Seventh Sense scores $10M Series A for blood collection device

Seventh Sense Biosystems scored a $10 million round of Series A financing designed to help launch a pivotal clinical trial for its point of care blood collection device, a crucial step before the company seeks 510(k) clearance with the FDA in mid-2013.

Existing investors Flagship Ventures and Polaris Venture Partners funded the round. The money will help launch the pivotal trial in early 2013, but also help fuel commercialization efforts for the product, which collects blood for diagnostics purposes and is known formally as a "touch activated phlebotomy painless blood sampling system."

Separately, the Cambridge, MA company is touting the fact that its board of directors has formally appointed Howard Weisman as its president and CEO. The founder and former chairman and CEO of EKR Therapeutics will also serve on the company's board.

Worth noting: Seventh Sense's announcement makes no mention of what happened to founder Doug Levinson (also a co-founder of T2 Biosystems), who launched the company in 2008. Polaris spokesman John Lacey told FierceMedicalDevices that "the transition to Howard (Weisman) was a natural one as the company moves to commercialization," and that Levinson "is now engaged in other opportunities."

Take that as you will. The funding announcement emphasizes Weisman's "extensive experience launching medical products." Weisman most recently founded, chaired and CEO'd EKR, which Cornerstone Therapeutics ($CRTX) snatched up just last month. He also co-founded ESP Pharma and helped run the company from its 2001 founding until PDL BioPharma ($PDLI) paid more than $500 million for it in 2005, according to the announcement. He also has sales and marketing experience from Merck and Warner Lambert, so he has a track record of both selling products and venture-funded companies, giving investors a viable exit strategy in a tough financial market.

- read the funding announcement