Providence Firm Brings In $9M

As baby boomers worldwide continue to age, demand for user-friendly, effective medical technologies will continue to increase. Privately held biotech firm Cell Based Delivery Inc., of Providence, R.I., is looking to tap into that vast global market with products that fight chronic diseases like cancer.

Cell Based Delivery’s chances for success got a little brighter last week with the completion of a $9 million private financing round, led by TVM Techno Venture Management. The Vertical Group also participated in the financing along with Slater Center for Biomedical Technology, which is one of four technology commercialization centers operated under the auspices of the Samuel Slater Technology Fund, a Rhode Island-supported program designed to take promising technologies out of the laboratory and into the marketplace.

For its part, Cell Based Delivery has been developing human muscle cells that can deliver proteins to various parts of the body to treat diseases including hemophilia and cancer. The company will use part of the $9 million to conduct clinical trials for a product designed to treat hemophilia, according to Robert Valentini, the company’s co-founder and chief executive officer. He says the company will also hire six to eight employees over the next year and expects its latest venture infusion to last about two years.

“Our investors have a strong presence in the European clinical market, which will allow [Cell Based Delivery] to move rapidly on the international scene,” says Valentini. The company’s first product should hit the market in 2007, he adds.

“As an investor and a physician, I am very excited about helping to build a company squarely focused on the need for developing new products to treat chronic disease, representing billion dollar markets,” says Rod Altman, a TVM partner and Cell Based Delivery’s newest board member.

The start-up’s research had been funded by $275,000 in loans from the Center for Biomedical Technology, $500,000 from private investors and $5 million in federal grants and contracts.

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