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Kentucky Seed Capital Fund Invests in Innovative Medical Device Start-Up

OrthoData Emerges from UofL Research Center with Spinal Fusion Diagnostic Device

LOUISVILLE - The Kentucky Seed Capital Fund announced today that it led a $1.1 million Series A funding for Louisville-based medical device start-up, OrthoData, Inc.

"OrthoData has all of the qualities we seek in potential investment opportunities," explained George Emont, managing partner of the fund. "With an innovative concept and strong scientific and management leadership, we are pleased that OrthoData is our first device company investment."

Capitalizing on the University of Louisville's Mico/Nano Technology Service Center clean room and MEMS fabrication capabilities, OrthoData Inc. has developed an innovative diagnostic system that will allow orthopaedic surgeons to accurately monitor spinal fusion progress.

Approximately 527,000 spinal fusion surgeries were performed worldwide in 2006. Ten to twenty percent required a secondary exploratory surgery at an annual cost of over $1.5 billion. to verify non-fusions when the patient's pain persists; yet up to 50 percent are found to be fusing properly. The OrthoData technology will be able to verify fusion without expensive re-operations.

"This is a battery-less device," explained OrthoData CEO Tim Prell. "It is designed to remain in the patient's body and respond when needed for life."

OrthoData was founded, along with Prell, by a diverse team of UofL researchers, engineers and physicians, including Bill Hnat, Ph.D.; Ronaldo Puno, M.D., John Naber, Ph.D.; Kevin Walsh, Ph.D.; and Michael Voor, Ph.D.

Joining KSCF in this funding are Queen City Angels, Cardinal Ventures, Kentucky Science & Technology Corp., Commonwealth Seed Capital Fund, and the company's founders.

"This investment will allow OrthoData to complete its manufacturing design and then move through a series of animal tests to prepare for FDA clinical trials," Emont said. "We support the company's plan to bring this exciting technology to market in the next two to three years."

Investors in KSCF include the Commonwealth of Kentucky through Commonwealth Seed Capital, Humana Inc., the University of Louisville Foundation, Baptist Hospital Health System, Kosair Charities, James Graham Brown Foundation, Jewish Hospital HealthCare Services, and several individuals.

According to Emont, the fund will invest in companies at the earliest stages of development, providing a pipeline of investment opportunities for later-stage venture investment.