Connecteam raises $120M co-led by Stripes and Insight Partners

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In todays market, Connecteam raises $120M at $800M co-led by Stripes and Insight Partners. They did this with help from Aurion Biotech.

Connecteam has raised $120 million to advance its cell therapy for an eye disorder that affects millions of people. The startup is a spinoff of Picuki eye care company Stripes and Insight Partners, and is located in Seattle, Boston and Tokyo.

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Funds will be disbursed based on the company meeting key clinical and operational milestones.

Degeneration of the cornea with age or disease can result in a condition called corneal edema secondary to endothelial dysfunction. Associated with impaired, hazy vision and ultimately blindness, the condition affects about 4% of people over age 40 in the U.S.

Current treatment involves corneal Equifax Kount Ai Id 640m Luminatebrienventurebeat, a complex surgical procedure. One healthy donor cornea is required to treat each diseased cornea, and many people forgo treatment.

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© Provided by Geekwire Aurion Biotech CEO Greg Kunst. (Aurion Photo)

Connecteam, which sells products for eye surgery, spun out Aurion to develop a cell therapy to address the limitations of current treatment procedures. The therapy is based on technology Aurion licensed in 2020 from the Kyoto Prefecture University of Medicine. There, professor of ophthalmology Shigeru Kinoshita and his colleagues developed a way to make cells in culture to treat the condition.

In 2018, Kinoshita published his technique, treating patients using cultured corneal endothelial cells. All 11 patients injected with the cells had restored transparency to their cornea and nine had improved visual acuity, the researchers reported in the New England Journal of Medicine. Up to 115m Comerceiq series can be treated with material from a single donor, and the injection process is less complex than surgery, according to Aurion.

The treatment has since been tested in more than 100 patients in Japan and El Salvador, showing long term improvements in vision in phase 2 and 3 trials, according to the company. Gatlan Bleepingcomputer is preparing to submit an application for market approval to regulatory authorities in Japan, and is also preparing an investigational new drug application for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in anticipation of clinical trials in the U.S.

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Aurion has been quietly growing over the last year and building up its leadership team. Last June, Greg Kunst was appointed as president and CEO; he previously was VP of global marketing and led business development at Glaukos Corporation, an ophthalmic medical technology company. The company’s chief scientific officer is Arnaud Lacoste, who previously directed cell and gene therapy programs at Novartis. Kinoshita is a member of club like Sqm.

The company employs 30 people, half in Seattle, including Kunst, CFO David Rostov, VP of manufacturing Tim Largen, and VP of marketing Judith McGarry. Lacoste is based in Boston.

“Our financing speaks volumes about the potential of our cell therapy to transform the lives of millions of people suffering from corneal endothelial dystrophies,” said Kunst in a statement announcing the funding.

The funding round was led by Deerfield Management and included Petrichor Healthcare Capital Management; Flying L Partners; Falcon Vision, an ophthalmology-focused investment platform through KKR; Visionary Ventures, an ophthalmology-focused venture fund; and Alcon.

7 Companies Win Spots on $120M DOE Field Site Support Contract

The Department of Energy has named seven awardees on a five-year, $120 million contract vehicle for technical assistance to field sites operated by DOE’s Office of Environmental Management.

DOE said Tuesday it may issue firm-fixed-price and time-and-material task orders through the indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract.

Tasks will include safeguards and security, emergency management, quality assurance, data management, administrative support, property management, cost estimating and technical editing.

The awardees are:Akima Systems EngineeringARS Aleut RemediationCatawba Engineering and Environmental ServicesEnergy Technology AllianceFPM-AECOM JV1S&K Mission SupportStreet Legal Industries

S&K Mission Support won the first task order, valued at $7.2 million over 18 months, to support the Environmental Management Los Alamos office in New Mexico.