A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Abingworth Management, a life sciences investment group, reported that it has led a $50 million Series A private debt and equity financing in Magellan Biosciences (Chelmsford, Massachusetts). The clinical diagnostics company develops rapid point-of-care analyzers and automated systems for hospital-based labs and near-patient testing worldwide.

Abingworth led the Series A financing with a $14 million investment. Other new investors included Hambrecht & Quist Capital Management and KBL Healthcare Ventures. Existing investors, Ampersand Ventures, Partners Capital, Nexus Medical Partners II SICAR and Boston Community Venture Fund also participated.

As part of the financing, Magellan has acquired TREK Diagnostic Systems (Cleveland), a maker of automated systems and consumable products for microbiology diagnostic testing, serving the clinical, pharmaceutical, and veterinary laboratory markets.

TopSpin Medical (Tel Aviv, Israel) reported that it has raised $11 million in convertible bonds from institutional investors on the Tel Aviv stock exchange.

TopSpin says it has developed a technology platform, which is designed to enable MRI to be conducted with no external magnets. The company says that the ability to perform high-resolution local MRI with no external magnets is "a breakthrough in medical imaging as it enables the extension of MRI technology to a wide range of applications, in which conventional MRI cannot get to the required resolution or is simply too bulky and expensive."

The primary application developed by TopSpin is high-resolution imaging of coronary artery walls during cardiac catheterization by a single-use, IntraVascular MRI (IVMRI) catheter. It said that the IVMRI catheter has demonstrated accurate characterization of the lipid composition of atherosclerotic plaque, an important factor in determining plaque instability.

TopSpin completed its first-in-man (FIM) clinical trial, which will support its application for CE-marking of the IVMRI system by the end of the year.

An additional clinical study is now ongoing in more than 10 centers in Europe, Israel and the U.S. It reports that to date about 100 patients have been enrolled in TopSpin's studies with good safety and performance results. The company said it plans to use the data to obtain FDA market clearance, expected by mid-2007.

"The $11M raised will allow us to launch our IVMRI catheter in Europe and in the US, while continuing to invest in an extensive post-marketing clinical program that would help build our market," said Erez Golan, TopSpin's president/CEO. We intend to continue working with leading cardiologists, as well as industry partners, to further demonstrate the usefulness of IVMRI in diagnosing and guiding therapy to vulnerable plaque. The successful completion of the financing will allow us to move ahead with this ambitious plan, while further developing our technology, in cardiology, urology and beyond."

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