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Saturday, October 21, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Startup gets $8.6 million in capital for medical technology

Seattle Times business reporter

Seattle Medical Technologies, a medical-device startup founded by the prolific inventor Clif Alferness, has raised at least $8.6 million in venture capital.

It received the cash, according to a regulatory filing, from two prominent investment firms that have backed Alferness in startups before — Three Arch Partners and Frazier Healthcare Ventures.

The company remains secretive about its business plan, and declined to comment about the financing or its target market.

It recently hired as its new chief executive Jeffrey Purvin, 54, formerly chief executive of Metrika, a privately held maker of handheld diabetes-monitoring products in Sunnyvale, Calif.

Purvin previously worked in executive jobs at Datascope, a cardiology- and radiology-device maker, and drug giant GlaxoSmithKline.

Alferness, who has diabetes and wears an insulin pump, has inventions in a wide range of medical areas — including the heart, lungs and esophageal tissues.

If Seattle Medical Technologies is devoted to diabetes, like Purvin's last company, it would be the only local medical-device company in that field.

Alferness, 59, started the new company in June 2004 with a $500,000 venture investment from Three Arch to test out several ideas. Such wide latitude from investors is rare in any business, but his backers made an exception for Alferness. He has more than 70 issued U.S. patents, and has co-founded six startups that have raised more than $300 million combined.

Four of those medical-device companies are currently developing products in the Seattle area — Spiration, Archus Orthopedics, Cardiac Dimensions and EndoGastric Solutions.

Luke Timmerman: 206-515-5644 or ltimmerman@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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