A Medical Device Daily

RelayHealth (Emeryville, California), a provider of secure online communication systems linking physicians, patients and payers, reported that it has received investments from McKesson (San Francisco) and Cisco Systems (San Jose, California) to expand its product and service offerings. The investment amounts were not disclosed.

RelayHealth provides a secure, web-based service designed to facilitate clinical, online non-urgent care. Patients can conduct online medical consultations called webVisits, communicate regularly with physicians, schedule appointments, receive lab results, request referrals and maintain personal health records using the service.

RelayHealth bills itself as “the only service of its kind to be the subject of multiple independent studies documenting healthcare cost savings, improved practice productivity and both physician and patient satisfaction.”

It also says that its service is the only one to enable reimbursement for webVisits through a roster of health plans.

RelayHealth CEO Giovanni Colella, MD, said the demand for the company’s services “continues to surpass our most ambitious expectations. This round of financing will allow us to expand into new markets and continue to improve healthcare productivity and the healthcare experience for all parties.”

McKesson is a leading healthcare information technology provider, and Cisco is a leader in Internet networking equipment.

McKesson said its investment is closely aligned with its expanding focus in ambulatory and physician office automation to drive quality, safety and practice efficiency. By offering RelayHealth’s solution in concert with its own Horizon Ambulatory Care, McKesson said that its goal is to deliver a solution that automates physician offices and connects physicians to their patients, their payers and the local medical community.

McKesson and RelayHealth also reported entering into an agreement to enhance these systems and co-develop new physician- and patient-focused systems that accelerate ambulatory automation and at-home telehealth connectivity.

“McKesson’s Horizon solution is highly differentiated to address the workflow issues so critical to the efficient practice of medicine in ambulatory settings, including connectivity for e-prescribing, claims submission and hospital services such as central scheduling and laboratory test processing,” said Sunny Sanyal, group president, clinical solutions for McKesson Provider Technologies (Alpharetta, Georgia). “By working closely with RelayHealth, we will be able to extend McKesson’s strategy and impact by connecting the physician and patient to proactively manage and drive care.”

He said that McKesson’s leadership in the payer market “will help to accelerate payer receptivity, system acceptance and reimbursement.”

In other financing activity:

PPD (Wilmington, North Carolina) reported being selected by Merck & Co. (Darmstadt, Germany) as that firm’s preferred provider for protein biomarker analysis for its therapeutic businesses. PPD will use its proprietary, integrated platform for proteomic analysis to analyze and evaluate bioanalytical data on Merck samples to identify candidate biological markers. The agreement extends a previous relationship between Merck and SurroMed to that of preferred provider status. PPD acquired the biomarker business of SurroMed (Menlo Park, California) earlier this year (Medical Device Daily, Jan. 19, 2005).

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Fred Eshelman, CEO of PPD, said, “Our objective is always to provide PPD clients with leading edge technologies that offer potential applications to save time and costs in therapeutic development.”

PPD says its technology enables the analysis of samples for “novel or known biomarkers, in the presence or absence of a drug.”

PPD is a provider of discovery and development services and products for medical device, biotech and pharmaceutical companies. With discovery through post-market resources, the company also offers compound partnering opportunities. PPD has more than 7,100 professionals and offices in 28 countries.

BioMed Realty Trust (San Diego) reported the pricing of its follow-on public offering of 13.15 million shares of its common stock at $22.50 a share, reflecting an increase from the previously announced offering size of 11 million shares. All shares will be sold by the company. BioMed also granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase another 1,972,500 shares to cover any over-allotments.

BioMed is a real estate investment trust focused on acquiring, developing and managing laboratory and office space for the life sciences, including biotech and pharma companies, scientific research institutions and government agencies.

Raymond James & Associates is the sole lead book-running manager, with KeyBanc Capital Markets, a division of McDonald Investments; Wachovia Capital Markets; Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co.; Legg Mason Wood Walker; and RBC Capital Markets as co-managers.

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