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Venture Capital Ebbed in the Fourth Quarter

While more firms got money, fewer dollars were shelled outMONEY TREE – The dollar amount of deals dropped between the third and fourth quarters of 2006, but Q4 still saw a healthy jump in the number of companies that hooked up with venture funds.

According to The MoneyTree Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association based on data from Thomson Financial, 23 Garden State companies received $176.4 million in funding in the fourth quarter of 2006. In the previous quarter, 16 companies had taken in $226 million. To put the year in perspective, the MoneyTree Report shows that most investment activity took place in the second and third quarters.

The recipient of the most funding in the last quarter was Home Décor Products in Edison. It got $65 million, representing 36.75 percent of all the financing in New Jersey for the period.

For the full year, 80 funding deals in the state brought in some $757 million. That compares with 78 local deals signed in 2005 worth $833.7 million. According to the report, the nation saw investing dollars increase by 11.8 percent to $25.5 billion last year compared with 2005.

“Communications showed signs of life while software/IT continued to be strong. In health care and life sciences, the region continues to produce a lot of early-stage companies, with therapeutics, medical devices and specialty pharma commanding most of the attention,” says Phillip P. Chan, partner with the NJTC Venture Fund in Mount Laurel. “However, interest in diagnostics is starting to return as venture investors realize diagnosis and treatment go hand in hand.”

Local life sciences and consumer-products firms got the most attention from investors in the fourth quarter. Ten local companies in the life sciences sector received a total of $73 million for the period. Meanwhile, two consumer-products companies, including Home Décor Products, garnered a collective $73.4 million.

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AkaRx

Investment: $2 million

Mack Centre IV, Fourth Floor

South 61 Paramus Road

Paramus 07652

Phone: (201) 909-3000

Fax: (201) 909-3004

URL: www.akarx.com

Third round of funding for this developer of cancer and hematology products.

Amorcyte

Investment: NA

21 Main St.

Court Plaza South, East Wing, Suite 34

Hackensack 07601

Phone: (201) 883-5314

This was the second round of funding for this biotechnology firm that develops cell-based therapies for cardiovascular diseases.

aTyr Pharma

Investment: $10.5 million

221 Nassau St.

Princeton 08542-4601

Phone: (609) 924-6422

Second round of funding for the start-up biopharmaceutical company develops novel protein biologics for regenerative medicine.

AvePoint

370 Campus Drive, Suite 104

Somerset 08873

Phone: (732) 271-8688

Fax: (732) 271-8655

URL: www.avepoint.com

First round of funding for the early-stage software company that provides backup and data-management solutions.

Billtrust

Investment: $4 million

1095 Cranbury-South River Road, Suite 3

Jamesburg 08831-3411

Phone: (609) 235-1010

Fax: (609) 235-1011

URL: www.billtrust.com

First round of financing for Billtrust, which provides outsourced billing services.

Blue Tulip

Investment: $7 million

Princeton 08540

Phone: (609) 375-2000

URL: www.bluetulip.com

Second round of funding for this early-stage company that operates a chain of 17 stores specializing in personalized gifts.

CircuLite

Investment: $10.2 million

Hackensack

Phone: (201) 487-1005

URL: www.CircuLite.net

Third round of funding for this early-stage developer of implantable medical devices for treating serious heart conditions.

EKR Therapeutics

Investment: $2.3 million

7 E. Frederick Place

Cedar Knolls 07927

Phone: (877) 435-2524

URL: www.ekrtx.com

Second round of funding for this early-stage company that develops products to help oncology patients manage their symptoms.

First Index Group

Investment: $500,000

99 Cherry Hill Road, Suite 210

Parsippany 07054-1102

Phone: (973) 331-2600

Sixth round of funding for the late-stage company that provides a Web-based platform that connects makers and buyers of custom-manufactured parts.

Home Décor Products

Investment: $65 million

47 Brunswick Ave.

Edison 08817

Phone: (732) 593-1200

Fax: (732) 512-0691

URL: www.hdpi.com/

Fifth round of funding for this expansion-stage operator of Internet sites for the sale of kitchen and bath products, appliances and other home products.

IntegriChain

Investment: $2 million

100 Canal Pointe Blvd. Suite 210

Princeton 08540

Phone: (609) 806-5005

Fax: (609) 806-5006

URL: www.integrichain.com

First round of funding for this early-stage company that provides intelligence to prevent fraud in the supply chain for the life sciences industry.

IPP of America

Investment: $1.5 million

330 Passaic Ave., Suite 1

Fairfield 07004

Phone: (973) 830-1575

Fax: (973) 830-1576

URL: www.ipppays.com

Third round of funding for the expansion-stage company that runs an independent network of neighborhood-based payment centers for utilities, telecommunications providers and other billers.

The Janis Group

Investment: $750,000

201 W. Passaic St.

Rochelle Park 07662

Phone: (201) 291-5144

URL: www.jginfo.com

Fourth round of financing for this later-stage company, formerly known as Software Plus, that specializes in supply chain, human resources and payroll systems software.

Lamina Ceramics

Investment: $2 million

120 Hancock Lane

Westampton 08060

Phone: (609) 265-1401

Fax: (609) 265-9905

URL: www.laminaceramics.com

Ninth round of funding for the later-stage company that develops and manufactures super-bright LED arrays.

Lux Biosciences

Investment: $18 million

Harborside Financial Center Plaza 10, 14th Floor

(3 Second St., 14th Floor)

Jersey City 07302

Phone: (201) 344-7638

Fax: (201) 946-0552

URL: www.luxbio.com

Third round of financing for the early-stage biotech company that is developing medication to treat the underlying causes of eye diseases and alleviate their symptoms.

The Natural Dentist

Investment: $8.4 million

140 Sylvan Ave.

Englewood Cliffs 07632

Phone: (800) 615-6895

Fax: (201) 944-1717

URL: www.thenaturaldentist.com

First round of funding for the early-stage consumer-products company that makes an oral rinse to improve oral health and prevent oral bacteria from contributing to other health problems such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and complications of pregnancy.

Onconova Therapeutics

Investment: $2.08 million

993 Lenox Drive, Suite 200

Lawrenceville 08648

Phone: (609) 844-7735

Fax: (609) 844-7736

URL: www.onconova.com

Fifth round of funding for this later-stage biopharmaceutical company that seeks to develop products for treating cancer by combining conventional pharmaceutical science with the latest genomic and genetic technologies for drug discovery and development.

Origin Digital

Investment: $5.5 million

Union City

Phone: (201) 272-8368

First round of funding for this early-stage, technology-based multimedia service provider.

Orthocon

Investment: $2.9 million

167 Stone Hill Road

Colts Neck 07722

Phone: (732) 683-9304

Fax: (732) 683-9476

URL: www.orthocon.com

Second round of financing for the medical and pharmaceutical device company working on products for the orthopedic- and spine-surgery markets.

ReGen Biologics

Investment: $5 million

509 Commerce St., East Wing

Franklin Lakes 07417

Phone: (201) 651-5140

Fax: (201) 651-5141

URL: www.regenbio.com

Fourth round of financing for the orthopedics-products company that develops, manufactures and markets innovative tissue-growth and repair products.

Scivantage

Investment: $6.76 million

10 Exchange Place, 13th Floor

Jersey City 07302

Phone: (646) 452-0050

URL: www.scivantage.com

First round of financing for the brokerage technology vendor that provides a range of products and services for investors and professional brokerages.

TotalStone

Investment: NA

Millstone

First round of financing for TotalStone, a distributor of Owens Corning Cultured Stone, a light-weight molded concrete product that imitates the physical appearance of natural stone.

VaxInnate

Investment: $20 million

3 Cedar Brook Drive

Cranbury 08512

Phone: (609) 860-2260

Fax: (609) 860-2290

URL: www.vaxinnate.com

Third round of financing for the biotechnology company that develops proprietary vaccines for both pandemic and seasonal influenza.

NA: not available

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