A Medical Device Daily

A company that develops blood plasma volume expanders says it has signed a licensing deal for 173 patents and patent applications relating to human embryonic stem cell technology created by James Thomson at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

BioTime (Emeryville, California) plans to license the patents from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF; Madison). The company said it has recently entered the field of regenerative medicine through its subsidiary, Embryome Sciences.

Embryome Sciences plans to develop a technology platform called Embryomics, a collection of research tools intended to facilitate stem cell research by providing researchers with new products for the identification, scale-up and purification of the many cell types that emerge from human embryonic stem cells.

BioTime said it plans to launch three kinds of Embryomics research products in the next two years. The first product is a commercial database that will serve as a map that researchers may use to navigate the complexities of human development and to identify the many hundreds of cell types that can be derived from human embryonic stem cells. The database will permit researchers to chart the cell lineages of human development, the genes expressed in those cell types, and antigens present on the cell surface of those cells that can be used in purification, the company said.

In other dealmaking activity:

• DLJ Merchant Banking Partners (New York), a private equity investment affiliate of Credit Suisse, said it has acquired a controlling interest in Den-Mat Holdings (Santa Maria, California).

Den-Mat makes minimally invasive dental products for cosmetic and professional dentists. In connection with the deal, Den-Mat also reported several additions to its senior management, including Nicholas Teti Jr. as CEO and Adel Micheal as president/COO. Robert Ibsen, Den-Mat’s founder, will remain active in the business as chairman and director of professional education and product development, the company noted.

• Pennington Allen Capital Partners (Dallas) reported the acquisition of majority ownership interest of Knox Laboratory (Tulsa, Oklahoma), a private drug-testing company.

In recent years, Knox has expanded to add occupational health services and has grown to be one of the largest occupational testing laboratories in Northeast Oklahoma with its home office in Tulsa and a satellite office located in Bartlesville, the company noted. Christopher and Jennifer Lopp, the previous owners of Knox, will remain members of the management team as well as retain partial ownership equity in the company.

The acquisition is an initial phase in a plan that will include additional investments by Pennington Allen and affiliated financial partners, according to the private investment firm.

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