AKESOgen honored in January 2015 Georgia BIO Awards

Media contact:
Maria Thacker Goethe

Georgia Bio Deals of the Year
Spotlight Financings, Acquisitions and Collaboration

ATLANTA, GA (December 19, 2014) — Georgia Bio announced its 2015 Deals of the Year for pharmaceutical, biotechnology, healthcare IT and medical device companies in three categories – private financing, acquisitions and public/private collaboration – reflecting a broad range of activity. The annual Deal of the Year awards recognize transactions by life sciences companies in Georgia such as financings, partnering agreements and government grants that are significant to the state’s industry development.

Deals of the Year are awarded to one or more companies or institutions for the most significant financial or commercial transactions closed from November 1, 2013-October 31, 2014. The recipients will receive their awards at the Georgia Bio Annual Awards Dinner January 22, 6 pm to 9 pm, at Atlanta’s Fox Theater. Now in its 17th year, the Georgia Bio annual awards dinner brings together industry leaders to advance the growth of the life sciences industry and foster strategic partnerships that can create a healthier world. Other leading companies, executives, researchers and dedicated individuals will receive Georgia Bio Awards at the dinner. Learn more and register at

The recipients are: Alimera Sciences, Clearside Biomedical, St. Jude Medical/CardioMEMS, Varian Medical Systems/Velocity Medical Solutions, Immucor, and AKESOgen/ VA Million Veteran Program.

Private Financing
Alimera Sciences
Alimera was successful in raising $122.5 million during 2014 for the continued commercialization of its lead product, ILUVIEN, in 17 countries in Europe as well as a planned commercial launch in the United States in 1Q 2015. Alimera secured $37.5 million in a private placement in February followed by a $35 million venture debt facility through Hercules Technology Growth Capital in April. In addition, Alimera recently announced a $50 million equity financing in November with Deerfield Management. Alimera received FDA approval of ILUVIEN on September 26, 2014.

ILUVIEN is an intravitreal implant of fluocinolone acetonide and is the first Diabetic Macular Edema treatment to deliver 36 months of continuous, low-dose corticosteroid therapy with a single injection. DME is the major cause of vision loss in people with diabetic retinopathy. People with diabetes have a 10 percent risk of developing the condition during their lifetime and an estimated 21 million people around the globe have DME. This number will only continue to grow as the number of people with type 2 diabetes is rapidly increasing in every country. Current estimates are that there will be 1.5 times the number of diabetic patients in 20 years’ time.

Alimera Sciences, Inc. employs approximately 100 employees with offices in Alpharetta, London, Berlin, Paris,
and Lisbon. To learn more, visit

Clearside Biomedical
Clearside Biomedical, Inc., in September 2014, announced the closing of a $16 million Series B financing. The financing included new investor RusnanoMedInvest (RMI) and existing investors Hatteras Venture Partners, Santen Pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd., Mountain Group Capital and Georgia Research Alliance Venture Fund.

Headquartered in Alpharetta, GA, Clearside Biomedical is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing first-in-class drug therapies to treat chronic, blinding diseases of the eye. Clearside’s product candidates focus on diseases affecting the retina and the choroid, especially diseases associated with macular edema, and are injected non-surgically into the suprachoroidal space with Clearside’s proprietary microinjector.

Clearside is using the proceeds from this financing to fund three programs. They are currently advancing two product candidates through the clinical trial process. CLS1001, for the treatment of macular edema following uveitis, is enrolling patients in a Phase 2 clinical trial and CLS1003, for the treatment of macular edema following retinal vein occlusion, has initiated patient enrollment in a Phase 2 clinical trial. Clearside also has a drug development program for the treatment of wet AMD in preclinical testing. To learn more, visit

St. Jude Medical and CardioMEMS
CardioMEMS, Inc., led by Founder and CEO, Jay Yadav, MD, developed the FDA approved CardioMEMS HF System which uses a miniaturized, wireless sensor to directly measure pulmonary artery pressure and transmit the information to a database remotely. Non-invasive, real-time monitoring of these pressures helps nurses and physicians monitor and intervene at the earliest stages of heart failure, so that the likelihood of hospitalization is reduced.

The CardioMEMS HF System can help healthcare providers more effectively manage medications and other forms of treatment before heart failure symptoms escalate. Clinical testing demonstrated that use of the device resulted in a decrease of hospitalization rates among heart failure patients at 6 months and 15 months by 28 percent and 37 percent, respectively.

In June of 2014, CardioMEMS was acquired by St. Jude Medical, Inc., a global medical device manufacturer dedicated to transforming the treatment of some of the world’s most expensive epidemic diseases, for more than $450 million. The acquisition was in line with St. Jude Medical’s on-going commitment to provide innovative medical device solutions that reduce the burden of complex diseases like heart failure, both on patients and healthcare systems.To learn more, visit

Varian Medical Systems & Velocity Medical Solutions
Varian Medical Systems, a leading supplier of equipment and software for treating cancer with radiotherapy, radiosurgery, brachytherapy, and proton therapy, announced in April 2014 that Varian had acquired specific assets of Velocity Medical Solutions, LLC, an Atlanta-based developer of specialized software for cancer clinics.

The acquisition included software designed to access and aggregate unstructured treatment and imaging data from diverse systems to show a comprehensive view of a cancer patient’s diagnostic imaging and treatment history, regardless of where they were treated or what technology was used. By organizing patient data and making it available in one place, the Velocity software was designed to help clinicians make more informed treatment decisions. Varian continues to develop the Velocity software platform with the Velocity team in Atlanta.

The Velocity organization was founded by leading clinicians who developed innovative and powerful tools that transform unstructured data into useful clinical knowledge. The Velocity software, which at that point was already in use at over 200 cancer treatment centers worldwide, enables clinicians to easily collect, integrate, and share data from CT, PET, and MR images and diverse treatment systems for close collaboration with referring physicians and others on the care team. To learn more, visit

Immucor Acquires Sentilus
Immucor, Inc., led by CEO William A. Hawkins III, is a global leader in transfusion and transplantation diagnostics. Headquartered in Norcross, GA, the Company completed six transactions during 2014 focused on enhancing its product offering and expanding its geographic footprint.

During May, Immucor acquired Organ-i, Inc., a privately-held company focused on developing non-invasive tests to monitor and predict organ health for transplant recipients. In October, Immucor announced a collaboration with privately held Sirona Genomics, Inc., which was spun out of the Stanford Genome Technology Center at Stanford University. As part of the collaboration Immucor will provide development funding to support the commercialization of Sirona’s human leukocyte antigen (HLA) typing offering using next generation sequencing. Immucor retains an exclusive option to acquire the company. Both transactions strengthen Immucor’s transplantation diagnostics portfolio. Also during October, Immucor acquired privately held Sentilus, Inc., which was spun out of Duke University. This acquisition strengthens Immucor’s transfusion diagnostics portfolio with a novel, inkjet-printed antibody microarray-based technology. Additionally during 2014, Immucor also acquired its transplantation diagnostics distributors in Italy, the United Kingdom and India.

Immucor’s mission is to create a world where anyone, anywhere in need of blood or an organ gets the right blood or organ that is safe, accessible and affordable. To learn more, visit

Public/Private Collaboration
AKESOgen & VA Million Veteran Program
The US Department of Veterans Affairs Million Veteran Program is the largest genetic initiative ever undertaken in the US and its visionary genomics and genetics approach will provide new insights about how genes affect health. The goal is to improve healthcare for veterans by understanding the genetic basis of many common conditions. The data will ultimately be beneficial to the healthcare of all veterans and of the wider community. We are delighted to support the VA for this unique endeavor as we provide genetic data of the highest quality to the VA. AKESOgen is delivering over 800,000 genetic datapoints to the VA for each of the patients it provides analysis making up many terabytes of information each year. AKESOgen provides genomics services for the clinical applications and also for the research and development market, including biobanking, DNA/RNA extraction, and genetic technologies. Founded in 2010, our company services to the clinical, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, academic, and government sectors. AKESOgen received $7.5 M for year one (out of a 5 year award). To learn more, visit

For a list of past Georgia Bio Award recipients, click here.

Georgia Bio ( is the private, non-profit association whose members include pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies, medical centers, universities and research institutes, government groups and other business organizations involved in the development of life sciences related products and services.

Note to Editors: Credentialed members of the news media are invited to attend. Registration is complimentary. Please contact Maria Thacker (404-920-2042;

Share this FacebooktwitterredditlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

AKESOgen, Inc. Announces the Promotion of Joseph Washburn to Vice President of Operations

AKESOgen, Inc. is pleased to announce the promotion of Joseph Washburn to the position of Vice President of Operations, based in its Norcross, Atlanta office. Mr. Washburn will be responsible for ensuring lab operations that are compliant with approved corporate laboratory policies and procedures, proper financial and operational controls, quality assurance measures, and safety programs and requirements.  Joseph brings with him over 13 years of experience in directing and managing services within the DNA sequencing core: Microarray Core, Illumina NGS, IonTorrent and Pacific Bioscience RS group.  Joseph also holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan.

Share this FacebooktwitterredditlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail