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Kan. Bioscience Authority approves new investments

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -- The Kansas Bioscience Authority's executive committee has approved up to $1.6 million in new investments for two Kansas City-area companies.

The committee on Monday authorized the investments, which include $600,000 to Olathe-based Novita Therapeutics and $1 million for Innara Health Inc. of Shawnee, The Lawrence Journal-World reported (http://bit.ly/184ySUU ).

The Kansas Bioscience Authority's job is to invest in and nurture new companies in the biosciences and life sciences fields.

Novita was formed in 2009 and develops medical devices for cardiovascular diseases. Innara Health is also a medical device company.

Thomas Krol, director of commercialization at the authority, says the KBA has moved away from grant-based financing in favor of investing and reinvesting in companies with an expectation for returns.

Both investments are designed as co-investments, meaning the KBA will match a certain percentage of outside funds similar in type.

The $600,000 authorized to Novita will add to three previous KBA investments and will be used in part to give Novita capital to develop a device meant to help end-stage renal disease patients. The $1 million approved for Innara Health is intended to help the company build its sales and marketing staff, finish a clinical trial of a device and finance daily operations.