Medical Device Daily Correspondent And MDDs

Evotec (Hamburg, Germany) is adding about $29.3 million (between EUR22 million and EUR23 million) to its coffers following the sale to PerkinElmer (Wellesley, Massachusetts) of the remaining elements of its tools and technologies business, Evotec Technologies .

In July, the firm sold off part of this business — a single-molecule detection business and associated intellectual property — to Olympus (Tokyo) for around EUR7.5 million.

Now PerkinElmer is obtaining Evotec’s technologies for confocal imaging, cell handling and ultra-high throughput screening, as well as image capture and cellular analysis software.

“That basically concludes the big steps in transforming the company. While quite a lot of things remain to be done in terms of building the pipeline, we think that we have found in PerkinElmer an excellent partner,” Evotec president/CEO Joern Aldag said in a conference call.

“They have a complete product offering and they intend to build and forward expand the area of cell imaging and will create here in Hamburg the center of excellence for this part of their product offering.”

The company also has a global sales and distribution infrastructure, which Evotec Technologies lacked, he added.

Aldag said the cash injection will allow Evotec to expand its pipeline of drugs for central nervous system indications.

Evotec’s remaining activities include its research services and its drug development businesses, which logged revenues of EUR47.7 million and EUR2.9 million, respectively, for the first three quarters of the year. The company posted an overall net loss for the period of EUR16.1 million or EUR0.25 per share.

The tools and technologies business posted total sales of EUR17 million in 2005 and Evotec had guided sales of between EUR16 million and EUR18 million for 2006. Some analysts had forecast sales as high as EUR19 million, however, including Stefan Schrôder, analyst at SES Research (Hamburg).

The purchase price, Schrôder said, represents “an enterprise value to sales ratio of about 1.6, so this is rather at the lower end [of expectations], I would say, but is still acceptable. “It’s more important to get cash in, in order to develop the whole drug pipeline.”

Evotec’s share price was unaffected by the news, reflecting, Schrôder said, a neutral response by the market, which had been expecting Evotec to dispose of its tools and technologies business. Late last week and early this week, the shares were changing hands at around EUR3.05, a level that, he said, undervalues the stock.

Schrôder has a price target of EUR4.20. He said he expects the company will be able to replicate in the clinical sphere the success it has achieved in preclinical discovery and development projects for large partners, such as Ingelheim, Boehringer Ingelheim (Germany) and Takeda Pharmaceutical (Osaka, Japan).

“I’m very optimistic, I must say,” he said.

Evotec has two compounds in clinical trials at present. EVT.201 is undergoing a Phase II trial in insomnia. EVT.101 is undergoing a Phase I study and will be developed for Alzheimer’s disease and neuropathic pain. The company plans to move a third compound, EVT.302, into a Phase I trial in Alzheimer’s disease next year. The latter is a follow-up to EVT.301, development of which was halted earlier this year following apparent toxicity problems in a Phase I study.

CE mark sought for Combidex

Advanced Magnetics (Cambridge, Massachusetts) reported that its European partner, Guerbet (Paris), submitted a marketing authorization application (MAA), the European equivalent of a New Drug Application, for Combidex, Advanced Magnetics’ investigational functional molecular imaging agent for use in conjunction with MRI to aid the differentiation of normal from metastatic lymph nodes, to the European Medicines Agency (EMEA).

The MAA was submitted to the EMEA seeking approval of Combidex under the trade name Sinerem, as an aid in the differentiation of lymph nodes in patients with pelvic cancers, including prostate, bladder and uterus cancer. Guerbet said that the MAA will be reviewed by the UK and Ireland, and subject to approval in Europe, and that it plans product launch in Germany and the UK in 2Q08. Guerbet also said that it will file an application for Sinerem in Switzerland before the end of 2006.

Advanced Magnetics has granted Guerbet an exclusive right to manufacture and sell Combidex in certain countries in the European Union, South America, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, South Africa, Mexico and Eastern Europe.

Combidex consists of iron oxide nanoparticles for use in conjunction with MRI to aid in the differentiation of cancerous from normal lymph nodes. We have granted exclusive rights to market and sell Combidex in the United States to Cytogen Corporation.

Advanced Magnetics develops nanoparticle technology for use in therapeutic iron compounds to treat anemia, as well as imaging agents to aid in the diagnosis of cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Andover to buy holding in 4BMC

Andover Medical (AMI; North Andover, Massachusetts) reported that it has entered into a letter of intent with Brooks Ventures to purchase its 15% holding of 4B Med’Concept (4BMC), a French durable medical equipment (DME) distribution company. Terms were not disclosed.

With the stake purchase, AMI said it hopes to explore prospective outlets for its products and services in Europe.

Robert Coffill, director of AMI, said the investment in 4BMC provides the company a gateway to the European common market. “It is our desire to expand our understanding of the European DME market to decide how AMI should make future investments.”

Established in 2004, 4BMC, privately held, distributes and services orthopedic devices and soft goods to France and other European nations.

AMI says it is building a single-source provider of orthopedic, podiatric and urological DME and incontinence treatment solutions.