A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Oxygen therapeutics developer Northfield Laboratories (Evanston, Illinois) reported filing a prospectus supplement with the Securities and Exchange Commission related to an underwritten offering of 3.5 million shares of its common stock under an existing shelf registration statement.

In connection with the offering, Northfield Laboratories expects to grant the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to 525,000 additional shares to cover over-allotments, if any.

UBS Investment Bank is the sole book-running manager in this offering. SG Cowen is co-lead manager and Harris Nesbitt is co-manager.

Northfield is developing an oxygen-carrying blood substitute for the treatment of urgent, large-volume blood loss in trauma and resultant surgical settings. PolyHeme is a solution of chemically modified human hemoglobin that requires no cross matching and therefore is compatible with all blood types. It has a shelf life of more than 12 months.

Enrollment is currently under way in a pivotal Phase III trial of PolyHeme beginning in the pre-hospital setting.

Tm Bioscience (Toronto), a developer of genetic testing products, has entered into an agreement with a syndicate of underwriters led by Orion Securities and including Dlouhy Merchant Group, under which the underwriters have agreed to buy on a private placement basis 3.5 million common shares from Tm Bioscience and sell to qualified investors at a price of C$2.15 per common share, representing an amount of C$7,525,000.

The net proceeds from the offering will be used for the advancement of the company's pipeline of genetic tests and for general working capital. Closing of the placement is set for Feb. 3, subject to regulatory and stock exchange approvals, completion of standard documentation and other conditions.

Tm Bioscience's pipeline includes tests for genetic disorders, drug metabolism, and infectious diseases.

In other financing news:

Gen-Probe (San Diego) reported that bioMerieux (Durham, North Carolina) has exercised an option to develop diagnostic products for certain disease targets using Gen-Probe's patented ribosomal RNA technologies, in accordance with an agreement disclosed last October (See Diagnostics & Imaging Week, Oct. 21, 2004.)

bioMerieux has paid Gen-Probe a $4.5 million license fee, and it will retain options to develop diagnostics for other disease targets by paying Gen-Probe up to an additional $3 million by the end of 2006.

Gen-Probe will record $1.9 million of the $4.5 million payment as license revenue in the 1Q05. The amount and timing of additional revenue that Gen-Probe records will depend on the number of additional targets, if any, selected by bioMerieux, Gen-Probe said. Gen-Probe also will receive royalties on the sale of products developed using the company's intellectual property.

As previously disclosed, Gen-Probe expects license fees from bioMerieux to comprise more than half of its total 2005 royalty and license revenue of between $6 million and $7 million.

Gen-Probe is a maker of rapid, accurate and cost-effective nucleic acid tests for diagnosing human diseases and screening donated human blood.

Its Tigris instrument is the only fully automated, high-throughput system in the molecular diagnostics industry.

bioMerieux is a clinical diagnostics firm.

Trestle Holdings (Irvine, California), a supplier of digital imaging and telemedicine applications, reported that it has completed its private placement. The placement was a unit offering to institutional and accredited investors, with each unit consisting of one share of the company's common stock and a warrant to purchase 0.75 shares of common stock.

The units were priced at $1.75 and each warrant is exercisable for whole shares only at $1.75 per share. The company intends to use proceeds of the offering for working capital, including its previously announced services business and its proposed acquisition of Interscope Technologies (Wexford, Pennsylvania), which was first disclosed last month.

In two closings, the company sold an aggregate of 2.6 million units resulting in gross proceeds of $4.55 million to the company.

Trestle develops digital imaging and telemedicine applications for life sciences markets.

Elekta (Stockholm, Sweden) said that on Jan. 19 it repurchased 20,000 B shares at an average price of SEK 219.04. Elekta's current holding of its own shares (treasury stock) amounts to 20,000 B shares. The total number of shares in Elekta is 31,567,454.

The repurchases currently being carried out are in line with the decision by the company's board on Dec. 14, 2004, to repurchase shares amounting in the amount of SEK 50M, corresponding to 20% of net profit in the 2003-04 fiscal year. The repurchase program is being carried out for the purpose of fulfilling the company's dividend policy, Elekta said.

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