A Medical Device Daily

In a move that apparently brings an end to the auction competition targeting the acquisition of Biosite (San Diego), Beckman Coulter (BC; Fullerton, California) late Monday issued a statement saying it will not increase its $90-a-share offer for Biosite, saying that that a higher bid would not be "in the long-term interests" of its stockholders.

That decision appears to make Inverness Medical Innovations (IMI; Waltham, Massachusetts) the winning bidder, after its move late last week to increase its offer by $2.50 a share to $92.50 (Medical Device Daily, May 11, 2007).

Scott Garrett, president/CEO of BC, said in the company's statement, "Our priority throughout this process has been to create sustainable value for Beckman Coulter's shareholders. We continue to believe the combination of Biosite with Beckman Coulter is strategically sound. At $90 per share, our revised merger agreement includes a full and fair price for Biosite, and with all regulatory clearances associated with this transaction already in hand, is highly certain."

Garrett went on to say that Biosite's board had informed BC that IMI's offer was superior to its own latest revised, and increased, bid. He added: "Although we do not agree with this conclusion, we expect that Biosite will terminate its existing merger agreement with Beckman Coulter and, concurrently, pay Beckman Coulter a termination fee of $54 million."

IMI said that its offer will remain on the table until Friday, thus still giving BC time to reconsider its decision.

BC's most recent move for the company was in matching IMI's previous offer of $90-a-share, putting the deal value at $1.64 billion.

The bidding war for Biosite was launched in March when BC made an initial offer to buy the company with an $85-a-share bid (about $1.55 billion), a 53% premium over the stock closing price at the time of the offer.

IMI, already an owner of 4.9% of Biosite's stock, then created the auction scenario when in April it responded with its unsolicited $90-a-share bid. IMI"s offer also includes a payment to Biosite equal to the BC termination fee.

The three companies are involved in producing diagnostic products. IMI's specialty is in pregnancy and fertility testing and it is looking, with the purchase of Biosite, for major growth in the immunoassay and cardiac diagnostic sectors.

In other dealmaking news:

• LipidLabs (Houston) reported that it reached an agreement to acquire Telemedicus and will close the acquisition within 30 days. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Telemedicus, formed in partnership with Texas A&M University and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, has developed DREAMS technology, an on-board communications and data system for emergency vehicles and portable military installations. LipidLabs said it plans to market the technology to commercial users nationwide.

DREAMS includes computer-based communications, medical monitoring and global positioning equipment for emergency vehicles. Via video, doctors in hospital emergency rooms can see and direct the first responders' treatment of the patient in real-time, thus improving the possibility of survival, especially in rural areas or battlefields.

Tested in field operations since 2003 in Houston and in Liberty County, Texas, trauma victims received a doctor's attention within a few minutes of an ambulance arriving at the scene.

Thomas Cloud, president of LipidLabs, said, "By combining our strengths in the marketplace with the great research developments of Texas A&M and the University of Texas we can expect long term revenue growth and strong profits," stated.

LipidLabs is a publicly held technology transfer and commercialization company.

• Sage-N Research (San Jose, California) has been granted a sublicense from Thermo Fisher Scientific (Waltham, Massachusetts) to sell SEQUEST search engine products worldwide. The agreement provides for Sage-N to develop and sell products using the patented proteomic search engine technology. No financial terms were disclosed.

Sage-N becomes the first company to join Thermo as the only companies licensed by the University of Washington to commercialize its SEQUEST technology, embodying intellectual property described in a U.S. patent covering proteomic search engines.

"Proteomics technology holds great promise to uncover medical breakthroughs at the molecular level," said Dr. John Yates, III, a professor at the Scripps Research Institute (La Jolla, California), primary inventor of the SEQUEST technology.

Sage-N uses SEQUEST technology as an embedded component within plug-and-play solutions. Sorcerer-SEQUEST is optimized for Orbitrap mass spectrometers with an isotope search mode, and with automated reversed peptide generation for decoy database strategies that accurately estimate False Positive rates while maximizing sensitivity.

Future products are planned to incorporate application-optimized versions of the base SEQUEST technology in focus areas such as biomarker discovery for drug efficacy and safety, phosphorylation site localization for cancer research, and real-time protein identification within the mass spectrometer.

Sage-N is a supplier of Integrated Data Appliances (IDAs) for proteomics research through collaborations with scientists and companies.

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