University of Rochester spin-off secures $2 million in funding

iCardiac Technologies, Inc., a company formed earlier this year to commercialize leading cardiac safety technologies developed at the University of Rochester Medical Center, has received $2 million in Series A funding. The financing round was led by Trillium Group and included an investment from the New York State Common Retirement Fund.

iCardiac Technologies previously entered into an exclusive agreement with the University of Rochester to license and commercialize technology and unique biomarkers that enable pharmaceutical companies to more effectively determine whether a drug poses cardiac risks. Cardiac safety has become a major concern for pharmaceutical companies during the last several years, highlighted by headline-grabbing stories about the withdrawal of several popular drugs from the market after they were linked to cardiac events. The technology also has a number of extension opportunities, including medical devices and diagnostic applications.

The New York State Common Retirement Fund invested in iCardiac Technologies through a fund managed by Trillium Group. Additionally, two other funds managed by Trillium Group, the University Technology Seed Fund and Lakefront Partners III, participated in the financing round.

"We are pleased to support an upstate technology company that is based on university research," said Alan Hevesi, New York State comptroller. "It is one of the goals of the New York State Common Retirement Fund to invest in young companies that offer the possibility of strong financial returns while supporting job growth and economic development in the state."

José Coronas, a general partner with Trillium -- a venture capital fund targeting growth and expansion opportunities across New York -- said the investment would allow iCardiac to grow both its workforce and its business.

"We are delighted to lead this investment," Coronas said. "This is cutting-edge technology being commercialized by an experienced management team – the formula for success."

The core technology of the company was developed by the University's Heart Research Follow-up Program. The program, funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, is an international leader in the science of heart arrhythmias and a rare genetic condition associated with an abnormal QT interval, called the congenital Long QT Syndrome (LQTS).

"The formation and success of iCardiac is a perfect example of how medical research at the University of Rochester Medical Center can serve as a catalyst for regional economic growth," said Bradford Berk, M.D., Ph.D., CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Mikael Totterman, chief executive officer of iCardiac Technologies, said the company is now well positioned to serve its pharmaceutical customers and partners, as well as to expand its sales and research efforts.

"We are extremely pleased with the results of the financing efforts and appreciate the strong validation of our business direction from the financial community," Totterman said.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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