Welcome back to Baby Breakerdom! This week's quest to find budding Rule Breakers finds Federal officers packing passport-sized PCs alongside their gun belts, and a seven-year-old biotech that can't seem to get enough moola.
Let's begin with OQO, a handheld computer maker that's markedly different from Palm (Nasdaq: PALM ) in one really important way: It wants to replace your PC. Indeed, the OQO 01+ has all the features and functions of a Windows XP computer, packed into a passport-sized format. It even ships with a full suite of Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT ) Office applications. And at more than $2,200 list, the 01+ is priced more like a Macintosh than a Palm Treo.
The allure of being able to carry a passport-sized PC has proven irresistible for some, including the Department of Homeland Security. That's according to a VentureWire report published yesterday. In it, OQO chief executive Jory Bell said the firm has deals with the Feds and a growing number of large customers, and that it's been difficult to keep up with demand. Remedying that meant expanding the direct sales force, which, in turn, meant getting more money from investors. A Series D round worth $20 million is now complete, bringing the company's total funding to just under $40 million. Among this round's participants were Paladin Capital, Azure Capital Partners, AsiaTech Management, and Motorola's (NYSE: MOT ) venture investing arm.
Next, it's back to the world of biotech. This time, though, the story isn't about a major breakthrough, unless you count racking up more than $100 million from the private equity markets as a breakthrough. That's what PTC Therapeutics has done -- to the tune of $130 million. Last Friday brought in $26.6 million of that total, according to VentureWire.
The cash is apparently needed to help PTC create an entire pipeline of new medicines using manipulated RNA molecules. Its treatments are focused on a variety of ailments, including muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, and hepatitis C. It's also working on preventing the process of angiogenesis, the gathering of blood vessels around a tumor, which allows certain cancers to metastasize across the entire body.
Each of those represents a noble effort, but no single innovation stands out above the others. As if that mattered. It's the breadth of treatments in development that has attracted an impressive list of investors and kept them coming back for more. The list includes the private equity arms of Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS ) , Amgen (Nasdaq: AMGN ) , and Credit Suisse Group (NYSE: CSR ) , which led the latest financing round. That kind of institutional support is difficult to ignore, if only because it suggests a public offering and commercially viable drugs down the line (they aren't already imminent).
Sadly, there were no Baby Breaker public offerings this week, which means it's time to say goodbye for now. See you back here next Friday, when we continue the quest for the next ultimate growth stock.
For more Rule-Breaking Foolishness:
- Every week we profile budding Baby Breakers, but every quarter we profile a pair of toddlers.
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Palm is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick.
Fool contributor Tim Beyers used his passport to enter Canada this week. He can't imagine a passport-sized PC. Tim didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story at the time of publication. You can find out what is in his portfolio by checking Tim's Fool profile. The Motley Fool has an ironclad disclosure policy.