A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Electro-Optical Sciences (EOS; Irvington, New York) reported that it has filed a statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission describing a proposed initial public offering (IPO) of its common stock to raise up to $33 million. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the offering have not yet been determined.

EOS is developing a non-invasive, point-of-care instrument, using computer vision technology, for assisting in the early diagnosis of melanoma.

The company's previous fund-raising came last year with an extension of a Series C preferred financing that brought it $9 million. At the time, the company also reported that it secured a protocol agreement with the FDA for its premarket approval (PMA) application pivotal trial of its MelaFind technology, a diagnostic system for melanoma detection.

MelaFind is described by the company as "a non-invasive, hand-held device that is placed against a suspected mole or lesion to capture, automatically and non-invasively, a series of multi-spectral digital images. It analyzes and quantifies information about the organization of the lesion's cells, and then compares these results against standards developed from a secure database of previously diagnosed and digitized images."

The results are confirmed over the Internet, with a parallel diagnosis performed simultaneously on the company's server. A specific action can then be recommended to the physician. The process takes less than two minutes, according to EOS.

Preliminary tests "suggest that MelaFind should enable physicians to reduce error in diagnosing melanoma very significantly," the company said.

Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. will serve as lead manager, with Stanford Group Co. acting as co-lead manager for the proposed offering.

Invitrogen (Carlsbad, California) reported that it intends to offer $300 million of senior convertible notes, due 2025, to qualified institutional buyers. It said it also intends to grant the initial purchasers of the notes an option to purchase up to an additional $50 million aggregate principal amount of the notes to cover over-allotments.

The company said it intends to use a portion of the net proceeds of the offering to repay about $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 potential acquisitions and for general corporate purposes, including the potential repayment or redemption of other outstanding debt.

Invitrogen provides life science technologies for disease research, drug discovery and commercial bioproduction, conducting business in more than 70 countries and employing about 4,000 scientists and professionals.

Quidel (San Diego) reported that its board has authorized the repurchase of up to $25 million of the company's common stock. The stock may be repurchased from time to time in both privately negotiated and open market transactions for a period of up to two years, subject to management's evaluation of various conditions.

Quidel manufactures rapid diagnostic solutions at the point of care in infectious diseases and reproductive health. Marketed under the brand name of QuickVue, the portfolio currently includes tests that aid in the diagnosis of several disease or condition states, including influenza, Strep A, pregnancy, bacterial vaginosis, infectious mononucleosis, H. pylori and chlamydia. Quidel's products are sold to healthcare professionals with a focus on the physician office lab and acute care markets through leading medical distribution partners on a worldwide basis.

In other financing news:

NeoGenomics (Fort Myers, Florida) reported entering into a standby equity distribution agreement (SEDA) with Cornell Capital Partners (Jersey City, New Jersey). Under the SEDA terms, the company may periodically sell to Cornell shares of common stock for a price of up to $5 million. For each share of common stock purchased under the SEDA, Cornell will pay the company 98% of the lowest volume weighted average price of the company's common stock as quoted on the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board or other principal market on which the stock is traded for the five days following the notice date.

Cornell also will retain 5% of each advance under the SEDA. Cornell's obligation to purchase shares of the company's stock under the SEDA is subject to certain conditions, including the company obtaining an effective registration statement for shares of common stock sold under the SEDA and limited to $750,000 per weekly advance.

Robert Gasparini, president of NeoGenomics, said that the purpose of the equity line was "to ensure that the company was in a position to move quickly in the event that acquisitions or other strategic opportunities were presented ... With three of the top 10 genetics laboratories being acquired in the last 12 months, it is clear to our board that the industry will consolidate further, and ... our shareholders will realize significant benefits if we are able to participate in this trend."

NeoGenomics, a clinical testing laboratory, offers genetic and molecular diagnostic testing services to the oncology and perinatology markets.

Cierra (Redwood City, California) reported receiving a $21 million financing led by Delphi Ventures (Menlo Park, California). The round also received support from current investors including Morgenthaler Ventures, Split Rock Ventures and Frazier Healthcare Ventures.

Cierra said that the funds will be used primarily to launch U.S. clinical trials and to initiate commercialization of its non-implant, catheter-based technology focused on migraine reduction by closure of patent foramen ovales in the heart.

"Cierra has an outstanding team of professionals who have developed a unique approach to PFO closure that does not involve leaving behind an implant in the heart," said John Maroney, a general partner of Delphi.

Delphi is a venture capital firm focused on early stage healthcare investing, including medical devices, diagnostics and biotechnology.

Cierra, focused on minimally invasive treatment of heart conditions, is the seventh portfolio company from the medical device incubator, The Foundry, and is privately held.

Correlogic Systems (Bethesda, Maryland), a proteomics company developing pattern recognition technology for the detection of cancer and other diseases, reported receiving an equity investment — the amount undisclosed — from Quest Diagnostics (Teterboro, New Jersey), a U.S. provider of testing, information and services.

Quest retains an option to commercialize specified diagnostic tests Correlogic is currently developing for certain disease states.

"This new dimension to our relationship with Quest Diagnostics will accelerate Correlogic's delivery of pattern recognition based diagnostic tests," said Peter Levine, president and CEO of Correlogic. "Quest Diagnostics has been a leader in recognizing the value of applying proteomics and pattern recognition technology to diagnostics, and their commitment to our technology and our company will ultimately enhance patient care."

Correlogic has developed technology and processes with various uses for biomarker discovery, disease detection and new drug discovery. Its first application is the profiling of serum components relating to the early detection of prostate, ovarian, breast and other cancers. Correlogic has entered into licensing agreements with Quest and Laboratory Corporation of America (Burlington, North Carolina) for the North American market development and commercialization of a diagnostic test applying Correlogic's technology to ovarian cancer. Its OvaCheck blood test for the early detection of ovarian cancer is in the final stages of validation, the company said.