Stem cell startup SynGen scores $5M in Series A

Japanese scientists report that they have grown hair on hairless mice by implanting follicles created from stem cells. In fact, stem cells have been in the news a lot lately. So it's timely that Sacramento, CA-based SynGen, a regenerative medical device company, has raised $5 million in a Series A round from Bay City Capital. The cash will be used to speed the commercialization of its SynGen-1000 platform product, a stem cell harvesting system.

The company's first target will be cord blood banks, said SynGen President and CEO Phil Coelho, whose company plans on filing for FDA clearance and CE mark approval shortly.

His colleagues at Bay City expressed enthusiasm about the deal. "We expect SynGen's products will play a significant role in enabling clinical research and expanding the medical applications of regenerative medicine," said William Gerber, investment partner at Bay City. "Phil Coelho is an established innovator in the field of cord blood stem cell isolation and purification, and we are excited about expanding SynGen's product line to address novel applications for adult stem cell therapies."

Although such early med-tech investment has seen challenges over the past few years, it still represents an opportunity, said Cary Adams, chair of MedStart, a regional economic collaborative started four years ago by the Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance. "Coming out of the storm caused by the economic meltdown and FDA regulatory head winds, I'm delighted to see this example of funding to a member of our community," Adams said, as quoted by the Sacramento Business Journal.

- read the SynGen release
- check out the Business Journal story
- here's the story on the mice from AFP