SOMARK Closes VC Deal With Finistere Ventures and T2, Opens R&D Facility in San Diego

[02/04/09]

SOMARK Innovations, Inc. raised a round of venture capital financing, led by Finistere Ventures and T2 Venture Capital. Other investors include Med-Pharmex Animal Health and the St. Louis Arch Angels. SOMARK is developing a patented chipless RFID tattoo for animal identification system. Applications include lab animals to improve drug development processes and cattle for food supply safety. SOMARK will open an R&D facility in San Diego in addition to its St. Louis location at the Center for Emerging Technologies.

"This financing will enable the product development of our lab-animal identification system that will improve drug development processes. The goals of our lab-animal product are to decrease the costs of drug development and to increase the accuracy of pre-clinical data." said Mark C. Pydynowski, SOMARK President.

According to Finistere Managing Director, and SOMARK Board member Arama Kukutai, "Finistere sees SOMARK's technology as a better way to provide cost effective and reliable traceability in animal applications, initially in lab settings, but also in food and other applications in the future. The company is a great example of the type of innovation coming out of what have been considered "flyover" states like Missouri."

Finistere Ventures is a leading life science venture capital firm based in San Diego. Their investment strategy focuses on Food, Health and Renewable energy from biomass. Finistere was recently selected by the Missouri Technology Corporation to be the fund manager for the new Missouri Venture Partners (MVP) Fund, an early-stage seed capital and venture fund currently being raised. MVP was created to increase the state's number of investment-ready startup firms. "Finistere Ventures is very excited about our effort in Missouri," said Kukutai. "We believe our global investment network combined with Missouri's proximity to world class research institutions, agricultural production, and lower cost of doing business will make the Missouri Venture Partners Fund a success."

T2 Venture Capital is a seed-stage venture fund focused on the commercialization of intellectual property from government funded agency programs, major research institutes and universities around the world. Med-Pharmex Animal Health is a sales and marketing company focused on veterinary pharmaceuticals and drug delivery devices. Its parent company, Med-Pharmex, Inc., is the second largest holder of ANADA's in the U.S. veterinary generic drug market

"I am looking forward to enhancing our R&D team," said Ramos M. Mays, SOMARK Chief Science Officer. "The Southern California locale offers a rich talent pool of veteran engineers that possess the expertise we need and that understand the nuances of developing a product from concept to market in a start-up setting."