A Medical Device Daily Staff Report
Blueprint Medicines (Cambridge, Massachusetts), a cancer therapeutics company, reported the closing of a $40 million Series A financing led by Third Rock Ventures. Proceeds from the financing will be used to develop new cancer therapies – using the company's compound library and Insights-to-Validation Platform – that target the driver molecular aberrations of cancer and emerging resistance mechanisms unique to certain cancer patients.
"Over the past decade, targeted kinase inhibitors have been successfully designed, advanced into clinical trials and delivered to patients, forever changing the way cancer is treated," said Nicholas Lydon, PhD, a co-founder of the company. "We are now at a crossroads where innovative drug discovery and development could again enable a transformative shift in cancer treatment. By leveraging the growing body of molecular and cancer genome data and focusing on patients with clearly defined molecular aberrations, Blueprint Medicines is positioned to develop the selective cancer treatments that will make this transformation possible."
Lydon and Brian Druker, MD, co-founded Blueprint along with biotech entrepreneurs Chris Varma, PhD, and David Armistead, PhD, and Third Rock Ventures.
Blueprint makes cancer therapies that harness the growing understanding of the molecular blueprint of cancer. Using its Insights-to-Validation platform and chemical library, Blueprint Medicines is working to develop new therapeutic compounds and combination therapies that target the molecular aberrations that cause cancer and the emerging resistance mechanisms that make it increasingly difficult to treat.
In other financings news:
• IVAX Diagnostics (Miami) has entered into a stock purchase agreement with ERBA Diagnostics (Mannheim, Germany) to sell and issue to ERBA 20 million shares of IVAX Diagnostics' common stock at a purchase price of 75 cents per share for an aggregate purchase price of $15 million and warrants to purchase an additional 20 million shares of IVAX common stock.
ERBA currently beneficially owns, directly or indirectly, about 72.5% of the issued and outstanding shares of IVAX common stock.
Kevin Clark, IVAX Diagnostics' president/CEO/COO, said, "We currently intend to use the net proceeds of this investment for general corporate purposes, including funding the continued growth and development of IVAX Diagnostics' business and working capital requirements. The availability of the net proceeds of this investment is also expected to put IVAX Diagnostics in a position to be more nimble and prepared for acquisitions and other strategic opportunities; however, we do not currently have any definitive agreements or binding commitments to make any future acquisitions."
IVAX Diagnostics is an in vitro diagnostics company that makes diagnostic reagents, test kits and instrumentation, primarily for autoimmune and infectious diseases.
• Lantheus Medical Imaging (N. Billerica, Massachusetts), a maker of diagnostic medical imaging, said that on April 8, it commenced an exchange offer for eligible holders to exchange any and all of the company's outstanding unregistered 9.75% senior notes due 2017. These notes were originally issued on March 21, in a transaction exempt from registration under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, in an aggregate principal amount of $150 million. Eligible holders of these notes may exchange them for an equal principal amount of the company's registered 9.75% senior notes due 2017. The terms of the registered notes are substantially identical to the unregistered notes, except for transfer restrictions and registration rights relating to the unregistered notes.
The exchange offer will expire at 5:00 p.m., EST, on May 9, unless extended in accordance with its terms. Exchanges of the unregistered notes must be made in accordance with the terms of the exchange offer before the exchange offer expires and may be withdrawn at any time before the exchange offer expires.
• Vion Receivable Investments (Atlanta) reported a new joint venture arrangement with CarePoint Financial Services (Castle Rock, Colorado) to provide working capital to medical providers throughout the U.S. The program provides financial flexibility for medical providers while freeing them from the time and expense of administration and collections. The new joint venture, CarePoint Funding I, will market its program to doctors, hospitals, diagnostic facilities, surgical centers, and treatment facilities with an initial launch in California, Texas, Maryland, and Florida. CarePoint Financial Services will provide origination, account management, and collection services.
"In an environment where traditional bank financing is still out of reach for many businesses, our program gives medical providers an alternative source of working capital to acquire competitors or related businesses, invest in new technology, and grow or restructure their businesses," said Barbara Anderson, executive managing director of Vion. "We are very excited about the opportunity to work with Larry Sherman and his team of seasoned professionals at CarePoint Financial Services in this joint venture. We expect to build this platform significantly in the years to come."
CarePoint Financial Services provides funding solutions for medical providers specializing in the treatment of patients involved in personal injury and worker's compensation cases. Vion is an international provider of receivable investment services to businesses managing consumer and commercial receivables.