A Medical Device Daily

Archus Orthopedics (Redmond, Washington) a developer of implants to help retain flexibility after back surgery, is shutting down its operations and dissolving after it was unable to raise enough capital to bring the product all the way to the U.S. market, according to various media reports.

Archus filed paperwork with the Delaware Secretary of State to dissolve the company and wind down the business, according to a legal notice on the Seattle Times web site.

The company had been developing artificial facet joints in the spine, with a technology called the Total Facet Arthroplasty System. It had raised more than $63 million in equity since its founding in 2001 from a group of venture firms – MPM Capital, InterWest Partners, Polaris Venture Partners, and Johnson & Johnson Development Corp., as well as a loan from GE Capital. Cash ran low this spring when Archus was sponsoring a clinical trial of 450 patients, and it was forced to lay off most of its 45 employees. In the last few months, it tried to find a partner or some other way to finish the clinical trials it needed to start marketing its experimental device, according to a report by Xconomy.

In other restructuring activity, Danaher (Washington) – a company that just last week agreed to buy both halves of a mass spectrometry joint venture in two separate deals for a combined total of $1.1 billion – is cutting its workforce.

Danaher said it would cut 1,000 more jobs and close 14 more factories in addition to plans reported in April. In all, the company will cut 3,330 jobs and eliminate 30 facilities as it increases its 2009 restructuring spending to as much as $250 million. Danaher said that in total, these initiatives are expected to provide annual costs savings of about $220 million. Danaher had previously estimated total restructuring costs of $150 to $170 million in 2009.

"We are optimistic about the continuing signs of stabilization that we have seen during the first two months of the third quarter," Larry Culp, Danaher's president/CEO said in a company statement. "We are also encouraged with the sequential improvement in order activity in some of our businesses. We believe that these additional 2009 restructuring activities will deliver improved results for us in 2010 and beyond."

The company last week reported that it had agreed to pay $650 million for the Analytical Technologies division of MDS (Toronto), which includes a 50% ownership position in Applied Biosystems/MDS Sciex joint venture (AB Sciex; Concord, Ontario), a mass spectrometry business, and a 100% ownership position in the former Molecular Devices Corporation, a bioresearch and analytical instrumentation company. In a separate but related transaction, Danaher also agreed to buy the remaining 50% ownership position in AB Sciex from Life Technologies (Carlsbad, California) for $450 million in cash. The purchase price for the combined transactions is $1.1 billion, including debt assumed and net of cash acquired, Danaher said (Medical Device Daily, Sept. 3, 2009).