A Medical Device Daily
NuLens (Herziliya Pituah, Israel), a company developing and manufacturing intraocular lenses (IOLs) used in surgical procedures to treat cataracts and presbyopia, reported receiving a $6 million Series B investment led by equity firm Warburg Pincus.
Additional investors in the round include an existing shareholder, Elron Electronic Industries, a high-tech holding company.
Ori Gal, CEO of NuLens, said, “Together with Elron , who initially invested in NuLens a year ago, Warburg Pincus will be a great asset in achieving NuLens' goals of commercializing our breakthrough accommodating IOL and building a strong platform company with leading technology in the ophthalmic field.“
NuLens is developing what it terms a “fully accommodative“ IOL based on the patents of its founder Dr. Joshua Bennun, and said it is planning to launch clinical trials in Europe in the second half of the year. It said that pre-clinical research of the NuLens IOL in primates, conducted at the VISSUM Eye Institute (Alicante, Spain), has demonstrated the ability to reach significant levels of accommodation, offering the potential to restore full vision to cataract and presbyopic patients.
NuLens describes the IOL sector as one of the largest device markets, with sales to cataract patients exceeding 10 million units and $1.3 billion worldwide, to be further supported by the demographics of aging.
Aksys (Lincolnshire, Illinois), a developer of home dialysis technology, reported receiving an investment of $5 million from Durus Life Sciences Master Fund. Durus further will provide Aksys with access, under certain circumstances, to a $5 million standby line of credit.
Durus would acquire newly issued shares of Aksys preferred stock, convertible into 5 million shares of common stock at $1 a share, and warrants to purchase 5 million shares of common stock for $1.10 a share. About $15.8 million of subordinated promissory notes, held by Durus, would be exchanged with Aksys, Aksys would issue about $15.8 million of senior secured notes to Durus, and Durus would have the option to further invest up to another $15 million for convertible preferred stock and warrants.
Larry Birch, CFO of Aksys, said, “We expect this funding arrangement to provide the company with sources of capital beyond 2006.“
Aksys' flagship product is the PHD home dialysis system.
In other financing activity:
• Allergan (Irvine, California) reported extending the expiration date of its exchange offer for all outstanding shares of common stock of Inamed (Santa Barbara, California).
It said that all conditions to the completion of the exchange offer are satisfied. But it is extending the offer according to its one-time right under the merger agreement to extend the offer for up to five business days to seek valid tenders representing at least 90% of the outstanding Inamed common stock so that it can complete the acquisition through a short-form merger.
The exchange offer now will expire at 11:59 p.m., EST, March 17 rather than at 6 p.m., EST, March 10, at which time nearly 30.6 million shares, representing about 82.9%, of Inamed's outstanding common stock, had been tendered.
Assuming all conditions to the exchange offer satisfied when the offer expires on March 17, Allergan will have no further extension rights and will promptly complete the exchange offer.
Allergan also reported that the boards of Allergan, Inamed and Banner Acquisition, Allergan's wholly owned subsidiary, approved an amendment in an effort to treat fairly those Inamed stockholders who do not make valid elections in the exchange offer and the merger. Due to the increase in the trading price of Allergan common stock since Allergan announced the exchange offer, there is a significant difference between the $84 in cash payable per Inamed share and the implied value of 0.8498 shares of Allergan common stock issuable per Inamed share in the exchange offer and the merger. Prior to this amendment, non-electing Inamed stockholders likely would have received the currently lower value of $84 in cash per Inamed share.
In the exchange offer, Allergan is offering to exchange for each outstanding share of Inamed common stock, either $84 in cash or 0.8498 of a share of Allergan common stock, at the election of the holder.
• HealthSouth (Birmingham, Alabama) has entered into a credit agreement providing up to $2.55 billion in senior secured financing with a group of financial institutions and an interim loan agreement that provides $1 billion of senior unsecured interim loans. HealthSouth used a portion of the proceeds of the loans under the senior credit facility, the proceeds of the interim loans and the proceeds of $400 million from its previously announced issuance and sale of 400,000 shares of 6.50% Series A preferred stock, completed on March 7, along with cash on hand, to prepay its existing indebtedness and to pay fees and expenses related to the recapitalization transactions.
The remainder of the proceeds and availability under the senior credit facilities will be used for general corporate purposes. HealthSouth anticipates refinancing the $1 billion interim loans in 2Q or3Q 2006 by issuing debt securities.
HealthSouth is a major provider of outpatient surgery, diagnostic imaging and rehabilitative healthcare services.
• Evolved Nanomaterial Sciences (ENS; Cambridge, Massachusetts), a company using nanotechnology for chiral separations for in drug development, completed a $3.3 million Series A round of financing led by Harris and Harris Group, a venture capital firm investing primarily in nanotechnology, microsystems and microelectromechanical systems.
The company's HPLC Chiral Columns enable molecular separations by simplifying the research and analysis process. ENS says its forthcoming product line effectively separates a broad spectrum of chiral chemical compounds and promises to remove much of the current trial and error in chiral chromatography column and condition selection.
Chiral separation is a process for separating mirror-image molecules, one of which is often therapeutic or beneficial, the other of which can produce unwanted side effects.
ENS said it will use the funding to fill out its manufacturing and product development capabilities, and support the upcoming launch of its first line of commercially available chiral columns in 2Q06.