photo by Michael Miller

Courtagen Capital’s Avantra Biosciences Closes $7M Equity Offering - cbl

By citybizlist Staff - boston.citybizlist.com


Woburn, MA, August 17, 2010 - WOBURN - Avantra Biosciences Corp., owned and operated by Courtagen Capital Group in Charlestown, Mass., has fulfilled its $7 million equity offering, according to an SEC filing. Forty-nine investors participated.

The Woburn, Mass.-based company develops automated workstations and a self-contained consumable biochip for pharmaceutical and biotech researchers to conduct biomarker analysis.

Principals named in the filing are CEO R. Brian McKernan; President Brendan McKernan; Chairman Richard McKernan, of Palm City, Fla.; Secretary John Altorelli and directors Stephen McLean, of New York, who is a founding partner in Merrill Lynch Capital Partners Inc.; Philip Chapman, of Palm Beach, Fla.; and Richard Upton.

The McKernans and McLean are the managing partners of Courtagen Capital. They had been involved in Agencourt Bioscience Corp., a Beverly, Mass.-based provider of nucleic acid purification products and genomic services for life-science research.

Bios from Avantra Biosciences' Web site:

R. Brian McKernan - CEO
Brian was a co-founder and CEO of Agencourt Bioscience where he helped create a business that employed 140 people and delivered 30%+ EBITDA margins and a 13X ROI to its shareholders when it was sold to Beckman Coulter in 2005 for over $140M. In 2005, Brian co-founded Agencourt Personal Genomics which was sold to Applied Biosystems in 2006 for $120M. Prior to his time at Agencourt, Brian co-founded StructuredMarkets, Inc., an online financial exchange, where he served as executive vice president of business development. Previously, Brian worked at General Re, where he designed and implemented the business plan for the Enterprise Risk and Capital Management Consulting practice of its wholly owned subsidiary New England Asset Management. While at General Re, Brian worked closely with the CFO and CEO on corporate finance, M&A and Board related matters and marketed complex derivative instruments to financial services companies. Prior to this, Brian was a manager at Deloitte Consulting Group, where he managed strategic and reengineering projects for clients in the life sciences, food distribution, petro-chemical, and insurance and healthcare industries. He holds an M.B.A. in Finance from Columbia Business School and a B.A. from Bucknell University with a concentration in Computer Science and Business Management. Brian was a member and Chairman of the Board of ALSSA, a prominent Life Sciences Organization.

Brendan McKernan - President
Brendan was a founding member, chief operating officer and board member of Agencourt Bioscience Corporation and Agencourt Personal Genomics. Agencourt Bioscience is a leading provider of nucleic acid purification products and genomic services for life science research. Agencourt employed 140 people and delivered 30%+ EBITDA margins and a 13X ROI to its shareholders when it was sold to Beckman Coulter in 2005. In 2005, Brendan co-founded Agencourt Personal Genomics which developed one of the leading next generation sequencing instruments called SOLiD. Agencourt Personal Genomics was sold to Applied Biosystems in 2006. Brendan is a managing partner for Courtagen Capital Group, a guest lecturer at Rensselaer's and Babson's School of Management, a mentor and investor to early stage companies through Boston Harbor Angels and is a judge for the Lemelson Program which celebrates and supports inventors and entrepreneurs in order to strengthen social and economic life. Brendan is a member of Rensselaer Lally School of Management's Advisory council where he helps guide the direction of the school and he is a board member of Avon Old Farms School. Brendan holds a MBA from Rensselaer's Lally Schools of Management and Technology and earned his BS in Management Science from Muhlenberg College. While at Rensselaer, Brendan received the Delmar W. Karger Award in Management for outstanding academic and leadership achievements. Brendan was named the 2006 William F. Glaser '53 Rensselaer Entrepreneur of the Year.

Board of Directors

Richard McKernan - Chairman of the Board
Richard was Chairman of the Board of Agencourt BioScience Corporation and Agencourt Personal Genomics. Prior to his role as Chairman, Richard served as President of Packard Instrument Company and Board member of Packard BioScience Corporation and Canberra Industries. Richard has had 40 years of management experience with twenty years in the Life Sciences Industry. Richard's management experience includes engineering, operations, domestic and international sales and service, marketing and strategic planning. Richard has managed the turnarounds of five companies and led the acquisition and divestiture of over a dozen product lines, technologies and companies. In the life science field he has experience in nuclear, luminescent, and fluorescent counting and imaging equipment, micro plate robotic systems, immunoassay equipment and reagents. He was the lead presenter in a public bond offering and the initial public offering of Packard Bioscience Company stock and participated in the negotiations for the acquisition of Packard by PerkinElmer Corporation. During his career Mr. McKernan was a key participant on management teams that generated over $1.0 billion in shareholder wealth. Mr. McKernan was a long time member and past Board member of ALSSA, a prominent Life Sciences industry association.

John Altorelli
Mr. Altorelli is a Partner with Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP. Mr. Altorelli's practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, private equity, structured finance, and corporate finance transactions. Mr. Altorelli represents private equity funds, hedge funds, venture capital funds, publicly traded companies, investment banks, financial institutions, entrepreneurs, emerging-growth companies and privately held companies in a variety of industries, including financial services, real estate, insurance, apparel, biosciences, software, Internet, media, energy and communications. Mr. Altorelli has extensive experience in the private equity industry and has represented some the major players including Blackstone, KKR, AEA Investors, Madison Dearborn, FdG Partners, AXA Private Equity, Ivory Capital, Canaan Partners and Conning Capital Partners. He also has represented large financial institutions including State Street Bank, Capmark Financial Group and GE Capital. He has helped many entrepreneurs, early stage and middle market companies from cradle to liquidity exits, including Agencourt Biosciences and Agencourt Personal Genomics. John earned his JD from Cornell Law School in 1993, was a recipient of the American Jurisprudence Award and an Editor of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy: The Tenth Annual National Federalist Society Symposium on Law and Public Policy. He earned a B.S., summa cum laude, in Business Finance and Economics from Southern Connecticut State University in 1991 and was a recipient of the Henry Barnard Distinguished Student Award.

Stephen McLean
Mr. McLean was a founding partner of Merrill Lynch Capital Partners, Inc. (and its successor funds, Stonington Partners and Arena Capital Partners), a leader in the development of the Leveraged Buyout Industry. Over the last 25 years, Mr. McLean has helped to raise and manage aggregate private equity funds of $2.8 billion invested in a variety of companies including Borg Warner Corporation, First USA, Ann Taylor, Jack Eckerd Drug, Pathmark Stores, Denny's Restaurants, Simmons Mattress, and Education Management Corporation. Mr. McLean is also an active personal investor/board member of private companies in the healthcare industry focusing on Life Sciences, Medical Devices and Information Services. Mr. McLean was an investor in, and served as a director of, Agencourt Bioscience Corporation (reagents, sequencing services), Agencourt Personal Genomics (next-generation sequencing instrument), Packard Bioscience (analytical instruments), RS Medical Corporation (orthopedic devices), Obagi Medical (dermatological products), EduNeering Corporation (pharmaceutical/life science information services) and CentriHealth (Individualized Health Records). Mr. McLean is the Chairman of the International Biomedical Research Alliance, ("IBRA"). IBRA is a private sector foundation formed to support an advanced biomedical PhD program, the NIH/Oxford/ Cambridge Scholars Program, (the "Program"). The Program was established in 2000 by NIH to accelerate the training of American and British biomedical PhD's. It is the only academic program in the world to be an affiliate organization of the Rhodes scholarship. Mr. McLean holds an M.B.A. with Distinction from the Wharton School (1980) and a B.S. in Economics summa cum laude from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (1979). He has been an occasional lecturer at Wharton for the Wharton Department of Business Ethics.