GRAND RAPIDS (WWJ) — The Grand Rapids private investor group Grand Angels announced its latest funding commitments to a group of Michigan startups.

Included were Ablative Solutions, Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing, Local Orbit LLC, ProNAi Therapeutics, and Vestaron Corp. Specific amounts of funding and other terms were not disclosed.

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Ablative Solutions technology involves endovascular catheters to provide an effective, durable, less expensive and safer alternative to surgical renal denervation for the treatment of hypertension and other diseases caused by an overactive sympathetic nervous system. CEO and CMO Tim Fischell, M.D., and Vartan Ghazarossian, Ablative’s president and COO, have developed a safe outpatient renal denervation process for the treatment of high blood pressure that eliminates the extremely painful ‘burning’ treatment that most other companies perform. Founded in Kalamazoo, this treatment has been found to quickly reduce pain and recovery time and also decrease the need for long-term medication.

Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing is located in Grand Rapids and specializes in pre-clinical, Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials, and small to medium scale commercial production quantities of pharmaceuticals. The company offers services for clinical, small-scale and commercial stage products, including sterile product development and manufacture, terminal sterilization, pre-filled syringe filling and analytical and microbiological services.

Based in Ann Arbor, Local Orbit provides sales and business management software for the entrepreneurs in the fast growing local food industry. Led by Erika Block, the organization provides tools for farmers, producer coops, food hubs, farmers’ markets and independent distributors to efficiently sell to local restaurants, grocers and institutions. Online marketplaces powered by Local Orbit are already active across 12 states, and local farmers’ sales through Local Orbit grew 300 percent from 2012 to 2013. The investment from Grand Angels will help Local Orbit expand in targeted regions, while helping people build profitable businesses and healthier communities.

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ProNAi Therapeutics, a cancer biotech company, has developed DNA interference technology to advance a new class of drugs. With offices in Plymouth and Kalamazoo, ProNai has seen recent success with safely treating non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients in clinical trials, offering hope to these patients whose tumors have failed to respond to other therapies.

Kalamazoo-based Vestaron is developing a new generation of insecticides using natural peptides from spiders. The company’s products can be used in agriculture, animal health and specialty non-crop uses and are effective against insects and related pests while being harmless to non-target species, including humans.

With this latest funding, Grand Angels has invested over $13 million in 28 companies since its inception.

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More at http://www.grandangels.org.