Guidant, GE, and Duke University Take Stake in SyneCor, LLC

This is a groundbreaking partnership that allows each of our major investors a first look at cutting-edge health sciences technologies.

Bill Starling, Managing Director of Synecor, LLC

Menlo Park, Calif. – Dec. 12, 2000 – SyneCor, LLC, an accelerator company for new cardiovascular research, devices and development businesses, today announced that it has secured financing led by Frazier Healthcare and Delphi Ventures. This venture is a first of its kind, bringing top cardiologists, investors, corporations, researchers and inventors together, with a leading investment bank, to identify transformational cardiovascular technology and to rapidly deliver it to the marketplace.

“This is a groundbreaking partnership that allows each of our major investors a first look at cutting-edge cardiovascular technology,” said Bill Starling, managing partner of SyneCor. “With our combined resources and expertise, SyneCor will provide a turnkey operation for inventors and entrepreneurs that will take cutting-edge ideas and turn them into the best companies to offer state of the art products. SyneCor will guide new businesses each step of the way, from inception through stand-alone status, and take away much of the risk for investors by pre-qualifying each new idea.”

SyneCor was conceived to take advantage of trends that, according to Richard Stack, M.D. managing partner of SyneCor, will shape the evolution of the cardiovascular device industry for the next decade. One example of such a trend is the evolution of cardiovascular devices to serve as platforms for local delivery of potent biologicals and pharmaceuticals.

These technologies will impact diagnosis and treatment of diseases at the cellular level, and as the American population continues to age, the need for cardiovascular solutions will fuel the market for the medical device industry.

Financial investors include Guidant Corporation, General Electric Medical Systems, Frazier Healthcare Ventures, Delphi Ventures and DB Capital Partners. DB Capital Partners worked very closely with Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown to make the investment in SyneCor. Duke University’s Schools of Medicine and Engineering contributed key intellectual property to SyneCor in exchange for an equity stake in the company. In addition to the $10.5 million raised in this round, SyneCor initially secured $1.5 million in seed funding from a key group of cardiologists.

Nathan Every, M.D., a cardiologist with Frazier Healthcare Ventures, said, “By bringing together industry leaders, we believe we can increase the pace of discovery and deliver groundbreaking innovations from the research laboratory to the patient’s bedside.”

Ron Dollens, president and CEO of Guidant Corporation, who serves on SyneCor’s board of directors, said “This joint venture represents two decades of cooperation among leading cardiologists, clinician inventors and top scientists from across the nation. It’s an exciting time in the industry and we are pleased to be a part of it.” Nathan Every and David Douglass will also join Ron Dollens on the board of directors.

SyneCor has also assembled a medical advisory board by naming a very distinguished group of internationally recognized clinicians and scientists to help advise the company. Duke University also contributed to the medical advisory board.

Robert Taber, Ph.D., vice chancellor of science and technology development at Duke University, said of the joint venture, “We are excited to work with SyneCor to identify and develop the next generation of devices and therapeutics in cardiology. The partnership is precisely what we need to encourage the successful development of university technology for the betterment of medical practice.”

SyneCor will be co-managed by Richard Stack, M.D., executive director of the Atlanta Cardiovascular Research Institute and professor of medicine and cardiologist, on leave of absence from Duke University; and William Starling, an experienced entrepreneur/executive and founder of three successful Silicon Valley cardiovascular businesses.

About SyneCor, LLC: SyneCor, LLC is an accelerator company for new cardiovascular research, devices and development businesses and is based in Menlo Park, Calif. and Research Triangle Park, N.C. For more information about SyneCor, please visit our web site at

About Delphi Ventures: Delphi Ventures is a private venture capital firm providing equity financing and supportive business expertise to young biomedical and healthcare companies. Its goal is to contribute added value to the companies it funds by serving as active investors.

About Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown: Deutsche Banc Alex Brown identifies the U.S. investment banking activities of DB Alex. Brown LLC and Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc., which are indirect subsidiaries of Deutsche Bank AG.

About DB Capital Partners: DB Capital Partners is a merchant banking affiliate of Deutsche Bank AG. With operations in North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America, DB Capital Partners and its affiliates draw on the substantial global resources of its parent company and its affiliates including Deutsche Securities Inc., and DB Alex. Brown LLC. DB Capital Partners invests over $1.0 billion annually in all manner of financial transactions including growth financings, recapitalizations, and leveraged buyouts, with a particular emphasis on industry sectors where DB Capital Partners or its affiliates have significant expertise.

About Duke University: Duke University is one of America’s leading research universities. The Duke University Medical Center has achieved international prominence and many Duke programs are consistently rated amongst the best in the United States. The Duke School of Engineering, home to the Center of Emerging Cardiovascular Technologies, is one of the nation’s leading institutions in bio-medical engineering.

About Frazier Healthcare: Frazier Healthcare has provided capital to emerging growth companies across the entire spectrum of the healthcare industry, at all stages of development, from incubation to late stage. The firm takes an active role in its investments and has one of the largest healthcare investment teams in the venture capital community.

About General Electric Medical Systems: GE Medical Systems is a $7 billion global leader in medical systems, information and technology. Its offerings include networking and productivity tools, healthcare information systems, patient monitoring systems, conventional and digital X-ray, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance (MR), ultrasound, positron emission tomography (PET), and nuclear medicine systems. With global headquarters in Waukesha, Wisconsin, healthcare providers worldwide rely on GE Medical Systems for high quality medical technology, services and productivity solutions. Additional information about GE Medical Systems and its products can be found on the company’s Web site at

About Guidant Corporation: Guidant Corporation provides innovative, minimally invasive, and cost-effective products and services for the treatment of cardiovascular and vascular disease.

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