HealthTech: Healing bone breaks; Cognition Therapeutics goes public; Reprogramming liver cells

  • MADISON, WI—Xudong Wang, a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, was inspired, if you will, when Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone in a game against the Vikings. He knew that much depended on a quick recovery for the three-time MVP. What resulted was Wang’s invention of a thin, flexible device that could be implanted to deliver a tiny bit of electricity to help bones knit together faster. After that, the device’s components dissolve within the body.
  • PITTSBURGH, PA—Ira Fox, professor of surgery at Pitt (The University of Pittsburgh Medical School), has demonstrated that he can regulate the production and function of proteins from human liver cells. The hope is that such gene regulation—in a sense, reprogramming liver cells—can substitute for liver transplantation. Fox and his colleagues have launched startup Pittsburgh ReLiver Inc., around their discoveries. After obtaining seed funding, they are now seeking additional investors that can help them prepare for human trials.
  • GOLDEN VALLEY, MINNESOTA—According to the Medical Alley Association’s quarterly investment report, more than $1 billion of mergers and acquisitions and more than $347 million of public and private capital to fund new developments fueled a strong first quarter in Medical Alley. Boosted by the return of the Angel Tax Credit Program (ATCP), 43 companies raised $109 million in private capital; $238 million was raised in the public markets.
  • PITTSBURGH, PA—Biopharmaceutical company Cognition Therapeutics Inc. is going public. The company, which is developing treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering to raise as much as $50 million.