Perella Weinberg Spinout Innovatus Lends to Exagen Diagnostics
Sally Bakewell
11 September 2017

Innovatus Capital Partners, the firm started last year by former Perella Weinberg Partners executives to focus on private debt, made one of its first loans, this time to a firm with technology that diagnoses autoimmune connective tissue diseases.

Exagen Diagnostics Inc. obtained an initial $20 million from Innovatus and will get a further $5 million as the company reaches certain milestones, Exagen’s Chief Financial Officer Kamal Adawi said by phone. Exagen also raised $23 million in equity capital this year from investors, including funds tied to Tullis Health Investors Inc., Hunt Holdings and the New Mexico State Investment Council, he said.

David Schiff and Andrew Dym started Innovatus in September 2016 after leaving boutique M&A adviser and asset manager Perella. Their focus is direct lending and investing in distressed companies. The world of private credit, where operations like Innovatus lend to young companies that may be insufficiently served by banks, is growing, having raised about $100 billion from investors in the past year.

A representative for Innovatus, based in New York, declined to comment.

The five-year financing has a three-year interest-only period, according to Adawi. The debt will fund further commercialization of Exagen Diagnostics’s Avise products. Part of the loan will also refinance senior debt previously raised by the company, he said.

The debt follows a loan for up to $17 million Innovatus agreed to medical device company TransEnterix Inc. in May.

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