A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Acacia Research (Newport Beach, California) and CombiMatrix (Mukilteo, Washington) reported that on June 8, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) declared the effectiveness of CombiMatrix’s S-1 registration statement.

Following the redemption period required by Acacia’s articles of incorporation, on August 15, CombiMatrix will split off from Acacia Research through the redemption of all outstanding shares of Acacia Research-CombiMatrix common stock.

On the redemption date, every 10 shares of Acacia Research-CombiMatrix common stock outstanding on August 15 will be redeemed for one share of common stock of CombiMatrix.

CombiMatrix common stock is scheduled to begin trading on the NASDAQ Capital Market on August 15 under the symbol CBMXD. Following 20 days of trading, CombiMatrix common stock will trade under the symbol CBMX. Until August 15 Acacia Research-CombiMatrix common stock will continue to trade on NASDAQ under the symbol CBMX.

“CombiMatrix will become a separate public company on the date of the split-off. Acacia Research Corporation will continue to trade on the National NASDAQ Market under the ACTG symbol,” said Paul Ryan, CEO/chairman of Acacia Research.

“The separation of our two companies will enable each to execute its business independently, and we are excited about the future prospects of our company as we re-invent ourselves with a focus on molecular diagnostics and personalized medicine,” said Dr. Amit Kumar, president/CEO of CombiMatrix.

The CombiMatrix group is developing a platform technology to rapidly produce tailored-content arrays, which are semiconductor-based tools for use in identifying and determining the roles of genes, gene mutations and proteins. The group’s technology has a wide range of potential applications in the areas of genomics, proteomics, biosensors, drug discovery, drug development, diagnostics, combinatorial chemistry, material sciences and nanotechnology.

MedCath (Charlotte, North Carolina) reported that its MedCath Partners Division, formerly known as MedCath Diagnostics, has entered into a new strategic relationship with cardiologists and a regional medical center.

New Hanover Regional Medical Center (Wilmington, North Carolina), a 769-bed tertiary hospital, will become an owner in a joint venture (j-v) previously formed by MedCath Partners and local physicians.

The j-v, which will be called Coastal Carolina Heart, will be significantly expanded to enhance the services provided to patients suffering from cardiovascular disease in eastern North Carolina. It will own and operate the existing Wilmington Heart Center, an outpatient cardiac catheterization laboratory facility, and will also provide management services to New Hanover’s inpatient catheterization laboratories. The majority of the venture will be owned by New Hanover, and the balance will be owned by MedCath Partners and local physicians.

“For five years Wilmington Heart Center has provided excellent care to patients throughout this region,” said Henry Patel, MD, the center’s medical director. “Our new partnership gives us an opportunity to offer our services to a broader group while operating more efficiently.”

Coastal Carolina, through its relationships with MedCath, local physicians, and New Hanover, will operate or manage a total of eight cardiac catheterization laboratories, including one mobile cath lab.

The j-v is expected to begin operations on July 1, and MedCath anticipates that it will add about 3 cents in earnings per diluted share annually.

MedCath is a healthcare provider focused on high acuity services with the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease being a primary service offering. MedCath owns interests in and operates eleven hospitals in 8 states with a total of 667 licensed beds. In addition, MedCath and its subsidiary MedCath Partners manage the cardiovascular program at various hospitals and provide services in diagnostic and therapeutic facilities in various states.

In other dealmaking news:

• SuperArray Bioscience (Fredrick, Maryland) reported that it has entered into a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) license agreement with Applied Biosystems (AB; Foster City, California). Under the agreement, SuperArray will develop, manufacture and distribute worldwide new Real-Time PCR and PCR-related reagents.

SupeArray said the agreement enables it to offer optimized reagents and kits for PCR and Real-Time PCR that utilize SYBR Green and probe-based methods. It also allows the company to develop Real-Time PCR reagent products and technologies and to pass on rights to customers in the research field for the performance of Real-Time PCR.

The foundational patents covering the PCR process expired in the U.S. in 2005 and Europe in 2006, but several other patents remain in force. These surviving patents that have been licensed to SuperArray on a non-exclusive basis cover, for example, enzyme compositions and certain Real-Time PCR methods and kits.

• deCODE genetics (Reykjavik, Iceland) reported that it has completed a sale and leaseback of its Woodridge, Illinois medicinal chemistry facility. The company sold the facility for $25 million and has entered into a lease with an initial term of 17 years. After costs associated with the outstanding mortgage on the facility, taxes and expenses, deCODE netted $18.4 million, resources the company can now apply to its drug and diagnostic development programs.

deCODE genetics says it is a global leader in applying human genetics to develop drugs and diagnostics for common diseases.

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