A Medical Device Daily

Abiomed (Danvers, Massachusetts) reported closing a recapitalization agreement initiated in June to acquire a 21.6% stake in WorldHeart (Oakland, California).

The transaction included subsidiary World Heart Inc. (WHI), Venrock Partners, Venrock Associates, Venrock Entrepreneurs Fund, Special Situations Fund III QP LP, Special Situations Cayman Fund, Special Situations Private Equity Fund, Special Situations Life Sciences Fund, Austin Marxe and New Leaf Ventures II.

As a result of the transaction, Abiomed has acquired beneficial ownership of about 86 million common shares of WorldHeart, which represents 21.6% of WorldHeart's issued and outstanding common shares following the transaction.

The shares were acquired as a result of Abiomed's conversion of the full amount of principal and interest owed on the $5 million 8% secured convertible promissory note previously issued to Abiomed by WorldHeart and WHI, Abiomed's release of the security interest in all of the assets of WorldHeart and WHI that secured the note, termination of the warrant Abiomed held to purchase 3.4 million common shares of WorldHeart, and forgiveness of other amounts owed to Abiomed by WorldHeart.

Abiomed said it does not currently intend to acquire ownership of, or control over additional securities of WorldHeart.

WorldHeart has experienced a string of financial difficulties. Earlier this year, the developer of mechanical circulatory support systems learned that its potential primary investor from an equity financing would not be able to meet its commitments. As a result, the ciompany was not be able to pay back a secured convertible promissory note in the amount of $5 million issued on Dec. 11, 2007 to Abiomed (Medical Device Daily, May 13, 2008).

Abiomed later agreed to convert the $5 million debt owed by WorldHeart to 86 million shares.

In other financing news:

Michelson Diagnostics (MDL, Kent, UK) received 600,000 ($1.18 million) in a new funding round for its Optical Coherence Technology (OCT) systems for cancer diagnosis.

The capital injection forms part of a new funding round of almost 600,000 into pioneering MDL, with Catapult Venture Managers investing a further 250,000, London Seed Capital a further 50,000 and the balance of the money coming from private investors.

The money will be used to complete development of its hand-held OCT probe for applications in cancer diagnosis and treatment, which uses OCT to provide real-time images of sub-surface tissue at near-cellular resolution without tissue removal –- an optical biopsy.

The Frankel Commercialization Fund, a student-managed venture capital seed fund at the University of Michigan's (Ann Arbor) Ross School of Business, reported an investment of $90,500 in Surgimatix (also Ann Arbor), a developer of a new suturing approach for the healthcare market. This marks the fund's third investment in the last year and the first in a healthcare company.

Surgimatix has developed a wound-closure device that combines the convenience of a surgical stapler with the aesthetic and closure strength benefits of manual sutures. It decreases the time of surgery, which saves operation costs and reduces scarring for patients. The company intends to use the Frankel Fund seed money to fund preclinical testing, refine the clinical scale prototype design, and develop the resorbable fastener for the device.

Illumina (San Diego) said that it has filed a preliminary prospectus supplement to a shelf registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission relating to a proposed public offering of 3.5 million shares of its common stock. The underwriter will be granted the right to purchase up to an additional 525,000 shares of common stock. All of the shares are being sold by Illumina. The company has about 57.2 million shares outstanding.

Goldman, Sachs & Co. is acting as sole manager of the offering.

Illumina makes tools for the large-scale analysis of genetic variation and function.