Pelikan Technologies (Palo Alto, California) has raised $69 million in Series F financing to support commercial launch of its electronic lancing device and next-generation blood glucose system.

Clarus Ventures led the preferred stock equity financing. Also participating in the financing round are HBM BioVentures, Global Life Science Ventures, Mannheim Holdings and BioOne Capital. Dennis Henner, PhD, a managing director at Clarus Ventures, has joined Pelikan’s board of directors in connection with the financing. UBS Investment Bank was placement agent for Pelikan for the private placement.

Pelikan also reported receiving pre-approval for a $20 million venture loan facility from General Electric Capital and Oxford Finance, bringing the total financing to $89 million.

Dirk Boecker, MD, PhD, president/CEO of Pelikan, told Medical Device Daily that the amount of this financing round reflects investor confidence in the company. In particular, he says it shows confidence in the company’s Pelikan Sun electronic lancing device that is already on the market in Europe and Australia and is expected to launch in the U.S. during 1Q08.

“We are in the final stretch for the company to commercialize Pelikan Sun [in the U.S.],” Boecker said.

He added that the large investment also is a sign that glucose monitoring is a “big growing market, $7.4 billion to $7.5 billion as we speak.”

Pelikan estimates the blood glucose monitoring market is growing at an annual rate of 6% to 7% a year.

“The closing of this financing will allow us to achieve critical development and commercial launch milestones for our products,” Boecker said. “The next 12- to 18-month period promises to be a very exciting time for Pelikan as we drive global sales growth of our Pelikan Sun lancing device and start marketing of the world’s first next-generation, fully-integrated blood glucose monitoring system.”

The Pelikan Sun lancing device addresses the pain and convenience issues associated with lancing, Boecker said. He said the device is unique because it is designed to accurately and precisely drive the lancet at an individually controlled speed to the exact intended depth while minimizing pain and improving wound healing.

“The result for the patient is they experience an almost painless lance, they barely feel it at all,” Boecker said. “As important is that the fingers actually heal.”

In addition to using the proceeds from this financing to support commercialization of the Pelikan Sun and to complete development of the company’s blood glucose system for an anticipated 2008 launch, Boecker said the money also would go toward the building of a new facility in Germany for a company that Pelikan bought in 2004.

Pelikan acquired a company then known as Inventus Bio Tec (M nster, Germany) and immediately renamed it Albatros Technologies. The acquisition provided Pelikan with the Inventus GlucoSens sensor, a high-performance, electrochemical technology intended to measure blood glucose (Medical Device Daily, Dec. 15, 2004).

In other financing activity:

• Alcon (Huenenberg, Switzerland), said its board of directors approved a new share repurchase program that allows for the purchase of up to $1.1 billion shares of outstanding common stock targeted over a 12-month period.

The $1.1 billion share repurchase program provides for a pro-rata purchase of shares from Alcon’s majority shareholder, Nestl .

This new program is in addition to Alcon’s existing repurchase program, under which, as of Wednesday, the company has remaining authorization to repurchase up to 2.8 million shares. It is anticipated that the new repurchase program will begin in the first quarter of 2008, the company said.

Alcon develops pharmaceuticals, surgical equipment and devices, contact lens care solutions and other vision care products intended to treat diseases, disorders and other conditions of the eye.

• Danaher (Washington) reported the proposed public offering of $500 million of its senior notes due 2018. The proceeds would be used to repay a portion of the company’s outstanding commercial paper and for general corporate purposes.

Merrill Lynch, J.P. Morgan Securities and UBS Securities are joint book-running managers.

Danaher makes professional instrumentation, medical technologies, industrial technologies and tools and components.

• Bioject Medical Technologies (Portland, Oregon), a developer of needle-free injection therapy systems, said it has entered into a convertible note financing agreement with Signet Healthcare Partnersfor $600,000.

Bioject said it has raised $1.215 million in convertible debt since Nov. 20. The convertible notes bear interest at 8% a year and become due on May 15, 2009, if not automatically or voluntarily converted into shares of Bioject stock before then.

• Universal Hospital Services (UHS; Edina, Minnesota) reported that it has extended to Dec. 10, at 5 p.m. EST, its offer to exchange up to $230 million aggregate principal amount of its outstanding second lien senior secured floating rate notes due 2015, which were issued and sold on May 31 in transactions exempt from registration under the Securities Act of 1933, for an equal aggregate principal amount of the same notes that have been registered with the SEC.

The exchange offer was originally set to expire Dec. 3. The extension has been made to allow holders of old notes that have not yet tendered additional time to do so.

As of Dec. 3, UHS said that $229.9 million aggregate principal amount of old notes, representing about 99.96% of the aggregate principal amount of old notes outstanding, had been tendered for exchange.

UHS is a medical equipment lifecycle services company. It offers solutions that it said are designed to maximize utilization, increase productivity and support optimal patient care resulting in capital and operational efficiencies.

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