A Medical Device Daily

University Enterprise Laboratories (UEL; St. Paul, Minnesota) now has a permanent home at 1000 Westgate Drive in St. Paul, Minnesota, thanks, it said, to the commitment of more than $24 million from a group of public and private investors.

UEL has already raised $9.125 million in charitable contributions from companies and organizations, including Allina, Boston Scientific, Dorsey & Whitney, Ecolab, Guidant, Medtronic, the city of St. Paul, Surmodics, 3M, the University of Minnesota, the University of Minnesota Foundation and Xcel Energy.

The $24.2 million financing package, which closed on Jan. 21, includes $5.3 million in New Markets Tax Credits from the Midwest Minnesota Community Development Corp. and a letter of credit from Wells Fargo Bank to facilitate a $13.8 million taxable bond offering.

“This is a win, win, win situation,“ said Bob Elde, chairman of the board of University Enterprise Laboratories. “UEL will meet the needs of entrepreneurial faculty and students, provide major corporations here in Minnesota a close look at the earliest stages of commercialization of new technologies, and provide the nucleus for job growth in rapidly emerging technology sectors.“

A non-profit corporation, UEL was launched in March 2003 to meet the existing demand for space to develop and commercialize new technologies. Already, UEL is 40% leased and said it will announce an anchor tenant this week that will put it one year ahead of schedule.

Tenants include Cima Nanotech, Gel-Del Technologies, ANDX, StenTech, M.D. Biosciences, Innovative Surface Technologies, Silicon Informatics, MNBIO, Carlson Venture Enterprises, the Minnesota Research Fund and the University of Minnesota Office of Business Development.

“UEL is the first step in developing St. Paul's Bioscience Zone,“ said St. Paul Mayor Randy Kelly. “I'm hoping it's the first step in the development of a full-blown research park to support the development of a large number of new companies in this burgeoning field of bioscience.“

HyperBranch Medical Technology (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina), a device company creating products for the ocular surgery market, reported that it raised $6 million in its first round of venture capital investment. The round was led by The Aurora Funds, with additional participation from H.I.G. Ventures.

Proceeds from the investment will be used to accelerate the pre-clinical and clinical development of the company's two lead products, DendriLens and OcuSeal. DendriLens is an injectable, accommodating synthetic lens for use in cataract surgery. OcuSeal is a pliable “glue“ under development as a wound sealant targeting the ophthalmic suture market and unsecured ophthalmic wound closures.

“This funding effort speaks to the strength of the company and our product pipeline,“ said Anthony Sherbondy, president and CEO of HyperBranch. “The characteristics of our polymers confer unique properties that are absolutely critical to the success of an accommodating lens. We can create a lens with the optical and mechanical properties of that of a 20-year-old.“

In other financing activity:

• Medtronic (Minneapolis) reported that it has completed its offer to exchange $1,000 principal amount of its new 1.25% contingent convertible debentures, Series B due 2021, and an exchange fee of $2.50 per $1,000 principal amount of new debentures, for each $1,000 principal amount of its outstanding 1.25% contingent convertible debentures due 2021. An aggregate of up to $1,973,146,000 principal amount of new debentures was available for exchange for up to a like amount of old debentures. The exchange offer expired on Jan. 21.

As of the expiration date of the exchange offer, about $1,928,188,000 aggregate principal amount of old debentures, representing approximately 97.7% of the total principal amount of old debentures outstanding, had been tendered in exchange for an equal principal amount of new debentures and the exchange fee.

Following the consummation of the exchange offer, roughly $44,958,000 aggregate principal amount of old debentures remain outstanding.

Wells Fargo Bank, National Association is the exchange agent for the exchange offer and trustee for the new debentures. Deutsche Bank Securities is the dealer manager.

• Option Care (Buffalo Grove, Illinois) said it has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to register the offering by the holders of $86.25 million principal amount of 2.25% convertible senior notes due 2024 and the underlying common stock potentially issuable upon conversion of the notes.

Option Care will not receive any proceeds from any resale by the selling security holders of the notes.

Option Care also disclosed that it has filed a universal shelf registration statement with the SEC for the possible future sale from time to time of up to an aggregate of $70 million equity and/or debt securities.

The company said it has no immediate plans to offer securities under the registration statement.

Currently, Option Care expects that the net proceeds from any sale of securities pursuant to the registration statement would be used for capital expenditures, additional working capital, acquisitions and other general corporate purposes.

The universal shelf registration statement also registers 2 million shares of the company's common stock beneficially held by Dr. John Kapoor, the chairman of the board of Option Care, for possible future sale from time to time.

Option Care provides various home infusion therapies and specialty injectable pharmaceuticals to patients at home and other alternate sites such as infusion suites and physicians' offices.

• Tenet Healthcare (Dallas) reported that it is offering $500 million of 10-year senior notes through a private placement pursuant to Rule 144A of the SEC.

Tenet said it intends to use the proceeds to repurchase or redeem its remaining outstanding senior notes due in 2006 and 2007, and for general corporate purposes.

Tenet, through subsidiaries, provides healthcare through the operation of general acute-care hospitals in the U.S.

• LifeMasters Supported SelfCare (South San Francisco, California), a provider of disease management programs and services, said that it recently completed $19 million in senior and subordinated debt financing consisting of a $12 million term loan with ORIX Venture Finance and a $7 million credit facility with Comerica Bank.

ORIX and Comerica join existing equity investors, including Lightspeed Venture Partners, Intel Corp., J. and W. Seligman & Co., Sightline Partners, Pacific Venture Group, VantagePoint Venture Partners and Siemens.

The capital will be used to fund LifeMasters' growth and expansion plans, including the opening of an additional call center in San Antonio, Texas, planned for early in 2Q05.

• Medsphere Systems (Aliso Viejo, California), a provider of Medsphere OpenVista, a fully integrated electronic health record (EHR), reported that it has completed a $7.5 million Series B round of venture financing led by Azure Capital Partners.

Also participating were existing investors Thomas Weisel Venture Partners and Wasatch Venture Fund.

In conjunction with the close of the financing, Medsphere reported the appointment of Larry Augustin as CEO of the company.

Medsphere OpenVista is designed to provide a single source of information to patient care and administrative departments across the healthcare enterprise — capturing and organizing all clinical, financial, and administrative patient data into an always-current, comprehensive EHR.

No Comments