Tag Archives: ulthera

From left: Chris Faller, COO of TinyKicks; MaryAnn Guerra, CEO of BioAccel; France Dixon Helfer, president & CEO of TinyKicks; Ron King, chief science and business officer of BioAccel.

$150K awarded in BioAccel Solutions Challenge

TinyKicks and Omni BioCeutical Innovations won $135,000 in the second Scorpion Pit early-stage funding competition sponsored by BioAccel and powered by the Arizona Board of Regents.

The competition, dubbed the Scorpion Pit, was held on Friday, May 15, at the Croft in downtown Phoenix. The bioscience companies were selected for investment from local investors, called Scorpions, and also BioAccel. This intense evaluation process is modeled after Japan’s Dragon’s Den and American TV’s Shark Tank. 

Recipients:

·      Two winners: TinyKicks, which is developing technology to advance healthy pregnancy outcomes, will receive an estimated $75,000 to conduct a research study. Omni BioCeutical Innovations, which offers human translational stem cell/growth factor-based skin and hair care product lines, will receive an estimated $60,000 in early-stage funding. Final terms will be negotiated and awarded based on milestones defined by investors.

·      Two entrepreneurial start-up packages: Student entrepreneur teams, NeoLight and EpiFinder, will receive an entrepreneurial package of funding up to $15,000 and business and technology services. NeoLight is developing equipment that treats jaundice in babies while EpiFinder provides clinical decision support technology to neurologists for diagnosing epilepsy.

·      Grant for young entrepreneur: The Scorpions also awarded a $500 grant to a young entrepreneur, Asher Taghizadeh, for his “designer toothpaste” for children. The grant will be used to develop his website. LifeLock CEO Todd Davis, a Scorpion, provided Asher with a $100 investment on the spot during the young entrepreneur’s presentation to investors. Watch this cute video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tR7Fcs787KU&feature=youtu.be

The winners and all the other companies in the competition will continue to work with BioAccel, an Arizona based non-profit whose mission is to drive economic development through the accelerated commercialization of research. BioAccel will provide mentorship by helping the companies create improved business plans, new business opportunities, technical support and an opportunity to re-pitch their ideas to the Scorpions as they address the recommended actions provided by the Scorpions and mentors.

In 2014, BioAccel launched the Solutions Challenge – and its Scorpion Pit competition – to help advance the biosciences and created an enhanced start-up ecosystem.

“Year two was bigger and better than the first. Having Blue Cross Blue Shield and Gore involved as both sponsors and Challenge Category designers was really the icing on the cake. The Solutions Challenge is all about matching market need with innovation and investment, and this year we nailed it!” said MaryAnn Guerra, Chief Executive Officer of BioAccel. “For Arizona to reach its full potential in creating a strong bioscience driven economy, we need to build a solid ecosystem made up of a robust technology pipeline and local investment. The Solutions Challenge event was designed to help grow this ecosystem.” 

Working with local medical centers, provider organizations and specific industry leadership, BioAccel identified five critical unmet health needs in the categories of:

·      Digital, Wearable and Mobile Health (sponsored by Molded Devices)

·      Regenerative Wound and Aesthetic Therapy (Sponsored by Ulthera)

·      Simplified Access to Care (Sponsored and identified by Blue Cross Blue Shield)

·      A New Approach to Eliminating Type 2 Endoleaks (Sponsored and identified by Gore)

·      Wildcard for Student Entrepreneurs (Sponsored by Medtronic). The Wildcard Category

was new this year and targeted to help Arizona create the next breed of entrepreneurs focused on addressing market needs along with solid work force skills.

To address start-up company needs and to stimulate early-stage funding of these solutions, BioAccel assembled a prestigious panel of local investors, Scorpions, to judge the Scorpion Pit competition. The Scorpions have agreed to invest up to $50,000, if they find worthy projects. BioAccel agreed to match their investment. This early-stage investment is critical as 96% of Arizona investment dollars come from outside the state. Additionally, according to the National Venture Capital Association data, VCs provided only 1% of entrepreneurial funding in 2014 with the vast majority of ventures financed by entrepreneurs, their friends and family. BioAccel supports those entrepreneurs, providing critically needed advice and funding during the formative stages when the risk and potential benefit to society are greatest.

After a competitive process, seven finalists were identified to compete in the May 15 Scorpion Pit competition. Finalists were given 10 minutes to pitch their concept, followed by an onslaught of questions from the Scorpions. 

Finalists:

Saccadous

Craig Cafferelly, CEO

Saccadous provides the best non-invasive eye-tracking solution for diagnosing, tracking and advancing the treatment of neurological diseases and conditions like Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Alzheimer’s.

RightBio Metrics        

Paul Gilbert, CEO

RightBio Metrics is focused on ensuring accurate placement of gastric tubes. RightBio Metrics’ fluid measurement solutions challenge existing clinical and health care economics standards to produce safer, better and more financially viable results.

Omni BioCeutical Innovations           

Jane Christensen, CEO

Omni is one of the first medical cosmeceutical companies offering human translational stem cell/growth factor-based skin and hair care product lines.

Saguaro Medical Technologies, Inc.

Stacy Faught, CEO

Saguaro is developing a novel Liquid Embolic material intended to treat abnormalities in the peripheral and neuro vasculature such as arteriovenus malformations, arteriovenus fistulae, Type I and II AAA endoleaks, and other vascular procedures such as renal embolization.

TinyKicks

France Helfer, CEO

TinyKicks is developing a wearable health-monitoring smart sensor that captures fetal movement and uses machine learning to predict and guide healthy pregnancy outcomes.

Student Entrepreneur Teams:

NeoLight        

Vivek Kopparthi, CEO

NeoLight is developing high-intensity equipment that treats jaundice in newborn and pre-term babies.

EpiFinder

Robert Yau, CEO

Provides clinical decision support technology to neurologists who want to know more about and effectively diagnosis epilepsy syndromes at the point of care.

Young Entrepreneur:

The morning event was capped with the presentation of a young entrepreneur, Asher Taghizadeh, presenting his concept for “designer toothpaste” for children. He designed a product to encourage the youth to brush more often and longer by using toothpaste that they mix themselves, or co-create with their parents, based on the flavors they like best! Asher’s father, Farhan Taghizadeh, M.D., is a principle in one of BioAccel’s portfolio companies, Aesthetics BioMedical. While Asher lives in New Mexico, his initiative was recognized as a good model for youth and future entrepreneurs. “Obviously it is never too early to take your creative ideas and turn them into a business,” said Todd Davis, CEO of LifeLock. “We hope with BioAccel’s new Fund Raising Campaign, Reaching Our Potential, that we will see many more entrepreneurs, young and old, developing among us!” Watch Asher’s video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tR7Fcs787KU&feature=youtu.be

Scorpions:

The Scorpions for the event were: Alex Brigham, CEO, Ethisphere Institute; Eric Crown, Chairman Emeritus, Insight Enterprises; Todd Davis, CEO, LifeLock; Francine Hardaway, Ph.D., Founder Stealthmode Partners; and Vishu Jhaveri, M.D., Senior Vice President, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona; and Jeff Pruitt, CEO, Tallwave.

Alex Brigham, Executive Director and Founder of the Ethisphere Institute, created the world’s most recognized authority in the research, rating and certification of corporate and institutional ethics, anti-corruption, and sustainability efforts.

Eric Crown, Chairman Emeritus, Insight Enterprises, is a serial entrepreneur and investor who has been building and investing in companies – startups to multibillion-dollar enterprises – for more than 30 years. A leader known for creating high-performance cultures and streamlined business processes, he co-founded Insight Enterprises, which became a Fortune 500 company with $5 billion in annual sales.

Todd Davis built an organization at the forefront of helping to combat identity theft crimes. Under his leadership, LifeLock was honored with the 2010 Best New Product or Service of the Year Stevie Award for the LifeLock Identity Alert™ system and the American Business People’s Choice Award for its TrueAddress™ service in 2009.

Francine Hardaway, Ph.D., co-founded Stealthmode Partners, an accelerator and advocate for entrepreneurs in technology and health care, in 1998. Hardaway was an Entrepreneurial Fellow of the Eller Entrepreneurship Center at University of Arizona, and was a founder of Social Media Club Arizona and the Arizona Software Association.

Dr. Vishu Jhaveri, Senior Vice President, Blue Cross Blue Shield of AZ, oversees the development of corporate medical policies and the daily administrative functions of the Health Services Division. In addition to the academics of medical policy development, those functions include: accreditation, medical claims review, clinical quality improvement, care management, disease management, health promotion/wellness, utilization review and provider credentialing.

Jeff Pruitt is the Founding Partner, President and CEO of Tallwave, a venture development firm and commercializor, headquartered in Scottsdale that helps entrepreneurs build their early-stage companies through sound capital strategy and well-executed go-to-market plans. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and has sat on the advisory councils of Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft.

Matt Likens - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

$600M sale of Ulthera named Deal of the Year for 2014

The $600 million purchase of Mesa-based Ulthera, Inc. by German company Merz Pharma was selected as the 2014 Deal of the Year Award by the Association for Corporate Growth-Arizona Chapter.

The “Deal of the Year” is an award given by the Arizona Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) to recognize a company or private equity firm for their accomplishments regarding a merger, acquisition or capital market transaction.  The award recognizes a deal/transaction in the Arizona marketplace involving established businesses with between $10 million and $750 million of revenue that closed in calendar year 2014.

The Deal of the Year Award was given Tuesday night at a dinner at the Arizona Biltmore. Vonage’s purchase of Scottsdale-based Telesphere Networks in a $114 million transaction was the runner-up for the award.

“This is an example of a merger and acquisition that was truly a win for the companies involved and for Arizona’s economy,” said Sanat Patel, Board President for ACG-Arizona. “We congratulate the team behind the Ulthera purchase for their hard work in creating a transaction that has helped an Arizona company expand its global presence.”

Ulthera, Inc. is a venture capital-funded start-up company that was established in Mesa in January, 2004. Ulthera has developed a focused ultrasound approach to creating reliable and significant firming, tightening and lifting of facial skin tissue in one-hour non-invasive procedures.

Matt Likens, President & CEO with Ulthera, said that the transaction has strengthened Ulthera’s position in the marketplace significantly.

“Ulthera represents the only medical device within the Merz Pharma product portfolio,” Likens said. “Since the deal closed six months ago, our presence in Mesa has continued to expand. We are now positioned as the medical device center of innovation and excellence for Merz Pharma globally.”

The award criteria for the Deal of the Year included:

·       Deal-making that either created or demonstrates a real potential for substantial return on investment

·       Deal-making that evidences the unlocking of value and/or contribution to the strategic development of the business

·       Deal-making that produces a wider business impact, such as the development of new markets, products, services and/or technologies and the creation or retention of quality employment opportunities in Arizona

·       Deal-making that reflects a high level of professional expertise in the design of the transaction and tested creativity and deal-making skills in completing the transaction

·       At least one company involved in the transaction must be headquartered or have a majority of its operations in Arizona

Founded in 1954, the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) is a global association for professionals involved in corporate growth, corporate development, and mergers and acquisitions. Today ACG stands at more than 14,000 members from corporations, private equity, finance, and professional service firms representing Fortune 500, Fortune 1000, FTSE 100, and mid-market companies in 56 chapters in North America, Europe, and Asia. The Arizona chapter of ACG includes representatives from corporate investment and private equity groups, financiers, venture capitalists and supporting consultant services. For more information, visit www.acg.org/arizona.

167585360

ACG names finalists for ‘Deal of the Year’

Three finalists have been named for an award recognizing the most significant mergers and acquisitions transactions in Arizona.

The “Deal of the Year” is an award given by the Arizona Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) to recognize a company or private equity firm for their accomplishments regarding a merger, acquisition or capital market transaction.  The award will recognize a deal/transaction in the Arizona marketplace involving established businesses with between $10 million and $750 million of revenue that closed in calendar year 2014.

The three finalists for the award are:

• Vonage’s purchase of Scottsdale-based Telesphere Networks in a $114 million transaction. 

• Merz Pharma’s purchase of Mesa-based Ulthera, Inc. in a $600 million transaction. 

• Evergreen Pacific Partners’ purchase of Phoenix-based Vantage Mobility in a transaction valued between $50 million and $100 million (exact amount not disclosed for confidentiality reasons).

The Deal of the Year Award will be given out on March 10 at a dinner at the Arizona Biltmore. The ACG signature event begins with a networking session at 5 p.m. and culminates with the award presentation starting at 6:45 p.m.

“The three transactions nominated for Deal of the Year are ones that helped drive Arizona’s economy in 2014,” said Sanat Patel, Board President for ACG-Arizona. “These transactions have a profound effect on our economy, and this award is a recognition of the individuals and companies that were involved in helping move our state and our region forward.”

 

The award criteria are:

·       Deal-making that either created or demonstrates a real potential for substantial return on investment

·       Deal-making that evidences the unlocking of value and/or contribution to the strategic development of the business

·       Deal-making that produces a wider business impact, such as the development of new markets, products, services and/or technologies and the creation or retention of quality employment opportunities in Arizona

·       Deal-making that reflects a high level of professional expertise in the design of the transaction and tested creativity and deal-making skills in completing the transaction

·       At least one company involved in the transaction must be headquartered or have a majority of its operations in Arizona

Tickets for the March 10 event are available for $135 for ACG members and $155 for ACG non-members if purchased by midnight on March 3, and $155 for members and $175 for non-members after the 3rd. They may be purchased by visiting www.acg.org/arizona or calling 602-448-3981 or e-mailing acgarizona@acg.org

Founded in 1954, the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) is a global association for professionals involved in corporate growth, corporate development, and mergers and acquisitions. Today ACG stands at more than 14,000 members from corporations, private equity, finance, and professional service firms representing Fortune 500, Fortune 1000, FTSE 100, and mid-market companies in 56 chapters in North America, Europe, and Asia. The Arizona chapter of ACG includes representatives from corporate investment and private equity groups, financiers, venture capitalists and supporting consultant services. For more information, visit www.acg.org/arizona

Matt Likens - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

Merz acquires Mesa-based medical company Ulthera

Merz and Ulthera, Inc. today announced that they have entered a definitive merger agreement, pursuant to which Merz will acquire global medical device company Ulthera, a deal which will accelerate Merz’s growth in the aesthetics area and expand the company’s portfolio of treatment options in facial aesthetics.

Merz and Ulthera have entered a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which Merz will acquire Ulthera, Inc, a global medical device company focused on developing and commercializing technologies for aesthetic and medical applications using its therapeutic ultrasound platform technology. Valued at up to $600 million in upfront cash and milestone payments, the acquisition is the largest in Merz’s history.

“This acquisition represents an important strategic milestone for Merz,” said Philip Burchard, CEO of Merz Pharma Group, which has affiliates in 18 countries around the world. “We have a vision to be the most innovative company in aesthetics, and expanding into the rapidly growing field of energy devices will position us for long-term success in this area. The addition of Ulthera’s energy device technology complements and expands our global presence in the aesthetics space.”

Founded in 2004, Ulthera is a leader in non-surgical lifting and tightening treatments. Using therapeutic ultrasound technology, the Ulthera® System is the first and only ultrasound platform device to receive FDA clearance for lifting skin on the eyebrow, the neck and under the chin. Ulthera expects sales of more than $100 million in 2014.

“The aesthetic lift indication differentiates Ulthera from every other energy device available in the market today,” said Bill Humphries, President and CEO of Merz North America, Inc. “It is truly innovative technology, and we expect to leverage our in-house clinical expertise to develop further aesthetic and medical applications and bring them to the international marketplace.”

Merz and Ulthera have a shared mission: to bring innovations to market that meet the needs of physicians and improve the well-being of patients. This shared long-term vision provides a solid foundation for the combined company. “Joining with a like-minded, growing global healthcare company is a major milestone in the life of our company,” said Ulthera CEO Matt Likens. “Through our collaboration with Merz, we hope to introduce the Ulthera® System to new customers and markets around the world.”

“Building on this important new partnership, Merz will continue to seek innovative M&A and licensing opportunities on a global scale,” said Hans-Jörg Bergler, Head of Corporate Development for Merz Pharma Group.

The transaction has been approved by the boards of both companies and is subject to customary closing conditions, including the expiration or termination of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2014.

ulterapy-treatment-gives-you-younger-looking-skin-video

Ulthera files for $86 million IPO

Ulthera, which sells ultrasound energy systems for the non-invasive lifting of eyebrows and skin around the neck, filed on Monday with the SEC to raise up to $86 million in an initial public offering.

The Mesa-based company, which was founded in 2004 and booked $82 million in sales for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2013, plans to list on the NASDAQ under the symbol ULTH. J.P. Morgan and Citi are the joint bookrunners on the deal. No pricing terms were disclosed. (1)

Ulthera, Inc. is a global medical device company focused on developing and commercializing technologies for aesthetic and medical applications. The company’s signature technology is the Ulthera® System, which is the first and only energy-based device that is FDA-cleared for use as an aesthetic treatment – the Ultherapy® procedure – that non-invasively lifts the eyebrow and skin on the neck and under the chin.

The company received its third FDA clearance in January of 2013 for its ultrasound platform device, the Ulthera System, has been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to visualize the dermal and subdermal layers of tissue during the non-invasive lifting treatment, Ultherapy.

This third FDA clearance follows the first two – in Sept. 2009 and Oct. 2012 – which cleared the Ulthera System to non-invasively treat the face and neck with specific, first-and-only indications to lift skin on the neck, under the chin and above the brow.

bioscience

Bioindustry honors Innovators at AZBio Awards

The Arizona Bioindustry Association (AZBio) today announced that more than 350 leaders from across the State of Arizona will be gathering at the Phoenix Convention Center on October 10, 2013 to celebrate AZBio’s 10thanniversary as Arizona’s statewide bioindustry association and to recognize the leaders, innovators and companies that are making Arizona one of the fastest growing bioscience states in the nation.

“Over the last decade, Arizona’s bioindustry has delivered an aggregate job growth of 45% (2002-2011) and an increase in the number of healthcare and bioscience firms by 31%,” shared AZBio President and CEO Joan Koerber-Walker. “This is the result of executives, innovators, researchers, educators, and elected leaders working together to embrace possibilities and collaboratively create a fast growing industry that is creating high wage jobs and addressing some of our greatest challenges: improving health and creating new industries that leverage our natural resources and our steadily increasing collection of internationally recognized talent.”

In addition to honoring the hundreds of organizations that have worked together over the last 10 years to create and drive life science innovation in Arizona, the AZBio Awards recognize specific thought leaders and industry leaders for their contributions. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about and gain insights from:

  • Thomas M. Grogan, M.D., Founder of Ventana and SVP Medical Affairs at Ventana Medical Systems, Inc., a member of the Roche Group and recipient of the AZBio Pioneer Award for Lifetime Achievement honoree.
  • Linda Hunt, President and CEO of Dignity Health Arizona, the 2013 Jon W. McGarity Arizona Bioscience Leader of the Year.
  • Amanda Grimes of the Mesa Biotechnology Academy in the Mesa Public Schools, recipient of the Michael A. Cusanovich Arizona Bioscience Educator of the Year Award for inspiring students to explore careers in the biosciences.
  • Orphan drug pioneer Leslie Boyer, M.D., founding director of the VIPER Institute at The University of Arizona. With her team of international collaborators developed the FDA approved anti-venom for the scorpion’s sting.
  • John W. Lewis, Mayor of the Town of Gilbert, Arizona recipient of the AZBio Public Service Award for his leadership in attracting and supporting the development of world class research, manufacturing and clinical services in Gilbert.
  • The team from Arizona Bioscience Company of the Year – W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc., Arizona’s largest life science employer. The Gore Medical Products Division has provided creative therapeutic solutions to complex medical problems for more than 35 years. During that time, more than 35 million innovative Gore Medical Devices have been implanted, saving and improving the quality of lives worldwide Gore has been granted more than 2,000 patents worldwide ranging from polymer processing to medical devices.
  • Dr. Robert Bowser, AZBio Fast Lane Award winner for pioneering new diagnostics for ALS and traumatic brain injury at Iron Horse Diagnostics, Inc.
  • Dr. Garrett Smith, co-founder of Nasseo, Inc., the Fast Lane Award winning company that has developed the FDA approved TiArray™ Dental Implant.
  • Jeff Martin, CEO of Fast Lane Award winner Yulex Corporation and the team that delivers Yulex’s Guayule BioRubber Emulsions and BioRubber Solids that have medical, consumer, and industrial applications to grow an increasingly diverse market community with ultra-pure, high-performance products.
  • And executives from Algae Biosciences, Ventana, Pfizer, Genentech, EY, Northern Arizona University/TGen North, Regenesis Biomedical, Ulthera, VWR, and NACET.

The 8th Annual AZBio Awards will be held Thursday, October 10, 2013 at the Phoenix Convention Center. In addition to the Gala Awards Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., the VWR Company Showcase and Student Discovery Showcase sponsored by NAU will highlight the work of Arizona’s current and future life science leaders from 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and again from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. so that attendees can see the work being done across the industry and interact with the leaders and future leaders who are driving bioindustry innovation. The event is open to the public and tickets are available for purchase at AZBioAwards.com.

“Almost 100,000 Arizonans are embracing possibilities every day across Arizona’s healthcare and life science sector. Through their efforts, we are making life better here at home and around the world by discovering, developing, and delivering life science innovations,” added Koerber-Walker. “AZBio is honored to have the opportunity to work with them and to bring so many of our leaders together in one place on one day so our community can meet them and learn about them too.”

Matt Likens - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

First Job: Matt Likens, CEO Of Ulthera, Inc.

Matt Likens, CEO of Ulthera, Inc., discusses her first job working on a muck farm on Ohio, his first job in the healthcare industry, his biggest mentor and more.


Matt Likens

Title: CEO
Company: Ulthera, Inc.

What was your very first job?
When I was 10 years old, my brother — who is two years younger than me — and I worked on a muck farm in Ravenna, Ohio. We would be picked up at 6 a.m., go to the farm, crawl around on our hands and knees all day, weeding crops that were grown in this very rich, black, wet soil called muck. It was mostly mustard plants and assorted other crops. Then, when the plants were ready, we would harvest them.

What did you learn from that first job?
It taught us the value of hard work. We didn’t have a privileged childhood, so it was a way for us to become self-sufficient and do the things we wanted to do, whether it was buying baseball cards or soft drinks. I learned that earning your own way in life is the right this to do.

Describe your first job in your industry.
My first job in the healthcare industry came in 1978 as a sales representative for Baxter Healthcare, working in their transfusion medicine business, selling blood collection containers and everything used to transfuse blood and blood components.

What lessons did you learn from your early industry jobs?
Right out of college, I got a job selling industrial tape for Johnson & Johnson in Minnesota against 3M, which had an 85 percent market share. So I learned rejection very early in my career, but I also learned the value of having a good second supplier. Companies with such a dominant market share tend to get arrogant and take their business for granted. So if you work hard and portray yourself as a credible second supplier, it’s a way to get in the door.

What were your salaries in your first job and first industry job?
My salary at the muck farm was 35 cents an hour. My salary at Johnson & Johnson was $13,000 per year.

Who is your biggest mentor?
Harry Cramer, who was the CEO at Baxter when I left. I have a book in my office that Harry wrote called “Values Based Leadership.” If Harry said it, he also acted that way, so his words and actions were absolutely in synch with each other. That was an excellent example and I’ve tried to emulate that  as I’ve moved past Baxter and into the startup world.

Arizona Business Magazine January/February 2012