A Medical Device Daily

Invitrogen (Carlsad, California) reported signing a definitive agreement to acquire privately held antibody manufacturer Zymed Laboratories (South San Francisco, California) for $60 million in cash.

Invitrogen describes antibody technology as a key component in its portfolio of matched reagents for drug discovery and medical research. Zymed, it said, has more than 2,000 antibodies and related products “that match key areas of Invitrogen's research product focus, including cancer, neurological and infectious diseases.“

Invitrogen's business focus includes proteomics, stem cell research, fluorescent labels and probes and RNAi reagents. Zymed's South San Francisco facility (ISO 13485-certified) will become the primary site for Invitrogen's antibody production and distribution.

Gregory Lucier, chairman and CEO of Invitrogen, said, “This high-quality collection of antibodies enables us to create new systems that align with the way scientists are using technologies to discover drug leads and produce next-generation therapies.“

In addition to its antibody and reagent production, Zymed has several patented platforms, including Chromogenic In-Situ Hybridization (CISH), used for patient stratification in clinical trials. CISH employs SPT DNA probes and immunodetection chemistry to allow for the simultaneous evaluation of tissue morphology and gene status/chromosomal aberrations using brightfield microscopy, consistent with the habits and practices of pathologists.

“Combining our extensive experience in antibody design, development, modification, purification and production with Invitrogen's broad portfolio of technologies and reagents will provide researchers and clinical laboratories with a consistent, comprehensive system to accelerate scientific discovery,“ said Dean Tsao, PhD, president and CEO of Zymed.

Monoclonal antibodies are mass-produced in the laboratory from a single clone and recognize only one antigen. Monoclonal antibodies are typically made by fusing a normally short-lived, antibody-producing B cell to a fast-growing cell, such as a cancer cell (sometimes referred to as an “immortal“ cell). The resulting hybrid cell, or hybridoma, multiplies rapidly, creating a clone that produces large quantities of the antibody.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of February.

Zymed said it expects to generate sales of roughly $15 million in the 12 months following deal closing, with the transaction to be neutral to 2005 pro forma earnings per share, and 4 cents accretive in 2006.

In other dealmaking news:

Steris (Mentor, Ohio) reported completing its previously announced agreement to acquire certain assets of Cosmed Group (Jamestown, Rhode Island), a private sterilization services provider. Steris has acquired all five of Cosmed's medical device sterilization locations for $73 million, the transaction financed via a combination of cash and debt.

Cosmed will be integrated into Steris's Isomedix Services, a provider of contract sterilization services to medical supply, consumer and industrial customers, and the transaction is expected to contribute around 5 cents to Steris's diluted EPS in FY06.

Steris is a provider of infection prevention, decontamination and health science technologies, products and services.

Biophan Technologies (Rochester, New York), a developer of MRI-compatible systems, provided more details on its acquisition of Amris (Castrop-Rauxel/Gelsenkirchen, Germany), a company manufacturing MRI-compatible stents and other medical devices (MDD, Jan. 10, 2005). The transaction, Biophan said, will be made via cash and stock totaling $2.6 million over the next four years. In addition, it said, “key“ Amris executives will receive combinations of stock and stock options valued at another $1 million.

Biophan will acquire a 51% interest in Amris, whose business interests include European CE mark approvals and ISO 9000 business practices involving MRI safety. As part of the acquisition, Biophan receives the worldwide exclusive license to 15 issued and pending patents. One of the issued U.S. patents covering the addition of resonant circuits to a broad range of medical devices to make them MRI-imageable.

Amris will be renamed Biophan Europe.

BioCardia (South San Francisco) and Symphony Medical (Eden Prairie, Minnesota) reported an agreement for development and commercialization of a combination product that combines Symphony Medical's biotherapeutic technology and BioCardia's device delivery technology for the treatment of cardiac conduction disorders. Symphony will have distribution rights to the combination product. Financing terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Peter Altman, CEO of BioCardia, said that the collaboration “creates value for both BioCardia and Symphony Medical shareholders, and there are synergies between us on many levels.“

BioCardia has developed an integrated catheter/drug delivery platform intended to enable safe and routine delivery of biotherapeutics to solid organs and is partnering with various biotherapeutic companies for local delivery of drugs to the heart.

Symphony develops biopolymer and cellular therapies for the treatment of cardiac conduction disorders.

Creative Computer Applications (CCA; Calabasas, California), a provider of clinical information systems for hospital and clinic-based laboratories, medical imaging departments and pharmacies, said it intends to merge with StorCOMM (Jacksonville, Florida), a private provider of picture archive communication systems (PACS) and clinical image management systems.

CCA will be the surviving entity, with StorCOMM shareholders owning half of the merged entity. The deal is expected to be completed by spring 2005, subject to shareholder approval.

The companies said the post-merger firm would offer integrated applications and services to broad sectors of healthcare. Steven Besbeck, president and CEO of CCA, said, “As the development of digital medical imaging has progressed over the last few years, there are examples of others seeking to interface radiology information system technology [RIS] with PACS systems. The integration of CCA's CyberRAD RIS and StorCOMM's AccessNET products provides an attractive, cost-effective solution that enhances productivity and workflow.“

StorCOMM develops scalable PACS and clinical image management systems. Its ACCESS.net family provides enterprise-wide solutions for imaging centers, orthopedic environments and hospitals. AccessNET systems are deployed in more than 180 sites in the U.S. and Europe.

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