amount.
—Zurex Pharma, which is developing antimicrobial products for hospital-associated infections, raised $6.2 million from 26 investors as part of a Series C funding round. The equity financing will be used in part to support a late-stage clinical trial of a pre-surgical skin preparation, which the company calls ZuraPrep. Zurex has raised more than $16 million since 2012, according to documents filed with federal securities regulators.
—More funding news: Madison-based EyeKor raised $600,000 in equity financing from five investors. EyeKor’s flagship product, known as Excelsior, is cloud-based software intended to assist researchers with collecting and interpreting ophthalmic data. One source of that information is clinical trials of therapeutics for ocular diseases, according to company materials. Chief operating officer Gary Leatherberry says EyeKor plans to use some of the money to add staff and further develop its software platform.
—Rabble, a Madison-based startup that’s seeking to turn libraries into hubs for local music, teamed up with the Seattle Public Library to launch a collection called PlayBack, Rabble co-founder and CEO Kelly Hiser wrote in an e-mail. PlayBack, the third service using Rabble’s open-source MUSICat software that’s gone live, debuted with 50 albums from Seattle-area musicians, Hiser wrote. Rabble plans to co-launch more new sites this year, including one with the Nashville Public Library.