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Venture Capital

BUSINESS
August 25, 2005 | By Linda Loyd INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Protez Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Malvern start-up working on new antibiotics, has raised $15 million in venture capital. The company is developing antibiotics to treat drug-resistant and life-threatening infections. Protez said it would use the financing for its lead compound, SMP-601, a potent injectable antibiotic to fight infections in hospital patients. "This financing represents a significant milestone for Protez," said its president and chief executive officer, Christopher Cashman.
BUSINESS
May 9, 2005 | By Porus P. Cooper INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Sorry, Philadelphia, but China is going to be the next Silicon Valley. The Internet is back. Health-care innovation will bring the next wave of big profits. Nanotechnology's still a speck. The chatter last week at the year's largest gathering of venture-capital investors sounded like a version of going back to the future - with some modifications. The annual conference of the National Venture Capital Association, at New York's Waldorf-Astoria hotel, drew more than 700 of these investors, who help manage money for wealthy individuals and institutions such as public and private pension funds.
BUSINESS
May 2, 2005 | By Porus P. Cooper INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Biotechnology, the new new thing among venture-capital investors after the dot-com bubble burst, suddenly looks old. Venture investors pulled back sharply on placing money in private biotech companies in the first three months of 2005. They invested $632 million, down nearly $400 million from the same quarter last year. It was the smallest quarterly flow of private-equity money to this drug-industry sector in two years, according to the MoneyTree Survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers L.L.P.
BUSINESS
December 6, 2004 | By Porus P. Cooper INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Guy Maestre is chairman and chief executive officer of PhenoTech Inc., a Philadelphia biopharmaceutical company that is trying to develop a more efficient method of blood typing. But without a $500,000 investment the company was awarded last year by the state-funded BioAdvance, "there would not be a company," Maestre said. The PhenoTech scenario is typical of such venture-capital investments: The money has brought the promise of commercialization to research that is being conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, where it was initiated with a $235,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health.
BUSINESS
October 29, 2004 | By Porus P. Cooper INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Vis.align Inc., of West Chester, could be a poster child for the state of the venture-capital industry. The information-technology company, built by private investors, is on the comeback trail from severe setbacks four years ago when the technology boom collapsed and it had to lay off hundreds of employees. It received $400,000 in the quarter ended Sept. 30, bringing to $9 million the amount it has raised over the last five years. Earlier this week, it was making a pitch at the Mid-Atlantic Venture Conference in Philadelphia for $5 million more, to buy smaller companies next year.
BUSINESS
September 8, 2004 | By Porus P. Cooper INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Quaker BioVentures Inc., a Philadelphia venture-capital firm, said yesterday that it had raised $280 million from investors, including $115 million from state and city pension funds. The firm, founded in 2002, focuses on biotechnology investments and already has made commitments to six small companies, most of them in the Philadelphia region. The amount is unusually large, especially for a first-time venture fund, said John Taylor, head of research at the National Venture Capital Association.
BUSINESS
July 30, 2004 | By Linda Loyd INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
In an encouraging sign for cash-hungry entrepreneurs, venture-capital firms are starting to invest more money in start-up companies. One big beneficiary is a Philadelphia specialty pharmaceutical company developing new treatments for congestive heart failure. Cardiokine Inc. received $37 million in venture financing to begin Phase 3 clinical trials on a drug, Lixivaptan, licensed from Wyeth. It is one of 27 companies in the region that received a total of $127.4 million during the second quarter of the year, according to the quarterly MoneyTree Survey released this week by PricewaterhouseCoopers L.L.P.
BUSINESS
April 30, 2004 | By Porus P. Cooper INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Private investors in new technology companies, who were staggered by losses from the collapse of many Internet-based ventures just a few years ago, have regained their footing, largely by turning to health-care firms, an industry survey reports. These investors have been heartened by a surge in both initial public offerings and acquisitions. These two methods of selling companies in their portfolios had virtually dried up in recent years, discouraging investors from making commitments.
BUSINESS
March 1, 2004 | By Porus P. Cooper INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Want to know what's happened to technology investing? Follow Steven D. Hobman. The peripatetic financier has come home, so to speak, to NewSpring Ventures L.P., of King of Prussia. He helped found the private-equity fund 4 1/2 years ago but then served only on its advisory and investment panels, as he set up shop at a series of area banks. But now he is at NewSpring full time, helping to launch a $100 million "mezzanine" fund. These are funds that invest in companies that have grown out of their infancy, need capital to expand, and have the revenues to take on some debt.
BUSINESS
December 16, 2003 | By Joseph N. DiStefano INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
One of Philadelphia's largest law firms has agreed to pay $5.8 million to settle malpractice claims alleging the firm failed to prevent losses in public pension funds in Pennsylvania and three other states. Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll L.L.P., which counts Gov. Rendell among its former partners, will pay the money to its former client, the troubled, Philadelphia-based Keystone V Partners L.P. venture capital fund, to be returned to the pension funds. The deal must win approval from Judge Gene D. Cohen of Philadelphia Common Pleas Court's commercial section.
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