Funding New Companies

 PatientStream, a new company that developed an innovative electronic patient tracking system for hospitals, has received $500,000 in funding from the W Fund and partners. The W Fund is a $20 million private venture fund focusing on earliest-stage investments in technology-based start-up companies doing research in the State of Washington.

The system is being used in more than 50 departments across UW’s Medical Center, Harborview Medical Center, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and Northwest Hospital. In an outpatient department at Harborview Medical Center, patient satisfaction improved by 25 percent after implementing PatientStream which actively monitors patient wait times, so that when a patient waits too long, an alert is sent to a team member who will expedite the patient’s visit.

CEO Ben Andersen developed the technology with Peter Ghavami at UWs Harborview Medical Center and co-founded PatientStream with COO Keith Strekenbach. “We have improved our efficiency of operations by 90 percent which means that surgeries now start on time 80 percent of the time,” said Don Millbauer, Director of Perioperative Services at Harborview Medical Center.

Clearside Biomedical Inc., an Atlanta based ophthalmic pharmaceutical start-up company launched from research at Emory University and Georgia Tech, recently received $7.9 million in funding to continue drug and technology development for the treatment of ocular diseases. The new funding is in addition to a $4 million venture capital investment received by Clearside Biomedical in early 2012 that served as the foundation for the start-up company. 

Santen Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd in Osaka, Japan will fund Clearside’s technology development and has entered into a research collaboration agreement for posterior ocular diseases. Santen along with new investor Mountain Group Capital and affiliates joins current investors Hatteras Venture Partners in Durham, the Georgia Research Alliance Venture Fund, and the University of North Carolina’s Kenan Flagler Business School Private Equity Fund. 

Clearside is developing microinjection technology that uses hollow microneedles to precisely deliver drugs to a targeted area at the back of the eye. If the technique proves successful in clinical trials and wins regulatory approval, it could provide an improved method for treating diseases including age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma, as well as other ocular conditions related to diabetes.

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