Shine, BrightStar, Understory & More: This Week’s WI Watchlist

Catch up on the latest news from Wisconsin’s innovation community with these recent headlines:

—Shine Medical Technologies completed construction on an 11,400-square-foot prototype production facility, where it will train workers and test its particle accelerator-based technology for producing a radioisotope used in diagnostic medical imaging procedures. The company said that this summer, the facility “will be used to house the first integrated, full-size Shine production system” and in the long term will serve as a technology development center.

Later this year, Shine plans to begin construction on a full-scale, 57,000-square-foot nuclear plant for making the isotope, molybdenum-99, and go into full production there by 2020.

—Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ARWR), which is headquartered near Los Angeles but houses its R&D operations in Madison, received regulatory approval to initiate a clinical study of a drug it’s developing to treat chronic hepatitis B virus. Arrowhead said the New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority cleared the company to proceed with the trial, which is slated to kick off next month in that country.

—The BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation announced two new investments in Wisconsin software companies. BrightStar said it invested $210,000 in ImageMoverMD, a Middleton-based startup that develops digital tools that allow healthcare providers and patients to transmit pictures and videos taken with mobile devices securely, and in a way that doesn’t violate patient privacy laws. The foundation also said it invested $50,000 in Milwaukee-based Ideawake, which makes software that lets employees at medium- to large-sized organizations suggest and receive feedback on ideas for new products and initiatives.

—Lucigen, a Middleton-based manufacturer and distributor of genomic kits, enzymes, reagents, and other life sciences research tools, was acquired by U.K.-based LGC for an undisclosed sum.

—Madison-based Stratatech enrolled the first patient in a clinical study of a genetically engineered human skin designed to heal the sores and wounds many people with diabetes get on their feet. Stratatech, a subsidiary of the British pharmaceuticals giant Mallinckrodt (NYSE: MNK), said the skin tissue Stratatech will use in the study builds on some of the same technologies the company pioneered in developing StrataGraft, its flagship skin replacement product.

—Understory, a weather technology startup based in Madison, received a patent for a sensor it developed consisting of a stainless steel ball that can detect rain, wind, hail, and other forms of precipitation. Understory said it uses the data its sensors collect to better understand how weather events cause property damage. That information can in theory help improve the bottom line of insurers, farm owners, and other groups that use Understory’s tools.

—Madison-based Cellular Dynamics International will provide stem cells to its corporate parent Fujifilm as part of a new partnership between that company and Takeda Pharmaceutical. Under the agreement, the financial terms of which were not disclosed, Takeda gets the global commercialization rights to therapies that use stem cell-derived heart muscle cells developed by Cellular Dynamics.

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