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OptiNose lands $48.5 million in funding, new CEO

The drug-delivery company has hired the former CEO of Take Care Health Systems and will move its headquarters to Yardley from Norway.

One of the local founders of Take Care Health Systems has jumped into the top job of another health-care company that's moving here.

Peter Miller, who'd been CEO of Conshohocken-based Take Care, will lead a drug-delivery company called OptiNose A/S, which will move its headquarters from Norway to Yardley.

Since 2000, OptiNose has been working on technology to deliver medicines more deeply into nasal cavities. On Monday, the private-equity firm Avista Capital Partners said it had committed to invest $48.5 million in OptiNose that will be used, in part, to support Phase III clinical trials.

OptiNose was founded by Per G. Djupesland, who invented the technology and is currently chief scientific officer. His wife, Helena Kyttari Djupesland, has been the company's CEO.

Miller was an executive at Johnson & Johnson for about 10 years before helping to start Take Care, a chain of convenient-care clinics, in 2004. Walgreen Co. bought Take Care in 2007, and Miller remained its CEO and president.

As of Dec. 31, Avista owned a 7.7 percent stake in another Philadelphia-area company, VWR International L.L.C., the West Chester-based distributor of laboratory supplies that had net sales of $3.56 billion in 2009.

Forty forecasts

Another sign the U.S. economy is improving:

Forty economists participated in the Livingston Survey, published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Wednesday - the highest since the pre-recession December 2006 edition of the long-running survey.

This time last year, only 32 economists responded to the Fed's questionnaire.

Perhaps recovery loves company.

These 40 economists, who'd sent in their forecasts on or before June 9, now see real gross domestic product rising at an annual rate of 3.3 percent for the first half of 2010, up from 2.6 percent predicted in December.

They also forecast a 3.3 percent increase in real GDP for the second half of 2010, up from 3.0 percent. Output growth would cool to 3.0 percent during the first half of 2011.

Inflation fears are also fading. In December, the Livingston Survey showed economists revising upward their forecasts for consumer prices. Now, they see lower inflation (1.8 percent in 2010 vs. the December prediction of 2.2 percent).

As for unemployment, "less bad" is the continuing theme. Forecasts call for the unemployment rate to trend lower from a predicted 9.8 percent in June to 9.1 percent in June 2011.