A Medical Device Daily

Parata Systems (Durham, North Carolina) reported completing its purchase of McKesson Automated Prescription Systems (APS), a business unit of McKesson (San Francisco).

Parata said it would expand its corporate headquarters in Durham, rather than relocate to one of McKesson APS's locations in Alexandria, Louisiana, or Pittsburgh. Parata said the acquisition would bring a total $15 million investment over five years for the corporate operation.

Parata's flagship product, the Parata Robotic Dispensing System (RDS), counts 30 tablets/second to process up to 154 prescriptions an hour. And at just 12 square feet, the machine occupies the space of a single shelving unit.

With deal completion, Parata credited the receipt of county and government incentives, including a $100,000 One North Carolina Fund grant and a $100,000 incentive from Durham County. It also qualified for the North Carolina New and Expanding Industry Training Incentives, which promotes training to North Carolina employees.

In other dealmaking:

• Epix Pharmaceuticals (Cambridge, Massachusetts), a developer of pharmaceuticals for MRI which recently unveiled an agreement to merge with Predix Pharmaceuticals Holdings (Lexington, Massachusetts), reported that Schering (Berlin), which is merging with Bayer (Leverkusen, Germany), is not going to exercise its option for Epix's fibrin-binding imaging agent EP-2104R. Under the terms, Epix will retain full rights to the EP-2104R program.

“Although Schering has decided not to exercise its option, we intend to diligently pursue a collaboration for the continued development of EP-2104R with other potential partners,” said Andrew Uprichard, MD, president/CEO of Epix. “We found the images generated from the Phase IIa feasibility studies of EP-2104R to be encouraging, and are excited about the potential role of EP-2104R in imaging medicine.”

EP-2104R is Epix's second imaging agent in human clinical trials. The compound is a fibrin-binding agent designed to detect blood clots using MRI. After injection the agent localizes in fibrin, a constituent of all blood clots, allowing visualization using MRI. EPIX completed two Phase IIa studies earlier this year that evaluated the performance of EP-2104R in 52 patients. The agent confirmed the presence of thrombus in all vascular beds studied across the arterial and venous circulations and including the chambers of the heart. Despite the high-risk patients enrolled in these studies, no trends or patterns were seen in the overall safety data.

Epix uses its proprietary Target Visualization Technology to create imaging agents targeting the molecular level, enabling physicians to use MRI to obtain detailed information about specific disease processes.

Epix has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission containing a joint proxy statement/prospectus in connection with the proposed merger with Predix.

Cenveo (Stamford, Connecticut) reported acquiring Rx Label Technology (Joplin, Missouri), a portfolio company of Pfingsten Partners and Hilco Equity Partners, in an all-cash transaction. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Billing itself as a leader in the production of pressure-sensitive prescription labels to the U.S. retail pharmacy market, Rx Label makes pressure-sensitive prescription labels, reporting $430 million in annual revenues.

The transaction is expected to be accretive to earnings in 2006, Cenveo said.

Rx Label, which will operate under the name Rx Technology, says it is the only label converter with cap-abilities to produce all three prescription label technologies: simplex, duplex (both integrated and dual-web) and thermal roll. Its product line includes vinyl shelf labels, pricing labels, case labels, pallet labels and returnable plastic container tags.

Cenveo is a provider of print and visual communications.

Pharmacy chainCVS (Woonsocket, Rhode Island) reported entering an agreement to acquire MinuteClinic (Minneapolis), a provider of retail-based health clinics in the U.S., with MinuteClinic to operate as a subsidiary of CVS. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Completion of the transaction is expected this summer.

MinuteClinic reports 83 of its clinics in 10 states, 66 within CVS pharmacy locations. MinuteClinics are staffed by certified nurse practitioners and physician assistants, offering treatment for common family illnesses and providing some common vaccinations.

“MinuteClinic began working with CVS more than 18 months ago and it was clear to us from the beginning that CVS really understands what the MinuteClinic model is all about,” said MinuteClinic CEO Michael Howe.

“Our new relationship with CVS will allow us to accelerate the growth and refinement of the MinuteClinic concept and to expand and maintain our existing market leadership position,” said Glen Nelson, MD, chairman of MinuteClinic. “CVS recognizes that MinuteClinic can build on our strong collaborative relationships with the physician community while continuing to innovate and operate independently in a variety of settings. At the same time, the transaction will allow both parties to make contributions to develop a breadth of offerings to improve the quality and access to healthcare for those we serve.”

MinuteClinic said it would continue operating clinics in CVS pharmacy and other retail locations and at new retail hosts, as well as corporate and government offices.

Founded in 2000, MinuteClinic reports providing nearly 500,000 patient visits.

• BioMed Realty Trust (San Diego) reported completing its previously reported acquisition of the campus of Sun Microsystems in Newark, California, to be renamed the Pacific Research Center. The property includes 10 buildings comprising about 1.4 million square feet of office space and undeveloped land. Total purchase price was about $214 million.

Sun will lease the campus through 10 leases that conclude in phases over an 18-month period.

“Given the limited availability of large contiguous spaces in the San Francisco Bay area and the versatility of the campus, this project can provide an ideal leasing solution for a variety of tenants, including life science, research and development, and other high-technology companies,” said Alan Gold, president/CEO of BioMed.

BioMed has completed the previously announced acquisition of the Array BioPharma life science campus in Boulder, Colorado, for about $45 million. Array BioPharma will fully lease the 150,000-square-foot property under a new 10-year triple-net lease.

BioMed is focused on providing real estate to the life science industry.

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