Exact, WARF, Murfie, Microbes, & More: This Week’s WI Watchlist

Keep up with the latest news from Wisconsin’s innovation community with these recent headlines.

—Madison-based Exact Sciences (NASDAQ: EXAS), whose flagship product is a stool-based screening test for colorectal cancer, issued a recall of 15 pieces of equipment used to mix stool samples in preparation for testing at the company’s lab. According to the FDA, the defect posed no immediate danger of death or other serious injury.

—Exact also announced that it is selling 7 million shares of stock at $35 per share. The underwriters of the stock offering have the option to purchase up to 1.05 million additional shares, Exact said, bringing the total potential cash haul to more than $281 million. The company plans to use some proceeds from the offering to fund product development, add more laboratory space, and increase manufacturing capacity.

—The Neenah-based Winnebago Seed Fund raised $11 million from investors. The fund is part of the Badger Fund of Funds, a public-private program aimed at supporting startups in the state.

Another “recipient” fund created under the fund-of-funds program, the Idea Fund of La Crosse, raised an additional $4 million from investors, according to a press release. That comes on top of the $8 million that the fund said it had raised in February.

—A federal judge upheld a 2015 ruling from a jury that ordered Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) to pay $234 million in damages to the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation for infringing on a patent held by the foundation. WARF, which manages patents and licensing of intellectual property for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said Apple may appeal the decision. WARF had filed its own post-trial motion requesting that U.S. District Judge William Conley consider changing a ruling—and in effect triple the award amount—but Conley rejected the request.

—Separately, WARF was granted 168 “utility” patents in 2016, sixth-best among the world’s universities. That’s according to a ranking by the National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association. Utility patents include “materials, processes, functions, and devices,” WARF said.

—Madison-based Stratatech, which is developing cell-based human tissue for treating burns, enrolled the first patient in a Phase 3 clinical trial of its flagship product, StrataGraft. The announcement came about a month after the company said it had begun enrolling patients in a Phase 2 clinical study of StrataGraft that’s targeting a slightly different patient population.

—Serial entrepreneur Matt Younkle and Adorable founder Jim Remsik have joined forces to launch Cardigan, a digital business card app. It took less than a year for the co-founders of Madison-based Cardigan, with help from Adorable employees, to create software that allows users to exchange contact information using their smartphones.

—One of Younkle’s previous ventures is Middleton-based Murfie, an online music marketplace that turns users’ collections of compact discs and vinyl records into a digital music library accessible from anywhere. Murfie recently raised about $660,000 in equity funding, said David Guinther, a general partner at WISC Partners, which led the round.

—Milwaukee-based Health Snaps is one of five startups currently participating in the NMotion accelerator program in Lincoln, NE, according to the entrepreneurship blog Nibletz. Health Snaps, which was previously known as Health Connection, makes software that lets healthcare providers send instructional videos, messages, and other media to their patients. The NMotion program reportedly kicked off on May 8 and will end Aug. 10.

—Health Snaps was one of 13 startups that gave pitches on Tuesday as part of the … Next Page »

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