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June 29, 2015

Early Exit Marks VC Win for CEI Ventures, Inc. and AVIA Biosystems

June 30, 2015 (Portland, Maine) – CEI Ventures, Inc. (CVI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) announces the successful sale of start-up life science instrumentation company AVIA Biosystems, the developer of the Isothermal Chemical Denaturation (ICD) system for measuring biologic stability. CVI provided seed investment for the company and nurtured it to the point of commercial acceptance. The sale gives the company additional resources and capital with its new owner, Unchained Labs.

“We doubled our money in approximately 18 months and made a significant financial benefit to investors in the form of an early exit, building on a track record established with the prior sales of Ektron and PenBay Solutions LLC,” said Nat Henshaw, CEO of CVI. “Additionally, we were able to partner with a brilliant team, dedicated to the development of life-saving and life-enhancing protein therapeutic and biologic medicines.

AVIA Biosystems was a portfolio company of CVI’s third venture fund, which was raised during the financial crisis and closed at $10 million in 2012. This relatively small fund has made important investments, primarily in new technology, providing 346 permanent and 138 contractor jobs. Current portfolio companies include Wentworth Technology, Rustic Crust, SciAps, Tilson Technology Management, Certify, NativeEnergy, and The Gelato Fiasco.

“CVI’s investment in AVIA Biosystems during our startup period enabled us to grow from zero to 12 employees,” said Dr. Rick Brown, Co-founder and President of AVIA Biosystems. “Unchained Labs is committed to maintaining our existing staff and our facility in Norton, MA. It also rapidly accelerates the distribution of and access to our product in the U.S. through Unchained’s exiting sales capacity. Outside of the U.S., we have an even bigger gain from their distribution and support channels in Japan, China, and Europe to companies that have major operations in these markets.”

AVIA Biosystem’s ICD product enables the routine measurement of protein stability under denaturing conditions for the first time. It completely automates the complex sample prep and data analysis needed to make measurements, and can help predict future drug stability. The ICD system is also a complement to Unchained Labs’ first product, the UNit, which simultaneously measures the top two biologic stability indicators, protein unfolding and aggregation temperatures.

“I’m really looking forward to joining forces with the Unchained Labs team,” said Dr. Rick Brown. “Together, our products will give drug discovery researchers the power to characterize and understand their biologics better than they ever could before.”

About CVI CEI Ventures, Inc. (CVI) a wholly-owned subsidiary of Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI), manages socially responsible venture capital funds. The company was founded in 1994 to mobilize private capital markets while advancing social goals. For more information, visit the CVI website:, or call Nat Henshaw at 207-772-5356, ext. 2904.

About Unchained Labs Unchained Labs is committed to building the first cool biologics tools company with products that will make a real difference in the research scientists do every day. Located in Pleasanton, CA, Unchained Labs buys businesses and product lines in order to develop and sell breakthrough products. For more information, visit

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