A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Potentially bringing large new public financing to a recently successful private placement, DexCom (San Diego) last week filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an initial public offering (IPO) in an effort to raise up to $70 million.

The number of shares and the offering price was not disclosed in the filing.

The filing follows the company's completion last month of a Series D private placement of $22.5 million.

Warburg Pincus led the "D" round investment with previous series A, B and C investors participating. The Series C placement in 2002 brought in $30 million for the firm.

With the Series D financing, Sean Carney, a managing director at Warbug Pincus, was added to the DexCom board. Piper Jaffray served as placement agent.

DexCom is focused on developing an implantable system for continuous monitoring of blood glucose levels as an alternative to frequent, painful blood draws. The DexCom Continuous Glucose Monitoring System includes an implantable sensor that continuously measures glucose levels in subcutaneous tissue and wirelessly transmits that data 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.

The system under development has been described as potentially offering two types: a short-term system operating over a three-day period, and a physician-implanted system operating for a year-long period.

DexCom reports "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 will be used for clinical trials and other research purposes, for building a commercial infrastructure and for working capital.

As of the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, the company had no revenue and $14 million in costs and expenses.

Diagnostics firm Avitar (Canton, Massachusetts) reported entering into a standby equity distribution agreement with Cornell Capital Partners, with Cornell committed to providing up to $10 million of equity financing which can be drawn by the company in $250,000 tranches at any time over a 24-month period, subject to certain conditions.

Peter Phildius, chairman and CEO of Avitar, said the agreement provides "the necessary working capital allowing us to continue to invest in the resources that we will need to enhance and expand our ORALscreen products business, which addresses the estimated $1.5 billion drugs-of-abuse testing market encompassing the corporate work- place and criminal justice markets."

For each share of common stock purchased under the standby equity distribution agreement, Cornell will pay the company 99% of the lowest volume weighted average price of the company's common stock as quoted by Bloomberg for the five days immediately following notice from the company. The price paid by Cornell will be determined immediately after each individual request for an advance.

Cornell was paid a one-time commitment fee equal to $115,000 by issuance of the company's common stock.

Avitar manufactures products in the oral fluid diagnostic market, disease and clinical testing market, and customized polyurethane applications used in the wound dressing industry. Avitar describes ORALscreen as "the world's first non-invasive, rapid, onsite oral fluid test for drugs-of-abuse." The company also makes Hydrasorb, an absorbent topical dressing for moderate-to-heavy exudating wounds.

In other financings activity:

Tm Bioscience (Toronto), a developer of genetic testing technology, reported closing its previously announced private placement of 4.33 million common shares for C$2.15 a share, for gross proceeds of C$9,309,500. The private placement was sold through a syndicate of underwriters consisting of Orion Securities as lead underwriter and including Douhy Merchant Group.

The company said the offering proceeds will be used to advance its pipeline of genetic tests and for working capital needs.

Tm Bioscience's product pipeline includes tests for gen-etic disorders, drug metabolism, and infectious diseases.

Ariba X-Ray (Orem, Utah), specialists in portable X-ray systems, reported that as of Dec. 1, Campbell Scientific (CSI; Logan, Utah) has made a strategic investment in the year-old startup firm.

Ariba said the CSI investment will be important in final development and product commercialization of Nomad, a new entry in the dental technology industry. Nomad is the world's first handheld, battery-powered X-ray system for intra-oral imaging, according to the company.

In a related action, Rob Campbell, president of Juniper Systems, a subsidiary of CSI, has joined the board of directors of Ariba.

Nomad is well-designed and addresses important issues in office- and field-based dental care," said Paul Campbell, president and CEO of Campbell Scientific. "We anticipate that Ariba technology will have a very positive reception, and that the combination of Campbell Scientific portable instruments and Ariba X-ray technology will be mutually beneficial."

Pending anticipated FDA approval early this year, Nomad will be available for sale in the U.S.

CSI has designed and manufactured measurement and control instrumentation for more than 30 years, specializing in sensors and dataloggers.