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Cleveland Clinic Foundation Spin-Off Raises $6 Million To Develop Treatments For Atrial Fibrillation


3/1/2006 11:20:44 AM

CLEVELAND, Feb. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Symphony Medical Inc., a Cleveland Clinic spin-off company, recently raised more than $6 million in equity funding to develop treatments for atrial fibrillation and other ailments.

A successful biopharmaceutical company with offices in Cleveland Clinic's Innovation Center, Minnesota, and California, Symphony will use the funding to increase its staff size, complete clinical trials, and introduce a new product in Europe aimed at preventing atrial fibrillation after surgery.

The company's latest financing round included a new investor, Triathlon Medical Ventures, and existing investors, Morgehnthaler Ventures, Domain Associates, and Guidant Compass Group. The last round for the company raised more than $5 million in 2003

"One reason Cleveland Clinic created the Innovation Center was to help companies establish the right relationships with the right clinicians and key investors to improve patient care," said Chris Coburn, Executive Director of CCF Innovations, the Clinic's technology transfer and commercialization arm. "We're pleased that we could help Symphony identify a new investor, Triathlon Medical Ventures, to lead this round and ensure that it continues its groundbreaking efforts in fighting atrial fibrillation."

Following Cleveland Clinic's creation of a new atrial fibrillation center last year, Symphony expanded its growing business onto Cleveland Clinic's campus by establishing a presence in the hospital's highly regarded Innovation Center to collaborate more closely with the Clinic's world-class clinicians.

The decision to expand into the Innovation Center paid off, according to Symphony's CEO and co-founder, Mark Maciejewski, "We were successful raising money this round because of our relationship with Cleveland Clinic, and especially CCF Innovations and its relationship with key investors such as Triathlon Medical Ventures. Our goal is to treat the deadly effects of atrial fibrillation with new innovative products, and CCF Innovations is helping us get these products to the market."

Atrial fibrillation is a common condition that causes rapid, uncontrolled heart rhythms. Approximately 2.2 million Americans have the condition, including nearly 100,000 Ohioans. The condition accounts for more than one in five strokes. Atrial fibrillation can occur in patients following by-pass and heart valve surgeries with an uncontrolled increase in their heartbeat, which can lead to heart attacks or strokes. Symphony's launch of its initial product in Europe will address this arrhythmia that arises as a complication of cardiac surgery.

For CCF Innovations, this announcement marks the third major development in February, beginning with the announcement that Bioheart, Inc., a leader in developing cell therapies for heart repair, is entering a patent licensing and onsite development agreement with Cleveland Clinic to further enhance its innovative cell-based technology; followed by news that another successful spin-off, Cleveland BioLabs Inc., plans to raise $14 million in a public stock offering to develop a drug to protect humans from radiation exposure related to nuclear or terrorist attacks and accidents.

"We had a hat trick in February -- important investors and technology leaders executed deals and initiated transactions that put great value in CCF spin-offs and CCF technology," Mr. Coburn said. "We are looking forward to an increasing rate of commercialization and more collaboration with our partners including Ohio's Third Frontier program, which provided critical support to each of these deals. We expect 2006 to be a great year."

About Symphony Medical, Inc.:

Symphony Medical was founded in 2002 with technologies from The Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic Rochester, and UC San Francisco to focus on the development and commercialization of novel treatments of cardiovascular conduction abnormalities. Using practical and cost-effective approaches, Symphony's products are designed to correct cardiac conduction disorders through safe biologic, non-ablative means. In order to accelerate product development and clinical trials, the company collaborates with academic and corporate entities on various levels. First, Symphony identified and in- licensed FDA-approved biologics with proven safety profiles to quickly build its product platform. Second, Symphony entered into development partnerships for open surgical and catheter-based delivery systems and devices that simplify and streamline the administration of its products. Third, the company maintains various sponsored research programs for continuous research and pre- clinical validation of its technologies. Presently, Symphony is engaged in the clinical development phase of its first product for the prevention of post- operative atrial fibrillation. Moving forward, Symphony expects to commercialize this and other products through corporate partners with global marketing and sales capabilities. Through its investors, advisors, and management, the company has established a culture of rapid product development, continuous expansion of intellectual property, minimization of capital and personnel expenses, and superior science and clinical know-how.

About CCF Innovations:

The Cleveland Clinic Foundation's strong commitment to discovery and innovation led to the establishment of CCF Innovations (CCFI) in 2000. CCF Innovations commercializes all inventions and related technology from throughout The Cleveland Clinic. The Clinic's comprehensive commercialization approach includes prototyping, seed and technology validation funds, clinical trials, translational research cores, animal facilities, on-site accelerator, entrepreneurs-in-residence, allied venture capital fund, expert staff, venture advisors, start-up mentoring programs, selective in-licensing and ideation labs. Fifteen companies have been spun-off from the Cleveland Clinic in the last four years.

About the Cleveland Clinic:

Cleveland Clinic, located in Cleveland, Ohio, is a not-for-profit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Cleveland Clinic was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation's best hospitals in its annual "America's Best Hospitals" survey. Approximately 1,500 full-time salaried physicians at Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland Clinic Florida represent more than 100 medical specialties and subspecialties. In 2004, patients came for treatment from every state and 100 countries. Cleveland Clinic website address is www.clevelandclinic.org.

Cleveland Clinic Foundation

The

CONTACT: David Fitz of The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, +1-216-445-1991


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