Healthcare Industry News:  New Venture Partners 

Diagnostics Venture Capital

 News Release - February 6, 2008

Safeguard Scientifics and New Venture Partners Co-Lead $7.7 Million Series A Financing for Alverix, Inc.

Transaction Facilitated Spin-Out from Avago Technologies

Point-of-Care Technology Provider Will Use Proceeds for Key Hires, Product Development and Commercialization of Various Point-of-Care Assay Devices

WAYNE, Pa.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. (NYSE:SFE), a holding company that builds value in growth-stage technology and life sciences companies, today announced that it co-led a $7.7 million Series A financing round for San Jose, CA-based Alverix, Inc., a point-of-care (POC) diagnostics technology provider, with New Venture Partners LLC, the global venture capital firm dedicated to corporate technology spinouts. Alverix will use the proceeds of this financing round for key hires, product development and commercialization of its POC assay devices.

Alverix is a spin out from Avago Technologies, a leading supplier of analog interface components for communications, industrial and consumer applications. The Company is leveraging a 30-year legacy of expertise in optical sensors, image processing, software and signal enhancement algorithms, and owns proprietary technology for low-cost, portable assay detection devices for medical diagnostics and other applications. When combined with existing diagnostics tests, or with assays currently being developed, Alverix’s devices enable central laboratory quality results to be done in any location where test information is critical to patient care. Until now, this level of performance required expensive, bench-top instrumentation. In contrast, Alverix’s detection devices provide immediate, accurate results at POC – in doctors’ offices, clinics, retail environments or workplace settings – for a fraction of the cost and turn around time of traditional methods. Current applications include testing for drugs of abuse (DOA), cardiac, cancer, infectious disease and drug efficacy.

“Alverix fits within our core competency of partnering with innovative life sciences companies that target diagnostics, medical device or specialty pharmaceuticals,” said Peter J. Boni, President and CEO of Safeguard Scientifics. “Safeguard’s life sciences team together with New Venture Partners’ technology expertise will be invaluable for Alverix as it moves to partner with diagnostic marketers and manufacturers to usher in the next generation of point-of-care diagnostics.”

“Alverix’s technology is well positioned to exploit portions of the $9 billion fragmented POC and $18.7 billion central laboratory markets where its devices are applicable,” says Gary J. Kurtzman, MD, Vice President of Life Sciences at Safeguard, and interim CEO for Alverix. “This disruptive technology delivers more functionality, in particular greater sensitivity and accuracy at a greatly reduced cost. The company’s technology platform allows it to expand accessibility of existing and new diagnostic tests and promotes the next generation of diagnostics that will be designed for broad use by physicians and patients.”

Two macro trends are fueling increased demand for POC rapid tests. First, the cost and efficiency of the delivery of healthcare will be greatly augmented as more diagnostics tests are performed more quickly at the point of care. Second, as consumers begin to take greater ownership of their own healthcare, there is growing demand for accessibility to diagnostic testing, in retail settings as well as in the home.

“This is an exciting time for the Alverix team,” said Patrick T. Petruno, Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Alverix. “Under the umbrella of a large company, we conceived and incubated the concepts behind a new instrumentation platform for Point of Care applications. Now, as an independent company, made possible by Safeguard Scientifics and New Venture Partners, we are well positioned to further develop and commercialize our products. Our ultimate goal is to revolutionize POC diagnostic testing, allowing physicians and eventually patients to better monitor and manage their healthcare needs with the confidence that the results can be used for immediate treatment.”

Gary Kurtzman and David Tennenhouse, Partner at New Venture Partners, will join Alverix’s Board of Directors.

About Alverix

Founded in 2007 and based in San Jose, CA, Alverix builds upon a 30-year legacy of expertise in optical sensors, image processing, software, and signal enhancement algorithms. The company’s product focus is producing low cost, handheld reader devices with the accuracy and precision of laboratory instrumentation. Alverix partners with diagnostic companies seeking to increase current test accuracy, improve the portability of existing tests, or develop new assays for use in physician offices, laboratory outreach locations, retail clinics and homes. With strength in product design, product development, and high throughput manufacturing, Alverix is leading the transition of diagnostic testing from the laboratory to on site locations where immediate results are critical to patient care.

About New Venture Partners

New Venture Partners LLC, the global venture capital firm dedicated to corporate technology spinouts, has over $700 million under management. New Venture Partners provides a bridge between technology corporations and traditional venture capital. Through its unique, hands-on approach, the firm offers a systematic process for commercializing innovations and provides an alternative path to market for corporate technologies. The New Venture Partners team has completed over 50 spinouts from the R&D labs and business units of global technology corporations including Lucent/Bell Labs, British Telecom, Philips Electronics, Agere, Boeing, Intel, Telstra, and others, and has become the benchmark for corporate spinout venturing.

About Safeguard Scientifics

Founded in 1953 and based in Wayne, PA, Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. (NYSE:SFE ) provides growth capital for entrepreneurial and innovative technology and life sciences companies. Safeguard targets technology companies in Software as a Service (SaaS), Technology-Enabled Services and Internet-based Businesses, and life sciences companies in Molecular and Point-of-Care Diagnostics, Medical Devices and Specialty Pharmaceuticals with capital requirements between $5 and $50 million. Safeguard participates in expansion financings, corporate spin-outs, management buyouts, recapitalizations, industry consolidations and early-stage financings.

Except for the historical information and discussions contained herein, statements contained in this release may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Our forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements that could cause actual results to differ materially, include, among others, managing rapidly changing technologies, limited access to capital, competition, the ability to attract and retain qualified employees, the ability to execute our strategy, the uncertainty of the future performance of our companies, acquisitions and dispositions of companies, the inability to manage growth, compliance with government regulations and legal liabilities, additional financing requirements, the effect of economic conditions in the business sectors in which our companies operate, and other uncertainties described in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Many of these factors are beyond our ability to predict or control. In addition, as a result of these and other factors, our past financial performance should not be relied on as an indication of future performance. The Company does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements or other information contained in this press release.

Source: Safeguard Scientifics

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