A Medical Device Daily

Viant Group, a New York- and San Francisco-based investment banking firm, reported the closing of a $77 million private financing round that it managed on behalf of Take Care Health Systems (Conshohocken, Pennsylvania), a provider of retail pharmacy-based primary care clinic management.

The transaction serves as the largest private growth capital raise in the healthcare services industry in two years, Viant said, and the largest such funding to date in the retail pharmacy-based primary care delivery sector.

Beecken Petty O'Keefe & Co. (Chicago), a private equity management firm, and its affiliates, along with Take Care management and founding shareholders, provided the funding.

Take Care said the funds will be used to continue its expansion in select geographic markets with national pharmacy chains.

To date, Take Care has opened 19 centers in two states. The company is under contract to develop and manage nearly 200 additional centers within the next 12 months and about 1,400 centers in more than 70 markets by 2008.

Take Care provides healthcare services in location such as the neighborhood retail-pharmacy store. The company's nurse practitioners focus exclusively on diagnosis, treatment, screenings and vaccinations for common family illnesses. From providing an easy entry point to healthcare to a pathway to electronic medical records, Take Care said its care model has the potential to revolutionize healthcare delivery by bringing more individuals into healthcare and ultimately lowering costs .

In other financing activity:

. Amphion Innovations (New York), a developer of technology and life sciences businesses, reported that one of its portfolio companies, Axcess International (Carrollton, Texas), a provider of radio frequency identification (RFID) systems, has completed a financing of $2.3 million.

Amphion provided $1.25 million of the total amount raised, $750,000, as previously disclosed in January (Medical Device Daily, Jan. 4, 2006). The investment brings Amphion's ownership stake in the firm to 8.9%.

Axcess said the funds will be used in part to complete the development of a new RFID product designed to further exploit its existing markets in asset, personnel and vehicle tagging.

. Lifeline Biotechnologies (Reno, Nevada) reported that it has reduced its outstanding debt by $300,000. The company's management and advisors have converted amounts due to them into shares of Lifeline Biotechnologies common stock. The company has reduced its total debt by more than $500,000 over the last three months, it said.

The company said it elected to make the reductions in order to improve its balance sheet. However, it said the reduction is not expected to reduce the research and development efforts for the First Warning System and OvaScope, which assist in the early detection of breast and ovarian cancer.

Lifeline's technologies focus on prevention, early detection, diagnosis and quick recovery of a number of disease conditions. The MastaScope is used in the early detection of cancer and other abnormalities of the breast. That system has completed development and has entered the U.S. and international marketplace. The First Warning System for assisting in the early detection of breast cancer and the OvaScope for assisting in the early detection of ovarian cancer are continuing to be developed by the company, it said.