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Cleveland Clinic Spin-Off Receives $4 Million Infusion


Posted by mddiadmin on January 1, 2007

In late December, Cleveland Clinic announced the formal launch and funding of CSF Therapeutics, a spin-off company that develops technologies to fight neurodegenerative diseases. Venture capital firm Norwich Ventures (Cambridge, MA), which specializes in medical devices, is investing $4 million in the company.

Coburn

CSF Therapeutics—whose name represents an acronym for cerebral spinal fluid— has invented a device designed to maintain adequate blood flow to the brain in patients experiencing a buildup of excess cerebral spinal fluid due to trauma from a stroke or head injury. CSF says that the device, which is still in the development stage, also has applications for a number of other neurological disorders, including dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and hydrocephalus, which is a condition associated with swelling of the brain. By increasing blood flow to the brain, CSF says, the device offers the promise of alleviating or reversing some adverse neurological conditions.

“The launch of CSF Therapeutics presents a significant opportunity to develop new medical devices and therapies to treat neurodegenerative diseases for which there have been limited treatment options to date,” said Christopher Coburn, executive director of CCF Innovations, the technology commercialization arm of Cleveland Clinic. “We are pleased that Norwich has invested in this exciting technology and are looking forward to an outstanding partnership.”

Sandoski
Norwich's Sandoski: Investing in a stepping stone.

Aaron Sandoski, managing director of Norwich Ventures, says, “We've spent a lot of time looking at neuro companies and research, and we're excited by this one because it's establishing a new field in neuroscience. Neurodegenerative disorders affect millions of people worldwide and represent a vast area of unmet therapeutic need.”

Due to advances in imaging technology, neurologists are learning more about brain anatomy and functioning, which offers great promise in understanding and treating neurodegenerative disease, Sandoski says. He describes CSF Therapeutics' new device as the first of many. “It's the stepping stone to numerous other applications—and success,” he says.

The patent-pending CSF device was invented by Mark Luciano, MD, PhD, head of pediatric neurology at the Cleveland Clinic, and Stephen Dombrowski, a researcher. Luciano will chair CSF Therapeutics' scientific advisory board, which will provide guidance on medical research relevant to the company's product development initiatives. Tim Moran, senior commercialization officer for CCF Innovations, will become president of CSF Therapeutics.

CSF Therapeutics is the 18th company to be spun off by Cleveland Clinic, which will maintain a financial stake in the venture.

© 2006 Canon Communications LLC

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