A Medical Device Daily

OrthoLogic (Tempe, Arizona) said it has agreed to acquire certain assets and assume certain liabilities of AzERx (also Tempe) for $390,000 cash and the issuance of 1,355,000 shares of OrthoLogic common stock valued at about $7.7 million, based on last Thursday's closing share price of $5.67.

The acquisition provides OrthoLogic, it said, with a new technology platform that diversifies its portfolio and “may provide more than one potential product.“ The transaction is expected to close during 1Q06.

AzERx's lead compound is AZX100, a 24-amino acid peptide currently being investigated for medical applications such as the treatment of vasospasm associated with subarachnoid hemorrhage, the prevention of keloid scarring and the treatment of asthma.

Under the terms of the transaction, OrthoLogic is acquiring an exclusive license for the core intellectual property relating to AZX100 and will continue to develop the new class of compounds in the field of smooth muscle relaxation, called Intracellular Actin Relaxing Molecules, or ICARMs, based on the unique technology invented by AzERx.

Preclinical and in vitro studies have shown that the compound has the ability to relax smooth muscle in multiple tissue types, OrthoLogic said.

“We are encouraged by the early work completed by the AzERx team and are looking forward to advancing AZX100 toward the clinic,“ said James Pusey, MD, president and CEO of OrthoLogic. He said the compound and its related technology “have the potential to treat several diseases with significant unmet medical need.“

Founded at Arizona State University, AzERx is developing peptide drugs for disorders involving smooth muscle.

OrthoLogic is focused on the development and commercialization of the synthetic peptide Chrysalin (TP508) in two lead indications – fracture repair and diabetic foot ulcer healing, both of which represent, it said, areas of significant unmet medical need.

MedMira (Halifax, Nova Scotia), a developer of rapid diagnostic solutions, said today it has closed on its acquisition of SensorChem International (Toronto), which initially was announced in mid-December.

Stephen Sham, chairman and CEO, said, “Our new division, Maple BioSciences, will focus on the commercialization of the breakthrough technologies developed by SensorChem, bringing to market a new product line and further strengthening MedMira's suite of diagnostic products.“

MedMira has acquired all of the outstanding common shares of SensorChem and retired $1,374,129 in that company's debt and preferred share interests, for a total consideration of $2,063,729. MedMira has issued 2,948,184 common shares at a price of 70 cents a share, including 409,973 common shares to a director of MedMira.

Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, certain shareholders have agreed to trading restrictions where 2,373,042 of the shares issued cannot be traded for 180 days from the date of closing and 470,000 shares will be restricted from trading for up to three years from the date of closing.

MedMira said it is the leading global manufacturer of in vitro flow-through rapid diagnostic tests, providing results in just three minutes for the detection of antibodies in human serum, plasma or whole blood for diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C.

In other deal-related news, CytoCore (formerly Molecular Diagnostics; Chicago) said it has entered into an agreement to purchase a contract from a private individual giving the holder the right to receive a 10% undiluted interest in Diamics, a privately held company founded by Peter Gombrich, former CEO and chairman of Molecular Diagnostics. Diamics was founded while Gombrich was working at Molecular Diagnostics.

CytoCore is developing the InPath cancer-screening system for use in a laboratory or at the point of care to assist in the early detection of cervical, endometrial and other cancers.

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