A Medical Device Daily

Artes Medical (San Diego), developing what it calls a new category of permanent aesthetic injectable products, reported that it has raised about $50.7 million in a series of private equity financings involving the sale of its Series E preferred stock.

Since its inception in 1999, the company said it has raised about $80 million in private equity.

The Series E financings include $7.2 million raised through a subscription rights offering primarily from existing stockholders of the company, $38.5 million syndicated and raised by National Securities in association with Empire Asset Management and $5 million invested by NGN Capital.

“The funds raised through these equity financings provide Artes Medical with the necessary resources to commercially launch ArteFill in both the U.S. and international markets, pending the receipt of final FDA approval and the receipt of a CE mark,“ said Christopher Reinhard, executive chairman of Artes.

ArteFill is a permanent aesthetic injectable designed for the treatment of facial wrinkles known as nasolabial folds or smile lines. It consists of a combination of what the compay calls “precision-filtered microspheres,“ which are suspended in a carrier gel containing purified bovine collagen and 0.3% lidocaine.

The microspheres are made of polymethylmethacrylate, the most commonly used artificial implant material used in the human body. The microspheres act as a support matrix for enduring wrinkle correction. Since the microspheres are permanent, the result is expected to be long-lasting.

ArteFill's premarket approval application has been deemed approvable by the FDA.

“These important financings enable us to focus on our first product launch with ArteFill, which involves the hiring and training of our direct sales force as well as preparing to initiate physician training for the correct use of this first permanent injectable wrinkle filler, subsequent to receipt of FDA market approval,“ said Stefan Lemperle, founder and CEO of Artes. “The financing also provides the company the opportunity to consider growing through potential strategic product acquisitions and continuation of clinical development of our pipeline products.“

Genizon BioSciences (Montreal) reported the closing of a $12.4 million first tranche of a secured convertible debenture financing.

“This additional funding allows the company to substantially add to its inventory of GeneMaps and drug targets directly implicated in common diseases,“ said John Hooper, PhD, president and CEO of Genizon. “The assets to be generated with this funding can be rapidly taken downstream to develop valuable new drugs and diagnostics.“

Investors include venture capital companies HBM Bioventures, Biofund Management, MVI Finance and Carnegie, as well as Genizon management, board members and employees, private investors and Illumina (San Diego), a developer of tools for the large-scale analysis of genetic variation and function.

“The combination of this financing, a throughput of 65 million genotypes per day from our recently expanded Illumina platform, and a customized Illumina chip of approximately 365,000 SNPs distributed across the human genome to reflect genetic sharing in the Quebec Founder Population, allows very high sensitivity whole-genome association studies involving 500 million or more genotypes to be completed in as little as two weeks. Several such studies are under way to generate additional IP and provide further major value enhancement,“ added Hooper.

Genizon is the developer of GeneMaps – maps of genes, biochemical pathways and drug targets that are believed to be involved in causing human disease – accelerating the the company believes the development of safer, more effective medicines.

In other financings news, Sybron Dental Specialties (Newport Beach, California) reported that it entered into a new credit facility which provides the company with expanded borrowing capacity, reduced borrowing costs and less restrictive covenants.

The new credit facility consists of a five-year revolving credit facility that the company said allows it to borrow up to $250 million and includes an accordion feature that provides the option to pursue up to an additional $400 million of capacity; making the total potential capacity of the new credit facility $650 million.

The previous facility provided the company with a $150 million revolving credit facility.

Initial borrowings under the new revolving credit facility were used to retire the outstanding borrowings under the company's previous credit facility, which stood at $35.8 million as of March 23.

Under Sybron's current financial ratios, the new revolving credit facility will carry an interest rate of LIBOR plus 62.5 basis points. The company's previous revolving credit facility carried an interest rate of LIBOR plus 175 basis points.

In conjunction with the refinancing, the company said it will record a non-cash charge of about $1.9 million in the quarter ended March 31, as it will expense a portion of the remaining unamortized deferred financing fees related to its previous credit facility.

Additionally, about $1.3 million in fees and expenses related to the new credit facility, as well as $1.7 million of deferred financing fees related to the previous credit facility that will not be immediately expensed, will be amortized over the term of the new credit facility.

Sybron makes a range of products for the dental profession, including the specialty markets of orthodontics, endodontics and implantology and a variety of infection prevention products for use by the dental and medical professions.