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WI Watchlist: Baird, Exact Sciences, Somna Therapeutics, & More

Xconomy Wisconsin — 

Happy New Year, readers. To kick off 2019, here are some recent headlines from Wisconsin’s innovation community:

—The venture capital arm of Milwaukee-based Robert W. Baird & Co. is trying to raise $185 million for its fifth venture fund, according to a new SEC filing. The firm has yet to collect any of the money, the document shows.

Baird’s venture group said it pulled in $185 million for its fourth fund in 2014, surpassing its $150 million target.

—Germantown-based medical device company Somna Therapeutics has raised $1.7 million in a funding round that could reach $2 million, BizTimes Media reported. The investors include 30Ventures and Bascom Ventures.

In a December press release, Somna said the new funds will support a push for direct-to-consumer sales of the company’s Reflux Band, a neck-worn device designed to stop acid reflux affecting the throat and lungs. The product was only available via prescription until the FDA approved it for sale over the counter in May.

—Madison-based medical diagnostics firm Exact Sciences (NASDAQ: EXAS) is recruiting patients for several new clinical trials, according to a list on a federal website. Among them are trials aiming to find blood-based biomarkers for blood and skin cancers, and one that aims to evaluate whether Cologuard—the company’s FDA-approved, stool-based DNA test for colorectal cancer—is effective at screening for the disease in patients ages 45 to 49, a younger demographic than the product is currently marketed toward.

The Wisconsin State Journal has more details on the various trials. Click here for more Xconomy coverage of Exact.