Medical Device Daily Contributing Writer
And MDDs

In vitro diagnosics company bioMérieux (Marcy l'Etoile, France) boosted net income by 16.9% in 2006 to 1105.4 million ($142 million), benefiting from new products and a sales increase of 4.4% to a little over 11 billion ($1.35 billion).

The results exceeded consensus estimates of analysts, which forecast net income of 199 million ($133.6 million).

CEO Stéphane Bancel said sales are expected to grow 6% to 7% for 2007 and added that announcements concerning acquisitions and partnerships could be expected "quite soon." In a telephone conference with journalists, Bancel declined to specify deals that he said "are within our grasp," except to say that the company has several exclusive negotiations underway in parallel in the U.S. and Japan.

With capital exceeding 1550 million ($742 million) and debt of only 110 million ($13.5 million), bioMérieux holds the resources to continue a strategic realignment begun last year.

External growth is key to the stated goal of sustained revenue growth of 7% to 9% over the next five years and bioMérieux said it seeks either know-how or significant market share from any potential target for acquisition or partnership.

The year-end results for bioMérieux include a nearly 17 million ($9.45 million) loss for the phase-out of production in Durham, North Carolina) of its microplate immunoassays used to test for HIV and HTVL in reference labs and blood banks.

The company boosted revenues by 110 million ($13.5 million) from the sale of its line of hemostasis products to Trinity Biotech (Dublin, Ireland).

bioMérieux produces reagents, instruments and software for clinical applications, such as the diagnosis of infectious diseases, and for industrial applications, such as the microbiological analysis of food.

Move to U.S. for Oxford BioSignals

Oxford BioSignals Medical (Oxford, UK), characterizing itself as "one of the world's most innovative life sciences companies," has reported plans to move its global headquarters to the U.S. and expand its capacity for future growth.

The company said it would move its world headquarters to Carmel, Indiana, just north of Indianapolis. With the move, the company plans to create 120 engineering, clinical, technical, operational and commercial jobs within five years.

Frank Cheng, president/CEO, reported the company's planned move along with Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard and Daniel Evans Jr., president/CEO of Clarian Health.

The state of Indiana pledged more than $2.8 million in incentives, while the city of Carmel offered tax abatements totaling $116,000.

"We're demonstrating again the ambition we have for Indiana to become a premier destination for companies in the life sciences industry, and the real progress we're making to become a leader in this sector," said Daniels.

A subsidiary of Oxford BioSignals Ltd., the company produces patient-safety software, known as BioSign, used by hospitals to better identify patients in a medical crisis. BioSign evaluates five vital signs — heart rate, respiration rate, body temperature, oxygen saturation and blood pressure — and fuses the data into a measurable index, the BioSign Index.

"BioSign is groundbreaking technology that gives medical professionals accurate assessment of the patient's condition," Cheng said. "It not only evaluates the patients' vital signs, but it also alerts medical staff of problems instantly and even helps in predicting and preventing problems well before they ever become critical."

BioSign received FDA clearance in 2006. It is currently being used in a clinical trial at Clarian Health's Methodist Hospital (Indianapolis) and also is being explored by University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Oxford BioSignals Medical also produces an electrocardiogram interpretation technology known as BioQT, which can help pharmaceutical companies, the FDA, and contract research organizations better monitor the cardiovascular effects of new drugs.

EDAP boosts marketing push in Germany

EDAP TMS (Lyon, France), a leader in High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) treatment of prostate cancer, has launched a new marketing and education initiative, the HIFU Tour, in Germany, which it termed the largest prostate cancer market in Europe.

The HIFU Tours bring together groups of urologists from a local area to meet and discuss HIFU through presentations by regional expert users. The company said Ablatherm-HIFU demonstrates "high success rates, low side effects, preserves patient quality of life, and can offer a solution to external beam radiation therapy failures where patients previously had no other alternative."

It said physician benefits include "a quick learning curve, high repeatability and lower risk through Ablatherm's robotized system.

EDAP said its Ablatherm-HIFU device is "the most advanced HIFU technology in the world for localized prostate cancer, strongly backed by multi-center and peer-reviewed clinical publications."

The company said that position enables it to take the lead in educating physicians through local peer-to-peer education and conversion seminars designed to introduce HIFU to urologists and encourage physicians to commit to training on the Ablatherm-HIFU device, the only device in HIFU shown to have high success rates and low side effects independent of user bias.

"These HIFU Tours will occur in major European countries where EDAP is presently making aggressive forays into marketing and education to raise awareness of Ablatherm-HIFU as a key part of the urologist's treatment offering for localized prostate cancer patients," said Marc Oczachowski, chief operating officer and director of the company's marketing initiatives in Europe.

He added, "Our medical partners actively using HIFU are now supporting the full marketing launch of Ablatherm-HIFU on a peer-to-peer education basis. We are seeing very strong interest on a larger scale than at any time in the past."

"Urologists and general practitioners are receiving growing pressure from patients to investigate HIFU as a choice in their therapeutic options," said Judith Johannsen, general manager of EDAP's German subsidiary.