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5 March 2013

Wisconsin spin-out swallows $1m

Swallow Solutions, a spin out of the University of Wisconsin, raises $1m in a series A round led by Venture Management.

Author: Gregg Bayes-Brown, editor

US-based life sciences firm Swallow Solutions has raised $1.046m in a series A round led by Venture Management LLC, which also saw participation from NEW Capital Fund, Wisconsin Investment Partners, and a number of individual investors.

Founded in 2004 using technology developed at the University of Wisconsin, the Madison-based firm plans to use the funding to commercialise a portfolio of dysphagia treatments as well as developing new products and services.

Swallow Solutions offers “retraining treatments” aimed at getting patients to swallow correctly, and estimates that the US market for swallowing devices and treatments is worth about $2.5bn annually. Swallowing disorders such as dysphagia affect more than 18 million adults in the US and several million more children.

Dr. JoAnne Robbins, founder and chief scientific officer at Swallow Solutions, said: “Our muscles weaken as we age; this includes muscles of the head and neck. Those who suffer from a neurologic disorder, such as stroke, dementia, or Parkinson’s, or who have had a head injury, or head and neck cancer, often have increased swallowing deficiencies beyond those caused by normal aging. Current swallowing-related therapies range from attention to posture when eating as well as dietary changes and food and liquid modification. Now, these therapies will be substantially enhanced using Swallow Solutions’ devices and systems to improve and strengthen swallowing capabilities.”

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