A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Exagen Diagnostics (Albuquerque, New Mexico), a developer of in vitro diagnostic (IVD) kits that measure genomic markers to predict likelihood of disease progression or response to pharmaceutical drug treatment, said it has raised $7 million in a Series B financing.

Tullis-Dickerson & Co. led this second round, with the participation of vSpring Capital and Wasatch Venture Fund.

"This round of funding gives Exagen the resources to accelerate our go-to-market plans and advance our pipe-line," said Waneta Tuttle, PhD, Exagen president and CEO. "We plan to be the first provider of genomic marker IVD kits for breast cancer that enable widespread use in any CLIA-certified laboratory."

She added: "Our first tests are the Key2 Breast Cancer Prognosis panel of products that detect changes in DNA copy number in both hormone receptor-positive and hormone receptor-negative tumors."

In addition to breast cancer, other IVD products will include a panel of tests for hepatitis C to identify those patients most likely to respond to standard treatment with interferon and ribavirin.

Kits will initially be licensed to laboratories and later sold to pathologists globally. The company will also partner with pharmaceutical companies to develop companion response-prediction kits for new therapeutics.

The company completed a $5.7 million Series A round of financing in early 2004.

Fisher Scientific International (Hampton, New Hampshire) reported that it intends to issue $500 million in aggregate principal amount of senior subordinated notes due 2015. The notes will be offered to qualified institutional buyers and to persons outside the U.S. under regulation S of the Securities Act.

The interest rate, offering price, ultimate aggregate principal amount and other terms of the notes are to be determined.

The company said it intends to use the proceeds to fund a tender offer for its 8% senior subordinated notes, due 2013, thus reducing the cost of its debt and extend maturities.

The company said it is intending to offer to purchase the 8% notes at a price per $1,000 principal amount based on the sum of the present value of $1,040, the redemption price on Sept. 1, 2008, and the present value of the scheduled interest payments through Sept. 1, 2008. The present value will be calculated using a discount rate equal to a fixed spread of 50 basis points over the yield of the 3-3/4% U.S. Treasury note, due May 15, 2008.

The company said it intends to use any remaining proceeds from the issue for general corporate purposes.

In other financing news:

Invitrogen (Carlsbad, California) reported completing the private placement of $350 million (including the initial purchasers' exercise of all over-allotments) of 3.25% senior convertible notes, due 2025, to qualified buyers. Invitrogen said it will receive about $343 million in net proceeds from the offering.

The company said it intends to use a portion of the net proceeds to pay off around $124 million borrowed under the company's revolving line of credit with Bank of America. It said it will use the balance of the net proceeds for possible acquisitions and for general corporate purposes, including the potential repayment or redemption of other outstanding debt.

PolyMedica (Woburn, Massachusetts) reported increasing the price of its previously announced tender off-er to repurchase up to $150 million of its common stock. The new purchase price will not be less than $34.75 per share nor more than $37.50 a share. Previously, the price range of the tender offer was $30.75 to $34.50 a share. The company is extending the expiration date of the tender offer from midnight, EDT, June 23, to midnight, EDT, July 8.

PolyMedica is a provider of healthcare products and services to patients suffering from chronic diseases. With more than 700,000 patients, it says it is the nation's largest provider of blood glucose testing supplies and related services to people with diabetes.

BioMed Realty Trust (BioMed Realty) reported that its underwriters have exercised their over-allotment option in full to purchase an another 1,972,500 shares of common stock at the public offering price of $22.50 a share, all being sold by the company. In total, the company sold 15,122,500 shares of common stock, which will raise gross proceeds of $340.3 million.

Raymond James & Associates was lead book-running manager, with KeyBanc Capital Markets, Wachovia Capital Markets, Friedman Billings Ramsey & Co., Legg Mason Wood Walker and RBC Capital Markets as co-managers.

BioMed Realty Trust is a real estate investment trust (REIT) focused on acquiring, developing, owning, leasing and managing laboratory and office space for the life science industry.

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