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Concordia Receives $250,000 From Slater Technology Fund

Concordia Manufacturing LLC, Coventry, R.I., a producer of fiber-based materials for biomedical, industrial and consumer applications, has received $250,000 from the Slater Technology Fund, a Providence, R.I.-based state-backed venture capital fund that provides seed capital for state-based ventures. The funding is part of an initial $1.5 million in equity financing the company will use to expand facilities and provide working capital for its growing biomedical products business.

The 87-year-old company began its biomedical thrust in 2003, aided by an initial $100,000 from Slater. In 2005, Concordia acquired Mansfield, Mass.-based Albany International Research Co.’s biomedical assets related to the manufacture of nonwoven scaffolds for tissue engineering and launched its BIOFELT™ needlepunched 3-D felt bioabsorbable scaffolds for regenerative medicine applications, again with Slater funding — this timein the amount of $150,000. Other investments in Concordia’s biomedical business have come from shareholders, including members of the company’s founding Boghossian family.

The biomedical activities now comprise close to 30 percent of Concordia’s total business, about triple the volume of late 2005, said Randal W. Spencer, president and CEO. “We’ve developed new products, including one coming out in about a month and another in early 2008,” he said. “We have a number of other products in clinical trials — in addition to arteries, we have a product going into bladders, another in heart valves. We’re also supporting some major research developments at top universities.”

Expansion plans call for at least a tripling of Concordia’s clean room space and a quadrupling of what Spencer called its “medical manufacturing space — not quite a clean room, but a controlled environment.”

September/October 2007