The past few months have been quite exciting for ATV with a number of major portfolio company developments, most notably the acquisitions of Ardian and Plexxikon.  These blockbuster announcements represent two of the largest healthcare acquisitions on record for private, venture-backed companies and demonstrate that emerging companies with novel, ground-breaking technologies addressing significant unmet needs can continue to garner high strategic value in this environment. 

Many of our other portfolio companies have also been busy making headlines of their own with announcements of strategic partnerships, clinical milestones, record growth, government funding and other achievements.  ATV celebrated an achievement of its own this week, as Mike Carusi was named to the 2011 Forbes Midas List of top venture capitalists.  Other ATV General Partners that have received the honor in recent years include Jean George and Bob Hower.  

Despite all the excitement surrounding the recent exits of Ardian and Plexxikon and other  milestones, ATV hasn’t wavered from its primary goal of investing in innovative companies and exceptional entrepreneurs and working with those teams to build great companies that can lead markets.   In fact, these recent acquisitions serve as successful proof points of that strategy.  As we look ahead, we expect more continued good news from our portfolio as well as a resurgence in new investment activity as the economic recovery continues to take hold.

Following are several notable portfolio company highlights.  For a more complete summary, visit


This week, Daiichi Sankyo, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in Japan, completed its acquisition of Plexxikon for $935 million in cash and milestones.  As announced earlier this month, Daiichi Sankyo agreed to pay $805 million initially and $130 million in milestones tied to approval of Plexxikon's PLX4032, which in Phase III clinical trials has shown potential to improve survival of metastatic melanoma patients with a genetic mutation known as BRAF. The acquisition is one of the largest on record for a venture-backed biopharmaceutical company.

Medtronic (NYSE: MDT) announced in January that it has completed the acquisition of Ardian, a developer of catheter-based therapies to treat hypertension and related conditions.  Under the terms of the agreement announced in November, the purchase price is $800 million in cash up front, plus additional cash milestone payments.

In early March, Valeritas garnered FDA clearance for its V-Go disposable system for subcutaneous delivery of Novo Nordisk's insulin product NovoLog in adult diabetics.  This victory follows the company's receipt of FDA clearance of V-Go to deliver Eli Lilly's insulin product Humalog.  V-Go offers an alternative to using syringe and needle injections of fast-acting insulin around mealtimes to control blood sugar levels in diabetics.

In January, the U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded Coskata a $250 million loan guarantee to build and operate a cellulosic ethanol plant in Alabama.   The company was also recently the subject of a Chicago Sun-Times feature on Coskata’s innovative process for turning cellulose into ethanol.

Cool Sculpting by Zeltiq continues to make headlines in major media outlets.  The non-invasive fat-reduction device was recently featured on ABC’s Good Morning America and in Town & Country magazine, among others.

Online game publisher WildTangent recently rolled out a new offering in which advertisers have the opportunity to insert virtual images or replications of their products within social games—rather than having to be integrated into a game during its development stages.  During a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, company executives Mike Peronto and Dave Madden said social gaming has quickly become the company’s fastest growing segment, with revenues tripling year-over-year.  

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory recently announced it has certified that Solar Junction cells operate at 41.4 percent efficiency, a first in the solar industry.  Typically, silicon solar cells are in the range of 15 - 20 percent efficient at converting sunlight to electricity. This news was the subject of a recent MIT Technology Review profile on the company.

EndoGastric Solutions was featured on The Wall Street Journal’s 'Top 50 Venture-Backed Companies' list for 2011.  The list spotlights start-ups with the potential for technological breakthroughs in health care, mobile communications and business software and seeks to pinpoint the 50 U.S. venture-backed companies with the greatest promise to succeed.

Three ATV portfolio companies - Coskata, Calisolar, Oasys – were included in The 2010 Global Cleantech 100 Report, an annual list of the top 100 cleantech companies, which according to The Cleantech Group, which develops the list, is “a barometer of the changing face of global cleantech innovation.”

Oasys Water Co-founder and CTO Robert McGinnis was the featured ‘Innovator’ in the March 10 issue of BusinessWeek. The company’s seawater desalination process was also highlighted.

In the Forbes issue hitting newsstands this week, ATV’s Mike Carusi is featured on the publication’s Midas List, an annual ranking of the leading investors in the venture community.  Mike also recently shared his insights on the investment outlook for early-stage healthcare and medical device companies in a Q&A with PEHub.  

For more information on these and other portfolio company highlights, visit