Massachusetts Helps InVivo Find Effective Treatment for Spinal Cord Injuries

The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center predicts that there will be 12,000 new cases of spinal cord injury each year. As of this year, there are about 270,000 people in the United States who are living with spinal cord injury. Spinal cord injuries can be caused in many ways, including assault, falls, gunshot wounds, industrial accidents, motor vehicle accidents, and playing sports. The commonwealth of Massachusetts understands the severity of a spinal cord injuries and is providing ongoing assistance to InVivo Therapeutics Holdings Corp. (“InVivo”), a company that has been developing technologies for the treatment of spinal cord injuries.

According to InVivo’s CEO, the commonwealth of Massachusetts first helped InVivo in 2009 by granting a $500,000 loan from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. Massachusetts also has an Emerging Technology Fund (ETF), which “targets technology companies that are starting up or expanding manufacturing in Massachusetts by providing financing for manufacturing facilities and equipment.” With the assistance of the ETF, InVivo entered into a loan agreement with the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency (“MassDev”) on October 5, 2012 for two million dollars. MassDev helps businesses and agencies financially to create jobs as well as positively affect other factors of the state’s economy. Now, this seven-year loan will be used to “purchase equipment for the expansion of manufacturing and research capabilities at its new facility in Cambridge.”

As of 2009, InVivo was a small based company with five employees and a great mission – to find effective treatments for spinal cord injuries. Spinal cord injuries most occur in young adults and can amount to bleeding, fluid buildup, and swelling inside or outside the spinal cord. Besides the obvious back pain, patients have complained of loss of bowel and bladder control, numbness, sensory changes, and weakness. InVivo has created innovative treatments for these injuries and symptoms by using growth factors, biomaterials, stem cells, and drugs approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Now, with over 30 employees, this company continues its mission through its own growth and development with the help of MassDev’s loan.

MassDev received an advance of two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000) upon approval of the loan. The loan, with an annual interest rate of 6.5%, has a partial consideration of MassDev’s option to purchase 36,145 shares of its common stock at a price of $1.66 per share that can be exercised immediately and expires at the termination of the loan (October 2019). The loan is secured by all of the Company’s assets except for intellectual property and leased equipment. The price per share was more at the time of the agreement, but as of October 12, 2012, the price dropped 50% to $1.65 per share. InVivo issued a public letter on that day to reassure its shareholders (including its creditor, MassDev) that the stock decline was only caused by internet rumors and the stock will pick up again as the company continues to progress. Frank Reynolds, the CEO, states that “InVivo has been making excellent progress in the past months” and “we expect the next six months to mark the major inflection point of our growth.”

The spine injury attorneys at Altman & Altman, LLP work with all those who suffer serious injury as result of the negligence of others. We appreciate the importance of all technologies that might improve the lives of those suffering from these injuries.

Source: MassDevelopment Loans $2M to Cambridge Spinal Cord Startup, Boston Herald, October 9, 2012

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