A Medical Device Daily

Gene chip maker NimbleGen Systems (Madison, Wisconsin) is seeking to raise up to $75 million in an initial public offering.

The registration filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission said the number of shares and their price range have yet to be determined. The company said that the money raised will be used to increase research, expand sales and add production capacity, the company said.

NimbleGen makes microarrays — or biological assays — and related products for life sciences research.

Gene chips, also called DNA chips, are tiny test platforms for researchers exploring genetic differences, used for both scientific research and drug discovery. NimbleGen says its system is "much faster and less expensive than other methods."

NimbleGen says its High-Definition Genomics enables scientists to obtain and integrate complex genetic data sets not previously accessible, providing a clearer understanding of genomics and systems biology. The improved performance is made possible, according to the company, by its Maskless Array Synthesis technology, which uses digital light processing and rapid, high-yield photochemistry to synthesize DNA.

The DNA chip market could expand to $900 million in the next five years, according to a study commissioned by NimbleGen.

NimbleGen has 135 employees, around 90 of them in Madison. The company was spun out of the University of Wisconsin (Madison) in 1999, and now has a service laboratory in Reykjavik, Iceland.

According to the filing, the company in late 2006 "began a major expansion of our sales force and commercial infrastructure worldwide, particularly in Europe."

NimbleGen had revenues of $13.5 million in 2006, up from $9.5 million in 2005 and $4.5 million in 2004. But the company has yet to turn a profit. NimbleGen had a net loss last year of $6.8 million and has an accumulated deficit of $44.5 million. Net losses may continue for the next several years as the business expands, the filing warns.

The company has raised $70 million from private investors and venture capital firms and had $19 million in cash and cash equivalents as of Dec. 31, 2006.

The company said it has applied to list its common stock on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol "NMBL."

J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. will serve as the sole book-running manager for the offering. Thomas Weisel Partners is acting as co-lead manager, and Leerink-Swann & Company and Robert W. Baird & Co. are acting as co-managers for the offering.

NimbleGen is the second Madison-based med-tech company to file for an IPO in two months. TomoTherapy — whose machines provide targeted cancer radiation therapy and also has UW-Madison roots — made the move in February, seeking to raise up to $200 million (Medical Device Daily, Feb. 14, 2007).

Last year, NimbleGen obtained a non-exclusive, worldwide license to a number of Affymetrix (Santa Clara, California) patents covering the manufacture, use and sales of nucleic acid microarrays and related products and services in the research field. Financial details of the license were not disclosed (MDD, Oct. 10, 2006). At that time, Stan Rose, PhD, president/CEO of NimbleGen, called the license a "major milestone in NimbleGen's evolution as a company, and part of a fundamental expansion of our commercial strategy."

Transoma Medical (St. Paul, Minnesota) has completed a $13 million series C equity financing. Investors included previous investors Canaan Partners (Menlo Park, California), Affinity Capital Management (Minneapolis), and Polaris Venture Partners, (Waltham, Massachusetts).

Transoma, a private company, is a provider of implantable wireless diagnostic systems for patients with chronic cardiovascular disease and for biomedical research. The company's products include wireless sensors that transmit information from inside the body to a receiver via radio-frequency waves, as well as software to condense the data these devices provide into meaningful information.

"This insider-led financing round with participation from three of the top med-tech venture capital firms is exciting for Transoma and validates the progress our team has made," said Brian Brockway, Transoma president/CEO. "Our first clinical product, the Sleuth Implantable ECG Monitor, is designed to provide physicians with accurate, timely and relevant information that will lead to faster and more cost-effective diagnosis of patient who suffer from infrequent unexplained fainting spells, or syncope. This is the first product in a platform. Once the platform is fully developed, it will provide physicians with a rich set of information to help them care for a broad range of chronic cardiovascular diseases."

Sleuth is currently under FDA review.

In other financing news:

Advanced Medical Optics (AMO; Santa Ana, California) said it intends to offer about $200 million of senior subordinated notes, due 2017, made to qualified institutional buyers and non-U.S. foreign investors. The notes will be unsecured senior subordinated obligations of AMO.

In January AMO reported that it was acquiring IntraLase (Irvine, California) for $808 million in cash, or $25 a share (MDD, Jan. 9, 2007).

AMO said it expects to use the proceeds from the offering, and borrowings under a new senior credit facility, to purchase all of the outstanding common stock of IntraLase; to repay outstanding indebtedness under its senior credit facility; to pay related fees and expenses; and other general corporate purposes.

Uroplasty (Minnetonka, Minnesota) said it has received about $1.3 million of proceeds from exercise of 663,215 warrants to purchase its common shares. The warrants expired Monday. Uroplasty has roughly 11.6 million common shares outstanding after the issuance of the shares relating to the exercise of these warrants.

Uroplasty develops products for the treatment of voiding dysfunctions.

Datatrak (Cleveland) reported closing a private placement with a group of institutional investors for net proceeds of about $8.8 million. Purchasers of the newly issued common shares included existing outside shareholders and new investors.

The financing consisted of the sale of 1,986,322 common shares for $4.75 a share. The closing also included the issuance to the investors of five-year warrants to buy a total of 297,948 common shares for $6 a share.

Datatrak is a provider of multi-component eClinical solutions and related services for the clinical trials industry.