A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

ESA Biosciences, a subsidiary of Magellan Biosciences (both Chelmsford, Massachusetts), reported that it has acquired Richard Scientific (Novato, California), a national distributor of specialty liquid chromatography products for analytical, micro-analytical, LC/MS and preparative applications. Details of the transaction were not disclosed.

"This acquisition will enhance our position in the HPLC [high-performance liquid chromatography] detector market by expanding our sales and support organization," said Walter DiGiusto, ESA Biosciences president.

Richard Devereaux, founder of Richard Scientific, will join ESA as manager of West Coast and Latin America sales, the company said. DiGiusto added that the Novato facility and the company's technical staff would remain in place.

"I am excited about joining forces with ESA. ESA offers a full range of detection products for HPLC and has recently introduced the Corona CAD," said Devereaux. "The Corona is truly a breakthrough technology that will change the face of HPLC detection, significantly improving the work of researchers and laboratories around the world."

Founded in 1985, Richard Scientific supplies analytical products including HPLC systems and components to the biotech, pharmaceutical and academic research market.

ESA manufactures analytical instruments for the life science, clinical diagnostic, drug discovery and pharmaceutical industries.

Siemens Medical Solutions USA (SMS; Malvern, Pennsylvania), a wholly owned subsidiary of Siemens (Munich, Germany), and CTI Molecular Imaging (Knoxville, Tennessee) reported that the antitrust waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino clearance in relation to the tender offer to acquire all the issued and outstanding shares of CTI has been terminated.

The Federal Trade Commission has informed Siemens that the request for early termination of the 15-calendar-day waiting period was granted. SMS, through its wholly owned subsidiary, MI Merger, commenced on April 1 a tender offer for all of the outstanding shares of common stock of CTI for $20.50 per share, net to the seller in cash.

The tender offer is being made pursuant to the original agreement and plan of merger, first disclosed in March in a deal valued at $1 billion. The tender offer remains open un-til April 28, unless extended. Following completion of the tender offer, any remaining shares of CTI will be acquired in a merger at the same price.

Following announcement of Hart-Scott-Rodino termination, CTI said that its annual meeting of stockholders, scheduled for April 26, will be postponed indefinitely, due to the recently announced merger plan, and will be canceled upon completion of the deal.

CTI is a major supplier of products and services for positron emission tomography, a diagnostic imaging technology for detection and treatment of cancer, neurological disorders and cardiac disease.

In other dealmaking news:

Illumina (San Diego) reported that it has completed its acquisition of CyVera (Wallingford, Connecticut), a developer of digital microbead technology. The proposed deal was unveiled in February.

The total paid for CyVera was $17.5 million, consisting of 1.6 million shares of Illumina stock and $2.5 million in cash, which includes payment of certain liabilities of CyVera. In addition, Illumina assumed the outstanding stock options of CyVera.

CyVera is now being operated as a wholly owned subsidiary of Illumina.

Illumina develops tools enabling large-scale analysis of genetic variation and function. The company's BeadArray technology, used in genome centers around the world, it said, "provides the throughput, cost effectiveness and flexibility to enable researchers in the life sciences and pharmaceutical industries to perform the billions of tests necessary to extract medically valuable information from advances in genomics and proteomics."

Panbio (Brisbane, Australia) has signed an agreement to acquire intellectual property from Corixa (Seattle) that it said would assist it in developing new assays for the diagnosis of the tick-borne diseases Ehrlichiosis and Babesiosis. Corixa will receive an up-front payment, which was not disclosed; annual maintenance payments; and future sales royalties.

The agreement also transferred to Panbio a portfolio of recombinant proteins specific to these infections. Panbio said it would be responsible for all product development and commercialization.

Carl Stubbings, Panbio's senior vice president for U.S. operations, said the purchase would enable it to undertake development of a range of tests for this group of emerging diseases in the U.S.

"The proteins that Corixa has patented have shown very encouraging results in initial research and will offer an opportunity to quickly bring to market a range of tests to enable public and private diagnostic laboratories to easily test for these diseases," he said. "Like West Nile, this is an example of Panbio quickly responding to a request from our customers for a reliable test to an emerging infectious disease."

Panbio estimates the market for diagnostic testing for Ehrlichiosis and Babesiosis is around $5 million, with evidence that the demand for this testing is increasing. In addition, it said that the recognition of Babesiosis in blood donors in the U.S. has raised the possibility of future blood donor testing.

Panbio manufactures diagnostic tests primarily for the detection of antibodies against agents of infectious disease. Its products are used in the diagnosis of more than 27 disease states.

Corixa develops vaccine adjuvants and immunology-based products that manage human diseases.