A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Corgenix Medical (Denver) reported completing new financing with potential proceeds of up to $5,135,000 from institutional and accredited investors.

The private placement consists of $3.42 million in senior convertible term notes, due 2008, of which $2.42 million was funded with $250,000 of that amount held in a restricted cash account; $215,000 in common stock subscriptions at closing; and the potential of up to $1.5 million in subsequent funding through additional investment rights, exercisable for up to 270 days following the closing of the transaction.

Warrants to acquire about 7.7 million shares were also provided participating investors.

The company said that the funding enables it to refinance about $970,000 of existing debt and that it will use the balance of the net proceeds, after transaction fees and expenses, for strategic initiatives, working capital and other general purposes.

Investment banker Ascendiant Securities (Irvine, California) and Burnham Securities (New York) served as placement agents.

The company is focused on the development of specialized diagnostic kits for immunology disorders, vascular diseases and bone and joint disorders. Corgenix manufactures anti-Phospholipid test kits, saying it is the first on the market with an FDA-cleared assay for anti-Cardiolipin (aCL).

Molecular diagnostics company EraGen Biosciences (Madison, Wisconsin) and Bayer HealthCare's (Tarrytown, New York) Diagnostics Division said that EraGen has licensed its MultiCode-PLx system to Bayer HealthCare in an exclusive worldwide agreement for cystic fibrosis.

Bayer HealthCare will provide laboratories with a rapid, easy-to-use cystic fibrosis assay capable of being automated for mutation carrier screening, as well as for neonatal and newborn testing.

The agreement also provides Bayer HealthCare with additional rights enabling Bayer HealthCare to expand its presence in the genetics-based diagnostics testing market with a number of assays for other disease states.

Bayer HealthCare previously licensed EraGen's technology for use in its FDA-approved HIV, HCV and hepatitis B Versant assays.

LifeSpan BioSciences (Seattle), NEC (Tokyo) and NEC Soft of Japan reported reaching what they termed "significant milestones" in their collaboration to develop a cancer diagnosis support system for rapid detection of disease. The milestone payments were not specified.

The first of two milestones reached is the development of an enhanced version of LifeSpan's automated image capture system (ALIAS), which automatically captures images from up to 300 pathology slides. The second is completion of improved software to discriminate between cancer cells from non-cancer cells, based on their morphologic characteristics at high magnification.

Based on jointly developed image-capture hardware and computer software, the diagnostic assistant assists in the detection of cancer cells in pathology specimens and distinguishes them from non-cancerous cells.

"We are very pleased with the progress our partnership has made to date in developing this automated system, which is designed to offer sophisticated image analysis and advanced diagnostic techniques that improve the detection and diagnosis of cancers," said Joseph Brown, PhD, president and CEO of LifeSpan. "The cancer diagnosis support system will function as a stand-alone unit serving a single hospital and/or at a centralized core facility serving pathologists and clinicians regardless of their location."

NEC, a global IT company, has an ongoing program in bio-IT that draws on the technologies discovered and developed by its laboratories around the world. In this way, NEC aims to provide solutions and applications to enhance discovery and the delivery of more effective healthcare measures for everyone."

LifeSpan, a molecular pathology company, provides information used in drug development.