A Medical Device Daily

ViaCell (Cambridge, Massachusetts) reported the completion of its initial public offering (IPO) of 7.5 million shares of common stock. In addition, the underwriters exercised their over-allotment option in full and purchased an additional 1.125 million shares.

All such shares were sold by ViaCell at the initial public offering price of $7 per share for gross receipts of a little over $60 million, less underwriting discounts and commissions.

Credit Suisse First Boston and UBS Investment Bank were joint book-running managers, and Lazard and Leerink Swann & Co. were co-managers for the offering.

ViaCell is a clinical-stage biotechnology company dedicated to enabling the widespread application of human cells as medicine. The company is developing a pipeline of product candidates intended to address cancer, cardiac diseases and infertility.

ViaCell also offers expecting families the option of preserving their baby's cord blood stem cells through its Viacord business.

Quest Diagnostics (Teterboro, New Jersey), the nation's largest provider of diagnostic testing, information and services, reported that its board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of 18 cents per common share, a 20% increase, payable on April 20 to shareholders of record on April 6.

Additionally, the board expanded its share repurchase authorization by an additional $350 million, bringing the total amount authorized and available for repurchases to $512 million.

“The increase in the quarterly dividend and the expansion of the share repurchase program reflect confidence in our ability to continue generating strong cash flow,“ said Surya Mohapatra, PhD, chairman and CEO. “We are increasing the value we return to shareholders while continuing to invest to drive growth.“

During 2004, the company repurchased 8.3 million common shares for $735 million. Since the inception of the share repurchase program in May 2003, Quest has repurchased 12.3 million common shares for almost $1 billion.

The company had about 101 million common shares outstanding as of Jan. 24.

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