A Medical Device Daily

McKesson (San Francisco) said that it has successfully completed the previously disclosed acquisition of Per-Se Technologies (Alpharetta, Georgia) in an all-cash transaction valued at $1.8 billion. The proposed merger was unveiled in November (Medical Device Daily, Nov. 7, 2006).

Under the agreement terms, Per-Se stockholders received $28 a share in cash, without interest.

When the deal was first disclosed, McKesson said that Per-Se “fits directly” with its plan to lead in solving “the clinical, financial and business process challenges facing healthcare.” It said Per-Se will give it “the nation’s largest electronic pharmacy network connecting about 90% of U.S. retail pharmacies to other business partners to help manage key clinical, financial and administrative transactions for the pharmacist and payor.”

Per-Se describes itself as a leader in “connective healthcare solutions that help enable physicians, pharmacies and hospitals to achieve their income potential by creating an environment that streamlines and simplifies the complex administrative burden of providing healthcare.” It reports a customer base of about 100,000 physicians in small practices, 17,000 hospital-affiliated physicians, 3,000 hospitals and 50,000 retail pharmacies.

In other dealmaking news:

• Illumina (San Diego) reported that it completed its acquisition of Solexa (Hayward, California) in a stock-for-stock merger valued at about $600 million.

In special meetings of stockholders, Solexa stockholders approved the merger agreement Illumina and Solexa entered into on Nov. 12, 2006 (MDD, Nov. 14, 2006), and Illumina stockholders approved the issuance of shares of Illumina common stock for the acquisition of Solexa.

Solexa stockholders will receive 0.344 of a share of Illumina common stock for each share of Solexa common stock.

“We are excited to join the two companies, creating the only company with genome-scale technology for genotyping, gene expression, and sequencing, the three cornerstones of modern genetic analysis,” said Jay Flatley, president/CEO of Illumina. “With Solexa’s recent technical achievements we look forward to the rapid commercialization of our next-generation sequencing platform.”

In connection with the merger, the size of Illumina’s board of directors was increased from eight to ten members. The two newly appointed members are Blaine Bowman and Roy Whitfield both of whom were members of Solexa’s board of directors.

• Aruna Biomedical (Athens, Georgia) reported that it has entered into a technology licensing agreement with the University of Georgia Research Foundation (also Athens) that will enable the company to commercialize human neural progenitor (NP) cell technology developed at the university.

Aruna has acquired an exclusive worldwide license to develop and commercialize neural cells derived from human embryonic stem cells. Aruna will offer the academic and industry research communities access to what it said are much sought after, but never before available human neural cells, derived from human embryonic stem cells, that relate to normal and diseased human conditions.

The cells can be used in research ranging from Alzheimer’s, spinal cord injury and depression. Aruna said it anticipates launch of its first product, human neural progenitor (NP) cells, in early 2007 and add-on products will closely follow.

The human NP cells will be sold and marketed through a third-party distribution partner and packaged as a kit with growth media and substrates.

“The potential impact of this product on the neural research community could be astounding,” says Aruna co-founder and CEO Steven Stice. “We are offering a product that may accelerate the pace of neurological research for tens of thousands of scientists and thereby may provide patients with possible therapies and treatments for debilitating neurological diseases and spinal cord injuries much sooner than imagined.”