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Three more Wisconsin firms to present at venture forum

Three more Wisconsin companies are expected to pitch their businesses at the upcoming BIO Mid-America Venture Forum.

Eight companies from Wisconsin are now listed as presenters at the Sept. 21-23 forum, which this year will be in Minneapolis.

The forum, created through a collaboration of nine state life sciences associations and the Biotechnology Industry Organization, annually showcases biotech and medical device product and platform companies.

New on the forum list are Neurognostics, Inc. of Wauwatosa, ProCertus BioPharm Inc., of Madison, and Wicab, Inc., of Middleton.

Neurognostics, which was spawned at the Medical College of Wisconsin two years ago, develops clinical applications for MR imaging. It has seven employees. Earlier this year it closed a third round of angel financing in which it raised more than $1 million from private investors in Wisconsin. The company expects funding of its two-year, Phase II SBIR grant from the National Institutes of Health, valued at more than $1.9 million. That grant would allow the company to continue development of MRI-based biomarkers for the evaluation of Parkinson's disease.
ProCertus develops drugs aimed at preventing the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The company, incorporated on 1997 and now with three employees, says that in 2003, $11.3 billion was spent in the U.S. on drugs to fight certain side effects. Procertus is focusing on the development of drugs to combat skin and digestive tract lining side effects. The company received a Wisconsin Department of Commerce matching loan and other financing.

Wicab is working on technology it calls BrainPort that helps users regain a sense of balance. The device works on a patent held by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. The company raised approximately $4 million from private investors this year, and landed four organizations, including UW Madison, to serve as FDA clinical sites. It has also made inroads in Europe, where it expects to start commercial sales in September. It anticipates sales in the U.S. will begin next year.

Read our previous story on the BIO Mid-America Venture Forum, including information on the other Wisconsin firms that will present at the event.

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