A Medical Device Daily

Aspen Surgical Products (Grand Rapids, Michigan), a portfolio company of RoundTable Healthcare (Lake Forest, Illinois), has acquired Colby Manufacturing (Tullytown, Pennsylvania), a manufacturer of single-use infection control products used in operating rooms and other critical care environments. Financial terms were not reported.

Colby is the fourth transaction this year by Aspen, a manufacturer and of disposable medical products for surgical and general healthcare applications.

Aspen earlier acquired Ultracell Medical Technologies (North Stonington, Connecticut); the skin marker product line of Precision Dynamics Corporation (PDC; San Frernando, California); and the surgical needle business of Entaco (Warwickshire, England).

Ultracell manufactures polyvinyl alcohol and cellulose ENT and ophthalmology products. PDC manufactures skin markers for used in hospital settings for identification of a patient, sample or specimen. Entaco manufactures surgical needles.

Colby was founded in 1991 by owners Aaron Heintz and Kathy Feuerman, who will remain with the business to aid in the transition.

Joseph Damico, a founding partner of RoundTable and chairman of Aspen's board, said that all of its recent acquisitions "contribute to Aspen's goal of building a surgical product platform with which to address the growing needs of the operating room. Furthermore, Colby improves Aspen's sales reach and increases the depth of their product portfolio."

RoundTable helped finance the transaction with an investment from its $200 million subordinated debt fund (the Capital Fund), which makes fixed rate subordinated debt investments alongside the equity investments of RoundTable's equity funds.

RoundTable reports managing $1.1 billion in capital, including two equity funds totaling $900 million and a debt fund of $200 million.

In other financing activity:

  • SensiGen (Philadelphia), a development-stage biotechnology company developing gene-based diagnostics, reported acquiring an option from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) to exclusively license a set of epigenetic biomarkers for early detection and monitoring of Lupus. Terms of the licensing were not reported.

The technology includes a panel of biomarkers for epigenetic variations of genes associated with Lupus, along with related assays. SensiGen said it intends to develop diagnostics for these biomarkers using its AttoSense technology.

AttoSense was developed by Dr. Bruce Richardson, professor of medicine at the U. of Michigan and chief of rheumatology, Ann Arbor Veterans Hospital , and his colleagues.

SensiGen says that Richardson discovered that the levels of methylation of certain genes are associated with Lupus onset, and he developed biomarkers for identifying their presence.

Current methods for detection/monitoring of Lupus rely on old techniques for measuring elevated antibodies in the blood and for detecting the presence of proteins. But SensiGen said that the levels of antibodies and CAP's in the blood fluctuate significantly in response to factors unrelated to the disease, and so are unreliable.

  • Diagnostics developerNanogen (San Diego) reported acquiring the rights to genetic markers related to schizophrenia and responses to antipsychotic therapies. The agreement is between Nanogen and the Co-operative Research Centre for Diagnostics and Queensland University of Technology (both Queensland). Terms were not disclosed.

Nanogen said it will use the markers to create diagnostic tests for schizophrenia and related conditions. Some of which also may help predict adverse drug reactions and guide therapeutic decision-making.

David Ludvigson, president/COO of Nanogen, said that for these disorders, "development of effective diagnostics and treatments is likely to require multiplexed analytic methods capable of examining multiple genes simultaneously."

Nanogen's NanoChip multiplexing platform recently was submitted for FDA 510(k) clearance, along with the company's cystic fibrosis carrier screening test.

The genetic component of schizophrenia is thought to account for 65%-80% of the disease risk. The markers acquired by Nanogen are in genes that have been linked to schizophrenia in a number of clinical studies.

Nanogen's products include the NanoChip electronic microarray platform and a line of point-of-care diagnostics.

  • Bedminster National (BNC; Bedminster, New Jersey), a holding company, reported completing said it has completed its acquisition of Metropolitan Computing Corporation (MCC; East Hanover, New Jersey), with MCC becoming a BNC subsidiary.

On July 3, BNC agreed to acquire 80% of the shares of MCC and providing a revolving credit line to MCC at closing of $400,000.

In addition, BNC entered into an employment agreement to continue to manage MCC.

MCC develops instrumentation equipment for the pharmaceutical industry, including transducers for measuring forces on tablet press machines, as well as sensors for torque or power consumption on mixing and granulating equipment.

  • Montecito Medical Investment Company (MMIC; Santa Barbara, California) and ING Clarion Partners reported acquiring Valley Parkway Health Center (Escondido, California), a 70,058 square foot medical office building.

Montecito said the purchase is its 23rd in the last year, building on its strategy to acquire "well-located" hospitals and medical office buildings. Montecito and ING Clarion said they plan to accumulate 5 million square feet of medical properties over the next year.