A Medical Device Daily

The Zitelman Group (Rockville, Maryland) said it has led a $600,000 Series B Preferred equity round for Israel-based medical device firm Flexicath (Tel Aviv). Flexicath received FDA 510(k) clearance in October, allowing it to place its FirmGrip sterile catheter intravenous (IV) system in the U.S. market.

The funding will be used to ramp up U.S. and international sales and marketing for the FirmGrip catheter, the firm noted.

The FirmGrip is designed to meet the market needs for the largest segment of IV catheterizations, those lasting up to 29 days. FirmGrip may save the need for a sterile sheet by enclosing the catheter in a self-contained package that permits insertion without removing the catheter from the sterilized coating sleeve until the procedure is complete and the catheter is in the vein, according to Flexicath.

The system makes the IV insertion process faster and less expensive, and allows any member of the medical team – paramedics, nurses, and physicians – to insert the catheter, the company said. Thanks to its soft silicon base and pivoting access, the product provides greater comfort to patients and spares them the discomfort and increased risk of infection from having a new IV inserted every three to four days, which is the current practice.

"We are very pleased to be helping Flexicath bring this important new health care technology to the U.S. market, and we congratulate them on receiving FDA clearance for this purpose," said Rick Zitelman, principal of the Zitelman Group, said.

Established in 2004, Flexicath emerged from the Misgav Venture Accelerator, an Israeli incubator program. The company has received grant funding from Israel's Office of the Chief Scientist and investment from the Trendlines Israel Fund.

In other financing activity:

• QLT (Vancouver, British Columbia) said its board has authorized management to proceed with a modified Dutch auction tender offer to buy a number of shares of its common stock that does not exceed an aggregate purchase price of $50 million.

Shareholders will have the opportunity to tender all or a portion of their shares at a price between $2.20 and $2.50 a share, representing a premium of 16% to 32% from the stock's closing price Friday. QLT said it would select the lowest per-share purchase price within the anticipated offer range that will allow it to buy up to $50 million of its outstanding common shares at the completion of the offer.

The tender offer will be subject to the terms and conditions described in the offer to purchase and circular and the related materials that will be distributed to shareholders, and will be financed from the company's existing cash reserves.

If the tender offer is fully subscribed at the lowest price, 22.7 million common shares will be repurchased, representing about 30% of the roughly 74.6 million shares outstanding as of Friday. If the tender offer is fully subscribed at the highest price, 20 million common shares will be repurchased, representing about 27% of the shares outstanding as of Friday.

Goldman Sachs and BMO Capital Markets are serving as dealer managers for the tender offer. Georgeson Shareholder Communications is information agent and Computershare Investor Services will serve as the depositary.

• HealthShares (New York), an investment company, said its board has determined to liquidate the company's four underlying investment portfolios effective Dec. 31 and subsequently dissolve the company.

The board's decision was taken after consultation with XShares Advisors, the investment advisor to the funds. The board said it also carefully considered current market conditions, the inability of the funds to attract significant market interest since their inception, their future viability as well as their prospects for growth in the funds' assets in the foreseeable future, and thereafter determined that it was advisable and in the best interests of the Funds and their shareholders to liquidate the funds.

The four funds, and their ticker symbols, are HealthShares Cancer Exchange-Traded Fund (HHK), HealthShares European Drugs Exchange-Traded Fund (HRJ), HealthShares Diagnostics Exchange-Traded Fund (HHD), HealthShares Drug Discovery Tools Exchange-Traded Fund (HHV).

• Cardiome Pharma (Vancouver, British Columbia) reported that its CEO/Chairman Bob Rieder was recently subject to involuntary margin sales of 45,000 common shares from his direct holding of Cardiome stock.

"I am very disappointed to have been required to involuntarily sell any shares of Cardiome, particularly at such an inopportune time; however the global financial crisis and associated market decline has had a profound impact on all stocks including our own," Rieder said. "Since joining Cardiome as CEO in 1998, I have always practiced my belief that the leader of a company should have a direct and material financial stake in the company's success, and I have consistently held a substantial proportion of my personal assets in Cardiome shares. My faith and confidence in Cardiome's success is absolutely undiminished as we drive the company forward to the exciting times that lie ahead."

Cardiome is a product-focused drug development company dedicated to the advancement and commercialization of novel treatments for disorders of the heart and circulatory system.

• Del Global Technologies (Franklin Park, Illinois) said its board has authorized a program to repurchase up to 2,424,616 shares, or roughly 10%, of the company's outstanding common stock.

The company intends to purchase its shares from time to time at prevailing prices in the open market or through private transactions for a period of 12 months. The repurchase program does not obligate Del to acquire any specific dollar value or number of shares and the program may be discontinued at any time.