Each week, we’ll round up startup news from the UNC journalism students behind North Carolina Business News Wire. To read all of the students’ work covering public and private companies around the state, sign up for the daily newsletter.
Raleigh-based investment firm invests $23.2 million in mattress company
By Chris Roush
RALEIGH, N.C. — An investment firm based in Raleigh that includes former Burt’s Bees executives has invested $23.2 million in Virginia Beach, Virginia-based mattress company Leesa Sleep, according to a filing Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
One Better Ventures raised the money from 38 investors, according to the filing.
One Better Ventures includes Seventh Generation CEO John Replogle, the former CEO of Burt’s Bees. Replogle will join Leesa as chairman of the board.
One Better Ventures also includes Douglas Haensel, who was executive vice president and chief financial officer of Burt’s Bees from 2004 to 2012 and the interim chief executive officer in 2011. Haensel was also the chief financial officer of athletic retail chain The Athlete’s Foot from 1999 to 2001.
He founded Haensel Capital in 2012 to provide venture capital and advisory services to companies in the early and emerging growth stage of development.
Haensel is on the board of companies such as Piedmont Candy Co. and Triangle Vibe.
Leesa plans to use the money to expand its product line.
Private companies similar to One Better Ventures, which rely on a Reg D exemption, aren’t required to register securities offerings with the SEC, but instead they must file a Form D electronically with the SEC after they sell the securities.
Hudson-based BeoCare Group raises $750,000
By Chris Roush
HUDSON, N.C. — A North Carolina-based company that manufactures incontinence and maternity pants has raised $750,000 in a private equity offering, according to a filing Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
BeoCare Group Inc. raised the money from one investor, according to the filing.
The Hudson, North Carolina-based company is an original equipment and private label manufacturer, which means it has no brands and does not compete with its clients. It has a European operation located in Belgium.
In February, the company completed its integration with Shelby Elastics LLC into a newly expanded manufacturing site in Hudson, North Carolina. It acquired Shelby Elastics in November 2014.
The chief executive officer is Peter Vanderbruggen. He previously was managing partner of Leeward Ventures, Luxembourg-based private equity firm.
Private companies similar to BeoCare, which rely on a Reg D exemption, aren’t required to register securities offerings with the SEC, but instead they must file a Form D electronically with the SEC after they sell the securities.
RTP-based BioMedomics raises $500,000
By Chris Roush
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — A medical diagnostic company based in the Research Triangle Park has raised $500,000 in an equity and debt offering, according to a filing last Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
BioMedomics Inc. raised the money from one investor, according to the filing. The company had raised $275,000 in February 2015, according to this filing.
The 11-year-old company previously raised $2.23 million in a convertible preferred stock offering as part of its earlier Series B round of financing.
The latest round of Series B financing is $500,000 in a promissory note that can be converted into preferred stock.
In April 2016, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center gave the company a $250,000 small business research loan to support the development of a low-cost, point-of-care test for hemoglobin variants in blood, to aid in effective treatment decisions for sickle cell disease.
The company has developed tests for sickle cell disease and alpha thalassemia that are currently being launched to the medical diagnostic market. Additionally, it is preparing to launch a quantitative test for hemoglobin S and has also licensed a total hemoglobin monitor. It launched a test for Tylenol overdose in 2015.
Its founder and chief executive officer is Frank Wang, who is also chairman of the board of the North Carolina Chinese Business Association.
Wang was previously president of Biomachines Inc. He holds a Ph.D. in applied physics from Osaka University in Japan.
Private companies similar to BioMedomics, which rely on a Reg D exemption, aren’t required to register securities offerings with the SEC, but instead they must file a Form D electronically with the SEC after they sell the securities.
Well-known biotech investor buys 6.8 percent stake in Dova Pharmaceuticals
By Chris Roush
DURHAM, N.C. — A well-known investor in biotech companies has purchased a 6.8 percent stake in Durham-based Dova Pharmaceuticals Inc., according to a filing Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Joseph Edelman of Perceptive Advisors LLC purchased 1.7 million shares of the company, worth more than $30 million.
Edelman founded New York-based Perceptive Advisors in 1999. Previously, he was senior analyst at Aries Fund, a Paramount Capital Asset Management biotechnology hedge fund, from November 1994 through December 1998.
Before that, Edelman was senior biotechnology analyst at Prudential Securities for four years. He started his career in the health care sector of the securities industry as biotechnology analyst at Labe, Simpson.
His life sciences fund gained 51.8 percent in 2015, earning him $300 million.
Dova went public in late June. The company was formed in March 2016 and has produced no revenue. It posted a loss of $27.2 million in 2016 and a loss of $5.4 million in the first three months of 2017.
Dova is developing treatments for patients suffering from orphan diseases.
The company’s lead investigational drug, avatrombopag, is in the process of completing two Phase 3 clinical trials researching its use as a potential treatment for thrombocytopenia in patients with chronic liver disease.
The drug has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration or other regulatory authorities for any use. The company said it plans to file a new drug application in the third quarter of this year.
Dova’s shares were trading at $18.24, down 26 cents, or 1.4 percent, in Thursday afternoon trading.