By Brady Huggett

Immunicon Corp. completed a private offering of convertible preferred equity totaling $21.75 million.

"We're really happy with the deal and we feel it speaks for itself," said James Murphy, vice president of finance and administration for the privately held Huntingdon Valley, Pa., company.

Canaan Partners and Foundation Medical Partners led the financing, which attracted all of Immunicon's current venture-capital investors, including MDS Capital Corp., TL Ventures, Anthem Capital and Johnston Associates.

New investors included Johnson & Johnson Development Corp., LHC Corp. (an affiliate of Claneil Enterprises) and MedCapital, a private investment firm. Murphy said the new investors reflected industry interest in Immunicon.

The company will use the money to develop products that use its cancer screening, diagnosis and monitoring technologies, and to develop possible applications in cell therapy, genomics and proteomics. Murphy said Immunicon has clinical trials and performance studies scheduled over the next 12 to 18 months.

The company raised $10.7 million in a Series D financing in March 1999, but is not gearing up for an IPO, said Murphy.

"The next round of financing is something we are always looking toward," he said. "But we aren't looking at a public offering. But anything can happen in the biotechnology field."

Immunicon also reported a new development, license and supply agreement with Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. In March, Immunicon agreed to work with Therakos Inc., also a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, in the cell therapy field.

Immunicon named two new directors to its board in conjunction with the private offering. Brian Geiger, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Claneil, joined Immunicon's team, as well as Ting Pau Oei, vice president of Johnson & Johnson Development Corp.

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