A Medical Device Daily

Venrock (Palo Alto, California), a venture capital firm originally established as the venture arm of the Rockefeller family, reported the formation of Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners, a $194 million venture fund dedicated to investments in publicly held and late-stage private healthcare companies.

With the close of this fund, the firm said it has about $2.2 billion under management.

"Our investment approach is uniquely applicable to evaluating publicly-held, small cap healthcare companies as potential investment opportunities and, as venture capitalists, we can provide a valuable outside perspective as strategic advisors," said Anders Hove, MD, partner at Venrock.

Venrock helped pioneer healthcare venture capital in the early 1980s and the firm's historical portfolio includes five of the largest U.S. biotech companies ever founded. With 39 companies in its current healthcare portfolio, Venrock said it continues to build some of tomorrow's most promising new companies.

"The healthcare sector continues to be an important area for Venrock as we focus on identifying, financing and building tomorrow's industry leaders," said Bryan Roberts, another Venrock partner.

Rochester Medical (Stewartville, Minnesota) reported its intention to repurchase some of its outstanding common shares pursuant to its previously authorized share repurchase program.

The company said it plans to repurchase shares from time to time on the open market, or pursuant to negotiated or block transactions in accordance with applicable SEC guidelines and regulations.

The company's board approved a repurchase program in fiscal 2000, authorizing the company to repurchase up to 2 million shares. The only repurchase activity on this plan took place in 2000 and 2001, when the company repurchased 42,000 shares. The timing of the repurchases and the number of shares purchased under this plan will continue to depend on business and financial market conditions.

"We believe the current valuation of Rochester Medical's common stock makes the repurchase of our equity an attractive investment for the company and will enhance shareholder value," said Chairman/CEO Anthony Conway. "Having $37 million in available cash and a growing business that is generating cash flow allows us to invest in Rochester Medical stock, as well as other strategic initiatives."

Rochester makes disposable medical catheters and devices for urological and continence care applications. The company markets under its own Rochester Medical brand and under existing private label arrangements.

In other financing news, the board of Virtual Radiologic (Minneapolis), a provider of teleradiology services, has approved a program for the company to repurchase up to $5 million of its common stock. The company said it plans to make purchases in either the open market or through private transactions.

The company additionally reported that Dr. Sean Casey, co-founder and chairman, plans to sell shares in the open market from time to time, subject to minimum price and volume limits, during the period from June 1, 2009, to Dec. 31, 2010. If Casey completes all of the planned sales of shares under plan, he will remain one of the company's largest shareholders, owning about 3.3 million shares, or about 21% of the shares outstanding as of Dec. 31, 2008.

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