Cardiac startup may have saved VC’s life while pitching for cash

AUM Cardiovascular

Steve Kiemele got a taste for what early detection of coronary heart disease means – not at the doctor’s office, but in an attorney’s office in downtown Minneapolis during an investor presentation.

Kiemele, the CFO of the North Dakota life sciences fund Linn Grove Ventures, was in Minneapolis in January to listen to a pitch by Marie Johnson, the founder of AUM Cardiovascular.

The Farmington, Minn.-based company is developing a non-invasive handheld device to assess risk of coronary heart disease.

MedCity News logo

At the January investor meeting, Kiemele was one of three to get screened for coronary heart disease. Two others tested were fine. Kiemele tested positive for the left anterior descending blockage the AUM device detects.

“She had this sick look on her face at the meeting,” said Kiemele, recalling Johnson’s demeanor when she delivered the results of the test. He had 60 to 70 percent blockage, according to the test.

The blockage was later confirmed by a cardiologist in North Dakota. Results of a stress test were normal, prompting the nurse practitioner to ask Kiemele to return in two years. But Kiemele had already told his cardiologist that, irrespective of the results, he wanted a CT scan.

In the end, the CT scan revealed the blockage, though at a slightly lower level than what Johnson had told him. It was enough to shock the 51-year-old, whom Johnson described as athletic and not overweight. Kiemele says while he exercised regularly before, he is more “militant” about daily exercise and has cut all red meat from his diet.

“I am biased; if we had the money, I would say we should invest in [AUM Cardiovascular] tomorrow,” Kiemele said in a phone interview last week.

Johnson is trying to get more believers in the VC community like Kiemele. Having quit her post as director of the University of Minnesota’s Medical Devices Center Fellows Program in mid April to work on AUM full time, Johnson is now looking to finish raising $2.5 million. Angel investors have pumped in $700,000 and Johnson is now talking with venture capitalists here and in the West Coast.

The money is needed to move the device – called CADence – through a 510(k) application which she hopes to file in November with the Food & Drug Administration. She is confident of being able to raise the money, although since founding the company in March 2009, Johnson has had to adjust expectations. Originally she was looking to raise $5 million.

She said the product will need $15 million to be able to ramp up to commercial scale. Johnson is encouraged by her interactions with physicians who will use CADence.

“I have three cardiologists that have placed an order with me,” Johnson said. “They said that when you are done with the FDA, I want one. So I have three customers already.”

RSS From Medical Design & Outsourcing

  • GlobTek presents its latest level VI AC/DC adapter and connverter
    T-43086-WWVV-X.X-Q Model is an addition to GlobTek’s Level VI compliant GT-43086 family and represents GlobTek’s 6 Watt wall plug-in series of AC/DC adapters (power supplies and chargers) with International Interchangeable blades. GlobTek’s changeable input blade system with individual field replaceable input plugs, including: North America and Japan NEMA 1-15P, Australian, UK BS 1363, European CEE […]
  • Sanmina’s familiarity with FDA gets skin treatment product to market fast
    The medical market for cosmetic devices is booming. However, quickly launching new products to meet demand is becoming more challenging because device manufactures face increased regulatory scrutiny. To help meet regulatory requirements, aesthetic and other medical-device OEMs are partnering with electronics manufacturing services (EMS) companies that also offer expertise with the FDA filings necessary to […]
  • Fluid connectors and quick disconnects for IVD equipment from CPC
    Colder Products Company (CPC) offers thousands of tubing connectors, quick disconnects and fittings for smart fluid handling in IVD and analytical equipment. Non-spill connectors speed testing throughput by eliminating drips, preventing air inclusion and increasing operator safety. Panel mount connectors can be added to existing equipment or bottle caps to provide secure, leak-free connections. Puncture […]
  • 310 Watt desktop medical power supply meets efficiency level VI requirements
    Power Partners releases a new 310 Watt medical grade desktop power supply from their PEAMD Series of AC and DC adapters. The 310 Watt unit is packed for ideal performance inside a compact case measuring 7.8 x 4 x 2 in. with a weight of only 3 lbs. The PEAMD310 Series is approved to the latest […]
  • Saelig introduces Multiple Instrument System MIS4 universal test system
    Saelig Company has introduced the ABI Electronics’ Multiple Instrument Station MIS4, an all-in-one testing tool that provides all commonly required test instruments in one compact programmable hardware module, mounted in a compact case or installed in a PC-drive bay. Controlled by ABI’s sophisticated SYSTEM 8 Ultimate PC software with a simple yet programmable operator interface, […]
  • AssurX announces document management software update for small to mid-size companies in FDA regulated industries
    AssurX, an enterprise quality management, risk and regulatory compliance solution provider, announces the release of the latest update to their AssurX document management software. The document management solution provides a cost-effective solution for small to medium sized companies faced with streamlined operations and is fully compliant for FDA regulated industries. Ideal solution for small to […]
  • Saelig presents new Amplicon Impact-R 1100F series computer
    Saelig Company announces the Amplicon Impact-R 1100F series, a fanless system powered by the Intel ATOM D2550 processor. Configured with a high performance 2.5 in. MLC Solid State Drive (SSD), the Impact-R 1100F series is a silent controller system. With options for multiple serial communication ports, the Impact-R 1100F can offer up seven DB9 connections […]
  • Gerresheimer to acquire Centor
    Gerresheimer AG, a partner to the global pharmacy and healthcare industry, will further extend its pharmaceutical packaging business with the acquisition of Centor. Gerresheimer has reached an agreement with Nemera Development S.A. to acquire 100% of the share capital of Centor US Holding. “Centor is the highly profitable market leader for plastic vials and closures in […]
  • Methods Machine Tools presents the new Nakamura-Tome NTRX-300
    Methods Machine Tools, a developer of precision machine tools and automation, has introduced the new Nakamura-Tome NTRX-300, a multitasking turning center featuring complete parts machining in one operation, with a built-in load and unload automation system and advanced operator recognition management software. The NTRX-300 features true opposing twin spindles: an 8 in. A2-6 25 HP or […]
  • MSC Apex Diamond Python and Smart Midsurface speeds modeling to validation
    MSC Software announced a new release of MSC Apex, the company’s award-winning next generation Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) platform. The MSC Apex Diamond Python release introduces: · The fourth release of MSC Apex Modeler is a CAE Specific direct modeling and meshing solution that streamlines CAD clean-up, simplification and meshing workflow. New in this release is […]
  • Quality Metrics: FDA’s plan for a key set of measurements to help ensure manufacturers are producing quality medications
    Editor’s Note: This article is written by Ashley Boam and Mary Malarkey from the “FDA Voice” blog. Boam is an FDA’s acting Director of the Office of Policy for Pharmaceutical Quality, the Office of Pharmaceutical Quality and the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Malarkey is an FDA’s Director if the Office of Compliance and Biologics Quality […]

Leave a Reply