A Medical Device Daily Staff Report

Aastrom Biosciences (Ann Arbor, Michigan) reported concluding the sale of common stock with Fusion Capital Fund II in accordance with a previous agreement in 2002. In this final tranche, Fusion bought 4.8 million shares of Aastrom stock for gross proceeds of $12 million at an average price of $2.50 a share, a premium to the closing price of $2.38 a share.

This completes the $24 million common stock purchase agreement between Aastrom and Fusion, the company said.

Aastrom is a regenerative medicine company developing treatments for the repair of damaged human tissues and other medical disorders, or the generation of normal human tissues, using its adult stem cell-based products. Its strategic position in the tissue regeneration and cell therapy sectors is enabled by its proprietary Tissue Repair Cells (TRCs), a mix of bone marrow stem and progenitor cells, and the AastromReplicell System, an automated cell production platform used to produce cells for clinical use.

Together, TRCs and the AastromReplicell System provide a foundation leveraging the production of multiple prescription cell products (PCPs), several of which are in the clinical stage in the U.S. and Europe. TRCs are the core component of the PCPs that Aastrom says it is developing for bone grafting, peripheral vascular disease, jaw bone reconstruction and spine fusion markets. Aastrom also has developed the AastromReplicell System for dendritic cell production for development of vaccines.

Ramp (New York) reported entering into an agreement for a private placement of up to $4 million of debentures with three institutional investors, DKR Soundshore Oasis Holding Fund, Harborview Master Fund and Platinum Partners Value Arbitrage Fund.

The debentures are convertible into common stock at a price of $2.40, the warrants enabling purchase of the shares of common stock, issuable upon conversion at $2.40.

First closing of funding to Ramp was $2 million, with a second tranche of $2 million to be made, subject to certain closing conditions.

Separately, Ramp said it entered an agreement for up to $25 million in cash of equity line financing, to be drawn on subject to certain conditions.

Ramp, through its HealthRamp subsidiary, develops the CarePoint suite of technologies.

Andrew Brown, Ramp president and CEO, said the new financing “positions us to grow the deployment of our CarePoint and CareGiver technologies in their respective markets . . . In addition, the equity line will afford us with additional liquidity.“

CareGiver enables long-term care facility staff to place orders for supplies, drugs and treatments from a wireless hand-held PDA or desktop web browser. CarePoint enables electronic prescribing, lab orders and results, Internet-based communication, data integration and transaction processing over a hand-held device or browser, at the point of care.

In other financing activity:

• Abgenix (Fremont, California) reported that it will receive a milestone payment, the amount not disclosed, from Amgen (Thousand Oaks, California), triggered by Amgen's advancement into clinical trials of an antibody, undisclosed, created using Abgenix's XenoMouse technology. This is the 11th antibody generated with its XenoMouse technology to move into the clinic phase, Abgenix said.

Bill Ringo, president and CEO of Abgenix, said, “We are encouraged about the potential of these technology licensing programs to contribute to future revenues, building upon future potential revenues from our lead product candidate, panitumumab, and our entire proprietary product portfolio.“

In 1999, Abgenix entered into an agreement granting Amgen a license to Abgenix's antibody generation technology. Amgen is responsible for product development and commercialization of any products developed through the collaboration. Abgenix may receive milestone payments and royalties of any future product sales.

Abgenix is focused on the discovery of human therapeutic antibodies collaborating with various pharma and biotech companies.

• Molecular Diagnostics (Chicago) reported completing the payments to settle an Internal Revenue Service federal payroll tax liability. Over the past 12 months, the company said it has paid the IRS about $750,000 to settle this liability, calling this “a major issue“ in its financial restructuring.

Molecular Diagnostics develops cancer-screening systems, which can be used in a laboratory or at the point of care, to assist in the early detection of cervical, gastrointestinal and other cancers.

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