A Medical Device Daily

Pluristem Life Systems (Haifia, Israel), a biotechnology company dedicated to the expansion of stem cells from umbilical cord blood to address a myriad of fatal illnesses, reported that it has completed a $755,000 interim private placement to further its development efforts.

Terms will be set out in a Form 8-K to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company also announced that as a condition of the closing of this funding, the new investors were entitled to appoint two of the five members of the board of directors. Therefore, the board appointed Israel Ben Yoram and Yoram Drucker to the board effective immediately. To make room on the board for these new appointments, Meir Segev and Robert Pico agreed to resign from the board.

“This interim financing will provide the company sufficient working capital to fulfill its immediate requirements and continue with its stem cell development plan as longer-term financing options are explored,“ said CFO Yossi Keret.

Refocus Group (Dallas), a device company engaged in the research and development of treatments for eye disorders, reported the closing of an additional interim financing in the amount of $500,000.

The proceeds of this financing will be used by the company to fund the continued evaluation of the FDA Phase II clinical trial of its Scleral Spacing Procedure for the surgical treatment of presbyopia, and for general corporate purposes, it said.

The new interim financing involved the issuance of secured debt.

Refocus Group holds more than 100 domestic and international pending applications and issued patents, the vast majority directed to methods, devices and systems for the treatment of presbyopia, ocular hypertension, primary open-angle glaucoma and macular degeneration.

In other financing activity:

• Transport Pharmaceuticals (Framingham, Massachusetts) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK; Middlesex, UK) have signed a license and collaboration agreement for Transport's iontophoretic device/drug combination system for the delivery of acyclovir, an approved cold sore (Herpes labialis) treatment.

GSK received exclusive rights to market and sell the system in Europe, Australia, Latin America and South Africa. Acyclovir 5% cream is marketed as an over the counter (OTC) product in these territories.

Transport will receive an up-front license fee from GSK, as well as milestone and royalty payments. GSK will provide technical support and contribute to certain costs of the upcoming European Phase III clinical trials. To date, Transport has completed two double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase II studies.

Transport's platform is based on iontophoresis, a technology employing a low-voltage electrical charge to increase skin permeability in order to locally deliver medication through the skin. The company has developed a small, wireless computer-controlled electrode and medication applicator that will allow patients to self-administer topical drugs for a variety of indications.

Transport's oral herpes product delivers acyclovir, an approved treatment for cold sores, directly to affected skin at concentrations considerably higher than conventional topical formulations. This approach addresses the challenge of rapidly achieving clinically active concentrations of drug in the skin necessary to treat the virus, a barrier that limits the efficacy of available oral herpes therapies. In addition, Transport's product requires only one ten-minute application, compared with available formulations that require multiple applications each day for several days.

• eMerge Interactive (Sebastian, Florida) said it has closed the $4.06 million private placement of common stock that was previously disclosed on Jan 12.

At closing, eMerge sold 2.9 million common shares for $1.40 per share. Net proceeds from the offering are about $3.8 million.

As part of the transaction, eMerge issued five-year warrants to purchase an additional 435,000 common shares for $1.75 per share.

eMerge is developing a portfolio of products, including VerifEYE HandScan, Solo, and CIS contamination detection systems, for use in restaurants, hospitals and food processors. The company's agricultural products include CattleLog, a USDA-approved Process Verified Program providing individual animal data collection and reporting that enables livestock tracking, verification, and branding.

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