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WI Watchlist: Epic Systems, M-WERC, Nordic, Dianomi Therapeutics

Xconomy Wisconsin — 

It’s time to catch up on some recent headlines from Wisconsin’s innovation community:

—Dianomi Therapeutics, a Madison-based life sciences startup, said it received a $3 million investment from San Diego-based Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: LGND). The investment includes $2 million in equity funding and $1 million in convertible debt financing, according to a Dianomi spokesperson.

As part of the deal, Ligand said it will provide technical and scientific advisory services to Dianomi for a year, and it will receive a tiered royalty of 2 percent or 3 percent of net sales for the first five approved products that use Dianomi’s technology, which was developed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The startup aims to harness the natural properties of mineralized tissues, such as teeth and bones, to provide improved stability and controlled release of biologics and small molecule drugs, according to a press release.

—Epic Systems, the Verona-based electronic health records software firm, and its partner, Leidos, have lost a $624 million federal contract to provide healthcare appointment scheduling software to hospitals and clinics run by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. The contract was approved in 2015, but Epic has received word that the federal agency has now decided to award the contract to Epic’s competitor, Cerner (NASDAQ: CERN), the State Journal reported. Last year, Cerner won a 10-year, $16-billion contract to modernize the VA’s medical records system.

—The Mid-West Energy Research Consortium (M-WERC) announced several leadership changes. The Milwaukee-based organization named Dan Ebert executive director, taking over day-to-day management responsibilities from Alan Perlstein, who will remain the organization’s CEO through June. Ebert has been serving as managing director of M-WERC’s Madison office, BizTimes Media reported.

Meanwhile, Jacquin Davidson, managing director of M-WERC’s startup accelerator WERCBench Labs, will now also direct the organization’s Milwaukee office.

Read more about M-WERC in these Xconomy stories from 2014 and 2015.

—Madison-based healthcare consulting firm Nordic said it acquired Healthtech Consultants, a Canadian firm that marks Nordic’s first international expansion. The purchase price wasn’t disclosed. Nordic primarily focuses on helping hospitals and clinics install and configure software applications, and it’s known for its expertise in Epic Systems products. But it has also ventured outside of healthcare, such as through last year’s acquisition of part of management consulting firm The Claro Group.