A fund managed by the new Premier hospital alliance has invested $4 million in two biotechnology companies developing new ways to deliver living cells and drugs into the human body.
The related companies, VivoRx and VivoRx Pharmaceuticals of Santa Monica, Calif., each received $2 million from the APS Medical Partner Fund.
The VivoRx technology, which is in clinical trials, involves the injection of live cells into the abdomen of insulin-dependent diabetics to act as an artificial pancreas.
VivoRx Pharmaceuticals coats drug particles that are injected intravenously. The micro-encapsulation will allow higher doses of drugs to be delivered with fewer side effects.
The APS fund was created last summer by San Diego-based American Healthcare Systems. AmHS later merged with Premier Health Alliance and SunHealth Alliance to form Premier.
The fund is a partnership with 11 major companies, including Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing, Fuji USA, Kendall Healthcare and Mallinckrodt Medical. The companies provided half its $36 million capitalization.
Premier hospitals are expected to be involved in the clinical trials of the products.