Medical Device Daily Contributing Correspondents

DUBLIN, Ireland – Diagnostics firm Trinity Biotech (Bray, Ireland) is raising gross proceeds of about $25 million from a public offering of shares with U.S. and European institutional investors, combined with a share purchase by CEO Ronan O'Caoimh.

The company gained commitments from selected institutional investors to purchase 2.675 million of American depositary shares (ADS), priced at $8.60 each, representing a discount of 4.5% on the company's closing share price on the Nasdaq on April 5, immediately prior to the disclosure of the transaction. O'Caoimh is acquiring 223,460 ADS at $8.95 each, equivalent to the full closing share price on the same date. The combined transaction will yield net of about $24 million.

The company said it will use the cash for general corporate purposes and business development, including the acquisition of companies, products and technologies complementary to its current business mix.

“We obviously have particular plans in mind for it, which I don't want to go into now,“ chief financial officer Rory Nealon told Medical Device Daily's sister publication BioWorld International.

Trinity, a well-known acquirer of smaller companies, always has potential purchases in mind, Nealon said. Any deals it is likely to do in the short term would involve targets that had “a global angle“ and that were inside its present areas of focus, which include infectious disease, coagulation, clinical chemistry and point-of-care diagnostics.

Trinity is in a second tier of diagnostics companies, outside of the top 10 that own about 80% of the market, said Nealon. “It's very fragmented when you get below us,“ he said. That's where its potential acquisitions lie.

The company has recently invested in building up a direct sales force in the U.S., Germany and the UK. Its sales infrastructure in the former two countries, in particular, has capacity for additional volume.

“If we could pump more product through that existing cost base it would make us a lot more profitable,“ Nealon said.

The company also is hoping to gain approval for an over-the-counter home test version of its UniGold HIV test. Discussions between it – and other companies – and the FDA's Blood Products Advisory Committee are ongoing. “There's basically a debate going on about what the protocols of the trials should be,“ Nealon said.

The company ended 2005 with $9.9 million in cash and equivalents, plus another $9 million in restricted cash set aside to fund deferred considerations from previous acquisitions and convertible debt. It has made deferred payments of $3.6 million since then.

Its total debt position is about $14 million. It reported net income of $5.1 million – on sales of $98.6 million – in 2005, while generating $9.2 million in cash from its operations.

Roth Capital Partners acted as lead placement agent on the transaction, while J&E Davy, a subsidiary of Bank of Ireland Group, acted as co-placement agent.

Elekta unveils Impac systems order

Elekta (Stockholm, Sweden) reported receiving an order from Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust (London), covering what it termed as a “wide-ranging oncology management system“ from Impac Medical Systems (Mountain View, California), a part of the Elekta Group providing information technology solutions for oncology.

Impac's integrated software system focuses on improving overall treatment and practice management for cancer care by streamlining diagnostic and treatment information, charge capture and billing, and scheduling information into a patient chart accessible from remote locations.

Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust is made up of two of London's oldest teaching hospitals. The trust currently uses Elekta's linear accelerators to deliver radiation therapy.

Initially, the Impac system will be used to support radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hematology, palliative care and oncology data analysis. With 500 users at the start, the system is designed to expand to more than 2000 users in the future.

The trust's integrated system will enable cancer patients to be admitted to different clinics at the trust where staff will have instant access to patients' medical records. Staff will immediately be able to see patients' diagnostic, chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment information, allowing nurses and doctors to best meet patients' needs and provide continuity of treatment without losing valuable time in finding the correct information.

Elekta's clinical solutions include among others Leksell Gamma Knife for noninvasive treatment of brain surgery and Elekta Synergy for image guided radiation therapy. Following the acquisition of Impac in April 2005 (Medical Device Daily, April 6, 2005), the Elekta Group says it is the world's largest supplier of oncology software.

TherapySelect to distribute Oncotech tests

At the recent German Cancer Congress in Berlin, Oncotech (Tustin, California), a provider of cellular and genomic information to oncologists, reported forming a collaboration with TherapySelect (Heidelberg, Germany) for TherapySelect to market Oncotech's cancer testing services in Germany.

In Germany, the overall incidence for cancer is about 400,000 patients annually.

Oncotech describes itself as a market leader in the field of in vitro drug resistance and therapy selection testing. TherapySelect develops and distributes cancer diagnostics, including Oncotech's EDR Assay and other services.