A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

DexCom (San Diego) announced an initial public offering (IPO) pricing of 4.7 million shares of common stock at $12 a share, aiming to raise somewhat more than $56 million.

The company filed for the IPO with the Securities and Exchange Commission in February (Diagnostics & Imaging Week, Feb. 10, 2005).

DexCom is selling all of the shares in the offering, and it has granted the underwriters of the offering an option to purchase up to an additional 705,000 shares at the initial public offering price to cover any over-allotments.

DexCom is developing an implantable system for continuous monitoring of blood glucose as an alternative to blood draws. The DexCom Continuous Glucose Monitoring System includes an implantable sensor that continuously measures glucose levels in subcutaneous tissue and transmits that data wirelessly to an external receiver at specified intervals.

The company has said that, "with a push of a button, the receiver displays the patient's current glucose value, as well as one-hour, three-hour and nine-hour trends." The receiver also includes an alert that signals out-of-parameter glucose levels.

DexCom has reported "encouraging human clinical data" from the first generation of its system, and it has made presentations of these results and meetings focused on diabetes management.

It said the IPO funds would be used for clinical trials and other research, for building a commercial infrastructure and for working capital.

The common stock will trade on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol DXCM.

Piper Jaffray & Co. is the sole book-running manager for the offering, with SG Cowen & Co. as co-lead manager and William Blair & Co. and First Albany Capital as co-managers.

Sanarus Medical (Pleasanton, California), a company developing minimally invasive devices for the diagnosis and treatment of breast tumors, reported closing a $23 million round of financing led by Pequot Ventures, a venture capital investor in healthcare.

Investing in the Series D round are current investors Alta Partners, U.S. Venture Partners, Forward Ventures, Federated Kaufmann Fund, Technology Funding and Channel Medical Partners. With the closing of the financing, Sanarus added Juliet Bakker of Pequot Ventures to its board.

Sanarus is in early commercialization of its products, including the Visica Treatment System used in the ablation of breast fibroadenomas.

Before the Visica Treatment System came on the market the only option for women was open surgical removal, Sanarus said. It said that women now can choose the Visica procedure, "which accomplishes what the open surgical procedure does without the added complications, scarring and recovery time."

John Rush, president and CEO of Sanarus, said that the new financing "will enable us to focus our efforts on the successful commercialization of our products and to continue to positively influence their adoption in the minimally invasive treatment of breast disease."

Sanarus also markets the Visica System for cryo-assisted localization in conjunction with breast lumpectomy and the new Cassi Breast Biopsy device. All devices use advanced cryoablation to destroy, localize or engage targeted breast lesions.

In other financing activity:

Cipher Holding (Oak Brook, Illinois) reported acquiring a secured convertible debt position in Positron (Houston), a manufacturer of positron emission tomography (PET) scanners, from Imagin Diagnostics Centres (Toronto).

Cipher will issue 30 million common shares for this transaction and will hold a convertible debt position that converts into an excess of 50% ownership of Positron.

Cipher Holding said its strategy is "to become a leading investor and developer of PET molecular imaging businesses." It said it is pursuing development opportunities, strategic investments and the acquisition of majority-owned positions in companies dedicated to PET scanning for cancer, heart disease and neurological diseases.

Cipher also reported a request for approval from its shareholders to change its name to Imagin Molecular Corp. and to spin off its Cipher Multimedia holding to its shareholders.

Imagin Molecular will work closely with Imagin Diagnostics to expand on its ability to finance and develop PET and PET-related products and businesses throughout North American and international markets, it said.

Competitive Technologies (CTT; Fairfield, Connecticut) reported that it has granted a license for a homocysteine assay to the Roche Diagnostics Division of F. Hoffman-La Roche (Basel, Switzerland) under its U.S. patent No. 4,940,658, relating to homocysteine medical tests. Roche is granted a license under the CTT patent and will pay royalties on sales of Roche homocysteine assay products. The agreement includes an up-front license fee.

The settlement and license does not relieve Roche customers of royalties on assays for methylmalonic acid, for which CTT will separately require a license to perform such assays.

Elevated levels of homocysteine resulting from vitamin B12 and folate deficiency may be a risk factor in heart attacks, strokes, blood clots, various pregnancy complications, dementia from Alzheimer's, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis and presbyopia.

The homocysteine patent is derived from discoveries made by CTT's clients, Drs. Robert Allen and Sally Stabler from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (Denver) and the late Dr. John Lindenbaum from Columbia University (New York).

Aris Despo, CTT's vice president of life science business development, said, "This is the sixth agreement we have signed as part of our active licensing and royalty collection program for the patented homocysteine assay. CTT is continuing with our strategy of recognizing the strength and growth of the demand for the homocysteine assay, an important element in our portfolio of technologies. An estimated 20 million assays were performed in 2004, a double-digit growth over 2003."

CTT has a program of collecting royalties from organizations involved in the homocysteine assay process and has signed license agreements with and is collecting royalties from companies performing the majority of homocysteine assays, now including Roche, Bayer, Abbott, Quest, Diagnostic Products and Genchem.

CTT, established in 1968, develops and commercializes technologies in life, digital, nano and physical sciences.

PerkinElmer, a leader in neonatal and prenatal screening, and JN Macri Technologies, an affiliate of NTD Laboratories (Huntington Station, New York), have signed a license agreement giving PerkinElmer rights to manufacture and sell kits for the measurement of free beta human chorionic gonadotrophin in liquid blood for assessment of fetal anomalies during pregnancy.

As a marker of Down syndrome and other trisomies, analysis of free hCGa is a means of improving risk assessment within the first trimester. The technology covered includes reagents used to detect amounts of free hCGa in the blood and software that uses free hCGa measurements to calculate the risk of a fetus having chromosomal abnormalities.

"Measurement of free hCGa allows for a non-invasive, highly accurate risk assessment during pregnancy," said Dr. J.N. Macri, president and CEO of JN Macri.

Biosite (San Diego), a provider of rapid diagnostics designed to improve diagnosis of critical diseases, said that, in accordance with Nasdaq Marketplace Rule 4350, 44 non-officer employees were granted inducement stock options covering an aggregate of 62,975 shares of common stock.

Each option has been classified as a non-qualified stock option, has an exercise price equal to the fair market value on the grant date, has a 10-year term, and vests in 16 equal quarterly installments over four years (on each quarterly anniversary of the applicable vesting commencement date).