Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Correlogic Systems (Rockville, Maryland) reported that Mitsui & Co. (Tokyo) has made a second tranche investment in Correlogic and that the two companies have entered into a research collaboration for the clinical development of diagnostic tests for use in Japan. The amount of the investment was not disclosed.

In 2004, Mitsui made a first-round investment and the companies entered an agreement to explore the application of Correlogic's pattern recognition technology to the detection of ovarian cancer in Japanese patients. Under the auspices of Jikei University, Japan's medical institution for gynecologic cancers, Correlogic conducted a "mini-trial" involving the application of Correlogic's technology to Japanese patient serum samples.

The companies said that the agreement reflects the successful conclusion of the mini trial and the commitment of both companies to proceed with development of a range of pattern recognition blood tests for Japanese patients, for the detection of ovarian and other cancers, including cancers with particular prevalence in Japan.

Quintiles Transnational Japan K.K., Japan's largest contract pharmaceutical organization, has been selected to work with Mitsui and Correlogic in the collection of additional research samples and the conduct of clinical trials.

"The R&D agreement represents an enormous opportunity for Correlogic to bring our technology to the world's second largest market." said Peter Levine, president/CEO of Correlogic.

Correlogic has developed technology and processes with a wide variety of applications for biomarker discovery, disease detection, and new drug discovery. The technology's first application has been in the field of proteomics - the study of human proteins.

In other financing activity:

• Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LabCorp, Burlington, North Carolina) reported the results of its offer to exchange a new series of zero-coupon convertible subordinated notes due Sept. 11, 2021, and an exchange fee of $2.50 per $1,000 principal amount at maturity for all of its outstanding liquid yield option notes (LYONs) due 2021.

The exchange offer expired Monday.

LabCorp has been advised by the paying agent, The Bank of New York, that $741,243,000 in aggregate principal amount at maturity of LYONs, representing about 99% of the LYONs, were validly tendered for exchange and not withdrawn. Following settlement of the exchange, $2,662,000 in aggregate principal amount at maturity of LYONs and $741,243,000 in aggregate principal amount at maturity of the new notes will be outstanding.

LabCorp says it is the second largest independent clinical laboratory company in the U.S., based on 2005 revenues. The company offers clinical laboratory tests used in routine testing, patient diagnosis and the monitoring and treatment of disease.

• Roche Diagnostics (Pleasanton, California) reported that its royalty dispute with Ambry Genetics (Alisa Viejo, California) involving Roche's patent portfolio for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and related technology has been settled.

Ambry will pay Roche Diagnostics past royalties due in the field of human in vitro diagnostics, and Roche Diagnostics has agreed to dismiss the arbitration proceedings it had initiated. The estimated amount of these royalties was not provided.

"Ambry acted in a completely responsible way after being advised of its obligations under our license agreement," said Melinda Griffith, senior VP and general counsel at Roche Molecular Diagnostics, a business area of Roche Diagnostics. "Roche Diagnostics will continue to take all necessary action to safeguard our intellectual property."

Roche Diagnostics has a licensing program in which it makes available technology improvement patents for the company's PCR technology in such areas as real-time nucleic acid quantitation, reverse transcription and advanced polymerase enzymes.

• Abbott (Abbott Park, Illinois) reported that its board has authorized the repurchase of up to $2.5 billion of the corporation's common stock as market conditions warrant.

Abbott is a broad healthcare company that manufactures nutritionals, devices and diagnostics.

• HealthSouth (Birmingham, Alabama) reported that its stockholders have approved a 1-for-5 reverse stock split. The reverse split will become effective Oct. 26, to coincide with HealthSouth's relisting on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol HLS.

It said that more than 95% of its shareholders participated in the vote, and more than 90% of the participating shareholders voted approval.

The company noted that the reverse split will affect all of its stockholders uniformly and will not change the proportionate equity interests.

With the reverse split and relisting, the company said it has made substantial progress toward recovery from "the fraud perpetrated by the previous management team."

HealthSouth is one of the nation's largest providers of outpatient surgery, diagnostic imaging and rehabilitative healthcare services.

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