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10/12/2010 12:53:46 PM
Rocky Hill, Conn., October 12, 2010 – Connecticut Innovations (CI), the state’s quasi-public authority responsible for technology investing and innovation development, today announced that it has made an investment of $850,000 in Affinimark Technologies Inc. of New Haven, Conn., through its Eli Whitney Fund.
This investment is part of a Series A round of more than $1 million also involving LaunchCapital. “We are thrilled with the confidence shown in Affinimark by this very timely combined investment by Connecticut Innovations and LaunchCapital,” said Harry H. Penner, Jr., Affinimark’s chairman. “With these funds Affinimark plans to complete the clinical and regulatory development of Cerebrostrip™, the first point-of-care diagnostic test enabling immediate identification and treatment of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks, whether caused by surgery or injury.” Cerebrostrip™ employs novel technology, for which the company has filed appropriate patent protection, in an easy-to-use test strip format to detect the presence of certain CSF antigens in fluid taken from the site of surgery or patient injury. Presently, a physician suspecting a cerebrospinal fluid leak must collect a relatively large amount of such fluid, package it in a special container, send it to a laboratory for testing and evaluation, and then wait several days for the test results.
Cerebrostrip™, which resembles a pregnancy test, will require only a drop of fluid from the site of injury or surgery and will yield a clear test result on the spot, in real time. Affinimark is confident Cerebrostrip™ will enable health care professionals to provide appropriate treatments more quickly and to save on the costs and potential harm associated with unnecessary treatments.
"Affinimark's point-of-care test kits will offer a revolutionary solution to a pressing, unmet clinical need," said Peter Longo, president and executive director of CI. "With Cerebrostrip™, medical professionals, sports teams, police, military personnel and others alike will have at their disposal a fast, accurate, straightforward tool to establish definitively the existence of a CSF leak. The market and potential benefits of this product are significant." CSF lines both the brain and spinal cord and serves to nurture and protect the central nervous system from impact and infection. A CSF leak -- which can result from traumatic head injuries, cranial or sinus surgeries, epidurals, combat wounds, or other serious accidents impacting the spine or brain – represents a breach in the “blood brain barrier” and poses a significant health threat in the form of meningitis or damage to the central nervous system. Hundreds of thousands of CSF leaks occur each year in the United States alone. Unfortunately, because no reliable method is available to quickly and accurately determine whether a CSF leak has occurred, the medical response in the case of a suspected CSF leak is over-treatment or a failure to treat, both of which pose expensive and potentially harmful consequences. “As a critical early-stage investor, our goal is to help launch new companies and attract private investors,” said Governor M. Jodi Rell. “We want to continue to cultivate emerging technology companies like Affinimark because doing so creates good jobs in New Haven and throughout the state.” Kevin Crowley, managing director, investments, for CI, will represent CI on Affinimark's board of directors. About Connecticut Innovations, Inc. Connecticut Innovations (CI) is a quasi-public organization dedicated to driving a vibrant, entrepreneurial, technology-based economy in Connecticut. CI stimulates high-tech growth by investing in: early-stage Connecticut technology companies, university/industry research collaborations, technology transfer, and clean energy initiatives through the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. CI also fosters collaboration among government, business, nonprofit and academic organizations to advance technology growth and promotes public policies consistent with CI’s mission. For more information on CI, please visit www.ctinnovations.com. About Affinimark Technologies Inc. Affinimark Technologies, Inc., a private bioscience company based in New Haven, Connecticut, develops proprietary medical diagnostic products addressing lucrative market opportunities and serious unmet medical/surgical needs. Its lead product, Cerebrostrip™, is a strip based diagnostic test, derived from Affinimark’s own cutting edge research, that will quickly and cost-effectively provide a definitive determination whether the patient has suffered a cerebrospinal fluid leak as a result of surgery or trauma. No such product is currently available, resulting in significant risk to the patient and cost to the healthcare system. For additional information, please visit www.affinimark.com. Technologies Inc.