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November 23, 2010

SEBIO Announces Winners of Annual Awards in Ceremony to Honor Top Regional Deals of the Year

Filed under: SEBIO News — admin @ 1:33 pm

Southeast BIO (SEBIO) announced the winners of the Fourth Annual SEBIO Awards in a ceremony held at its Twelfth Annual Investor Forum in Atlanta, Georgia on November 4th. The awards honored companies in the following categories: Southeast (SE) Deal of the Year: Initial Funding; SE Deal of the Year: Venture Capital Transaction, and SE Deal of the Year: Strategic Transaction. In addition, the organization awarded its SE Leadership Award to an individual or organization that made a notable contribution to the growth of the life sciences industry in the region over the last year. The winners were InVasc Therapeutics, Inc., TearScience, Inc., Alimera Sciences, Inc., and David Day of the University of Florida, respectively.

“Our SEBIO Annual Awards recognize those companies and individuals that are driving the growth of the Southeast region’s life sciences industry,” said former SEBIO Chair Garheng Kong, a General Partner with Sofinnova Ventures. “These success stories show the maturation of the industry in the Southeast and reflect very well on what is happening to those who have an interest in getting to know the region better. The SE Leadership Award, in particular, is a great way to highlight the role of individuals who really distinguish themselves by their unique contribution to our industry.”

InVasc Therapeutics, Inc. won the SE Deal of the Year: Initial Funding Award. InVasc was honored for its $3.15 million financing in July. The financing was led by Trois Investments Industriels Internationaux S.A., headquartered in Luxembourg. InVasc is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing drugs to treat or prevent cardiometabolic disease. The company is currently focused on advancing two lead drugs for chronic kidney disease and atherosclerosis.

TearScience, Inc. won the SE Deal of the Year: Venture Capital Transaction Award. TearScience was honored for its $44.5 million Series C financing in May. New investors participating were Essex Woodlands Health Ventures, Investor Growth Capital, and General Catalyst. The company’s existing investors, De Novo Ventures, Spray Ventures, and Quaker BioVentures, completed the round. TearScience has pioneered diagnostic and treatment devices for evaporative dry eye, providing significant clinical improvement. Of the more than 100 million dry eye sufferers worldwide, approximately 70 percent have evaporative dry eye caused by lipid deficiency of the eye’s natural tear film. TearScience’s integrated, in-office system is the first to enable eye care professionals to address the root cause of evaporative dry eye.

Alimera Sciences, Inc. won the SE Deal of the Year: Strategic Transaction Award for its initial public offering and venture debt raise totaling more than $100 million earlier this year. On April 21, 2010, Alimera (Nasdaq: ALIM) completed its initial public offering of 6.55 million shares of common stock, resulting in net proceeds to Alimera of approximately $68.4 million. In October, 2010, Alimera obtained a $32.5 million senior secured credit facility to help fund its working capital requirements. Alimera is a publically traded biopharmaceutical company that specializes in the research, development, and commercialization of prescription ophthalmic pharmaceuticals. Currently, Alimera’s main focus is on Iluvien, which is being developed for the treatment of diabetic macular edema.

“These award winners have achieved outstanding success in 2010 and it’s a pleasure to honor them,” said SEBIO 2010 Awards Committee member Aaron Davidson, Managing Director with H.I.G. BioVentures. “We have high hopes for them in the future and believe that these recipients are an example of the many strong companies we have in the Southeast.”

David Day, Director of the Office of Technology Licensing and Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator at the University of Florida, was honored for the SE Leadership Award. David was recognized for his substantial involvement in SEBIO and his leadership in the growth of the life sciences industry in the Southeast. David has played a critical role in strengthening the life sciences industry in Florida and proactively working to attract capital to the region’s emerging companies. He has served numerous roles within SEBIO, including Chair of the Investor Forum (2008), Chair of SEBIO (2010), and currently, Chair of the Standing SEBIO Investor Forum Committee.

Kanika Ghai, a postdoctoral fellow and intern in the Office of Technology Transfer at Emory University, was presented with the Martin Tilson Travel Award. Each year, SEBIO presents the Martin Tilson Travel Award to a student in the Investor Forum host state who shows promise in the life sciences industry and can benefit from attending the meeting.

The Fifth Annual SEBIO Awards Ceremony will be held during the 2011 Southeast BIO Investor Forum on November 2-3, 2011, at the Washington Duke Inn in Durham, NC. Further details will be posted on the SEBIO web site (

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