WI Watchlist: Epic, Shine, Venture Investors, Stratatech & More

Xconomy Wisconsin — 

It’s time to catch up on some of the latest happenings across Wisconsin’s innovation communities:

—Shine Medical Technologies said it struck a deal to receive $50 million in financing from funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management. The money will support the ongoing construction of Shine’s medical isotope production facility in Janesville, as well as Shine’s efforts to commercialize diagnostic and therapeutic isotopes, the company said. Last November, Shine announced a $30 million Series B funding round from undisclosed investors and a separate deal with Deerfield Management to receive up to $150 million in financing that would be doled out in stages, based upon Shine hitting certain milestones.

—Venture Investors (VI)—the oldest and largest venture capital fund in Wisconsin—announced it closed its latest investment vehicle, a $75 million healthcare-focused fund. VI had been eyeing up to $100 million for the fund.

The venture firm, based in Madison and Ann Arbor, MI, said it has also opened a Milwaukee office and added Joe Amaral, most recently the vice president of surgical innovation at Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), as Venture Investors’ chief medical and scientific advisor.

The first four investments from VI’s new fund are in Madison-based Invenra, Corona del Mar, CA-based ViaLase, Ann Arbor-based HistoSonics, and Louisville, CO-based Eximis Surgical.

—Mallinckrodt (NYSE: MNK) announced top-line results from a pivotal Phase 3 trial of StrataGraft, an investigational regenerative tissue developed by the company’s Madison-based subsidiary Stratatech. The UK-based life sciences firm said the 71-patient study met both of its primary endpoints in testing the efficacy and safety of a single application of StrataGraft in treating deep, partial-thickness thermal burns. Mallinckrodt plans to submit a biologics license application for StrataGraft to the FDA in the first half of next year, according to a press release.

—Fasetto, a tech startup based in Superior, closed a $14 million financing deal, according to a document filed with the SEC. The round was a mix of equity funding and a convertible note, the document shows. The company’s main product is software designed for sharing documents and presentations to nearby devices during business meetings. Read past Xconomy coverage of Fasetto here and here.

—More than a year after Epic Systems paused its near-perpetual construction of buildings on its headquarters campus near Madison, the electronic medical records software giant is planning a new expansion, BizTimes Media reported. Epic filed a wetland disturbance permit application with the state’s Department of Natural Resources, requesting to fill or relocate more than 2 acres of wetlands, the publication reported. In the filing, Epic reportedly said it plans to hire up to 1,200 people in the next few years and would need an unspecified amount of new office space.

Xconomy reported in July 2018 that Epic was pausing construction at its headquarters for the first time in 15 years. The company employs about 10,000 people worldwide, including 8,500 at its Verona headquarters, BizTimes reported.

—The Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer (MACC) Fund pledged $25 million—the largest gift in the nonprofit’s history—to the Medical College of Wisconsin and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. The money will fund initiatives to battle pediatric cancer and blood disorders, including scientific research, development of healthcare delivery methods, and investments in people, programs, and “infrastructure” to advance new therapies, according to a press release.

—A new coalition of large Milwaukee-area employers wants to double the number of local tech workers by 2025. Accenture (NYSE: ACN), Advocate Aurora Health, Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI), Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS), Northwestern Mutual, and Rockwell Automation (NYSE: ROK) have together made an initial commitment of more than $5 million to the nonprofit MKE Tech Hub Coalition, which will support programs and organizations that help attract and retain tech talent.