A Medical Device Daily

Symphony Medical (Eden Prairie, Minnesota), a spin-off company of the Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland), reported that it has raised more than $6 million in equity funding to develop treatments for atrial fibrillation (AF) and other ailments.

Symphony has offices in the Cleveland Clinic’s Innovation Center, as well as in Minnesota and California.

Symphony said it would use the funding to increase its staff size, complete clinical trials and introduce a new product in Europe aimed at preventing AF after surgery.

The company’s latest financing round included a new investor, Triathlon Medical Ventures, along with existing investors Morgenthaler Ventures, Domain Associates, and Guidant Compass Group. The previous financing round for the company raised more than $5 million in 2003.

“One reason the Cleveland Clinic created the Innovation Center was to help companies establish the right relationships with the right clinicians and key investors to improve patient care,” said Chris Coburn, executive director of CCF Innovations , the clinic’s technology transfer and commercialization arm. “We’re pleased that we could help Symphony identify a new investor, Triathlon Medical Ventures, to lead this round and ensure that it continues its groundbreaking efforts in fighting atrial fibrillation.”

Following the Cleveland Clinic’s creation of a new atrial fibrillation center last spring (Medical Device Daily, May, 12, 2005), Symphony expanded its growing business onto the clinic’s campus by establishing a presence in the hospital’s Innovation Center to collaborate more closely with the clinic’s clinicians.

The decision to expand into the Innovation Center paid off, according to Symphony’s CEO and co-founder, Mark Maciejewski. “We were successful raising money this round because of our relationship with the Cleveland Clinic, and especially CCF Innovations and its relationship with key investors such as Triathlon Medical Ventures. Our goal is to treat the deadly effects of atrial fibrillation with new innovative products, and CCF Innovations is helping us get these products to the market.”

For CCF Innovations, this announcement marks the third major development in recent weeks, beginning with the announcement that Bioheart (Sunrise, Florida), a leader in developing cell therapies for heart repair, is entering into a patent licensing and onsite development agreement with the Cleveland Clinic to further enhance its cell-based technology (MDD, Feb. 22, 2006).

The Bioheart announcement was followed by news that another successful spin-off, Cleveland BioLabs ,plans to raise $14 million in a public stock offering to develop a drug to protect humans from radiation exposure related to nuclear or terrorist attacks and accidents.

“We had a hat trick in February – important investors and technology leaders executed deals and initiated transactions that put great value in CCF spin-offs and CCF technology,” Coburn said. “We are looking forward to an increasing rate of commercialization and more collaboration with our partners, including Ohio’s Third Frontier program, which provided critical support to each of these deals. We expect 2006 to be a great year.”

Symphony Medical was founded in 2002 with technologies from the Cleveland Clinic, the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minnesota), and University of California, San Francisco to focus on the development of treatments of cardiovascular conduction abnormalities. Symphony’s products are designed to correct cardiac conduction disorders through safe biologic, non-ablative means.

Thermo Electron (Waltham, Massachusetts) reported that its board of directors has authorized the repurchase, through Feb. 28, 2007, of $100 million of shares of its own common stock in the open market or in negotiated transactions.

Thermo Electron makes analytical instruments. Its Life and Laboratory Sciences segment provides analytical instruments, scientific equipment, services and software solutions for life science, drug discovery, clinical, environmental and industrial laboratories.

Thermo’s Measurement and Control segment is dedicated to providing analytical instruments used in a variety of manufacturing processes and in-the-field applications, including those associated with safety and homeland security.

In other financing news:

• PPD (Wilmington, North Carolina) said it has completed a previously disclosed two-for-one stock split of the company’s common stock.

Under the terms of the stock split, each shareholder of record at the close of business on Feb. 17 was issued one share of common stock for each share held of record on that date. On that date, PPD had 58,141,313 shares of common stock issued and outstanding. After completing the stock split, PPD now has 116,282,626 shares of common stock issued and outstanding.

The par value of PPD common stock prior to the stock split was 10 cents per share. The par value of PPD common stock after completing the stock split is 5 cents per share. There were no shares of PPD preferred stock issued and outstanding either prior to or after completing the stock split.

PPD is a global contract research organization providing discovery and development services, market development expertise and compound partnering programs.

• HealthSouth (Birmingham, Alabama) priced $400 million of convertible perpetual preferred stock through a private placement to qualified institutional buyers.

Shares of the preferred stock will be convertible into the company’s common stock at an initial conversion price of $6.10 per share.

Holders of preferred stock will generally be entitled to receive dividends at the rate of 6.5% per year, payable quarterly.

The company said it expects this transaction to close on or about March 7.

The purpose of the preferred stock issuance is to reduce HealthSouth’s outstanding indebtedness.

HealthSouth is one of the nation’s largest providers of outpatient surgery, diagnostic imaging and rehabilitative healthcare services.

• RadPharm (Princeton, New Jersey), a provider of centralized medical imaging and review services for global clinical trials, has raised $8 million in equity financing from Adams Street Partners, Tang Capital Partners and individual investors.

This follows an earlier investment by Ampersand Ventures, and positions RadPharm to continue expanding its core lab service offering, it said.

In connection with this financing, Kevin Tang, managing director of Tang Capital Management, has been appointed to RadPharm’s board of directors.