Nestled in a quiet industrial park in Redmond, Washington, not too far from the Microsoft headquarters, is a small biotech start-up with both an interesting technology they are bringing to market, as well as a capital partner that suggests some ways in which global biotech research, venture capital and commercialization are going to change.
The company is Cerevast Therapeutics, the manufacturer of a non-invasive medical device that treats acute ischemic stroke through the use of acoustic energy delivered from a device the patient wears on their head immediately after they get to a stroke center and begin the IV delivery of blood-clot dissolving medicine. The device utilizes sixteen ultrasound transducers that project localized energy into the brain to disrupt blood clots where acute ischemic strokes occur through a process known as sonothrombolysis.
Founded in 2009, Cerevast recently announced that they had successfully passed the first interim analysis of their global phase 3 trial. This was certainly an important milestone for the company, but as Cerevast CEO Brad Zakes shared with me, the story behind the company’s Series C venture capital funding is also an interesting story. While Brad was out raising money, he was contacted by Haiyin Capital, a Chinese venture capital firm, who expressed a strong interest in learning more about Cerevast. This interest translated into a $5 million investment by Haiyin. While the amount was important, the ease with which Haiyin and Cerevast were able to come to terms was a breath of fresh air.
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