Milestones 4475

May 1, 2008

6 Min Read


Advanced wound care and therapeutic support systems manufacturer Kinetic Concepts Inc. (KCI; San Antonio) plans to acquire LifeCell Corp. (Branchburg, NJ) for an estimated $1.7 billion in cash. LifeCell is a leader in tissue repair products for use in reconstructive, urogynecologic, and orthopedic surgical procedures. Following the completion of the transaction, LifeCell will operate as a new global biosurgery division within KCI. Paul Thomas will continue to lead the business as president of the division and will join KCI's executive committee. "LifeCell is an exceptional strategic fit for us," said Catherine Burzik, president and CEO of KCI. "This combination allows us to accelerate our strategy to increase KCI's presence in the operating room and will leverage our broad global market reach to drive future growth of LifeCell's products." Based on existing KCI and LifeCell operations, the combined companies are expected to generate revenue of approximately $2 billion in 2008 and will employ more than 7000 people.


St. Jude Medical Inc. (St. Paul, MN) and EP MedSystems Inc. (West Berlin, NJ) have announced a definitive merger agreement under which St. Jude Medical will acquire EP MedSystems for approximately $92.1 million. Upon completion, the transaction will immediately add two new growth drivers to St. Jude Medical's program for products used in atrial fibrillation and other electrophysiology catheterization procedures, the companies report. The transaction will also expedite St. Jude Medical's entry into the high-growth intracardiac ultrasound echocardiography market. "This transaction will accelerate the growth of St. Jude Medical's program to help physicians cure atrial fibrillation," said Daniel J. Starks, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of St. Jude Medical. "EP MedSystems' new ClearWave signal-recording technology and its next-generation ViewFlex Plus ICE catheter will be especially important additions to our atrial fibrillation technology platform."


Stentys (Paris), which has developed a stent for treatment of blocked coronary artery bifurcations, has completed an $18 million series B round of venture financing. The lead investor was Scottish Equity Partners. Series A investor Sofinnova Partners also participated in the new round. Brian Kerr, one of the founding directors of Scottish Equity Partners and a partner in the firm's healthcare group, will join the Stentys board of directors. "This financing round will allow us to complete clinical trials and obtain the CE mark for our drug-eluting bifurcated stent, enabling interventional cardiologists to offer their patients the next generation of dedicated bifurcated-stenting procedures," said Gonzague Issenmann, Stentys' CEO and cofounder.


GlucoLight Corp. (Bethlehem, PA), a development-stage company focused on noninvasive continuous blood glucose monitoring, announced the closing of the third tranche of its series C financing. The amount was not disclosed. The financing was provided by Life Sciences Greenhouse of Central Pennsylvania, Robin Hood Ventures, and individual investors, including both current and new investors. "These funds will help us complete our next round of clinical trials, expected in May 2008, as we look to complete Sentris-100 for the hospital environment," said Ray Krauss, CEO of GlucoLight. "It also assists us with the continued development of Sentris-100 for consumer and everyday use, efforts that began early this year."

Orthopedic manufacturer Wright Medical Group Inc. (Arlington, TN) has completed its acquisition of InBone Technologies Inc. for an initial cash payment of $24 million, guaranteed minimum future payments of $3.7 million, and potential additional payments based on future performance. The InBone acquisition marks the seventh business development initiative focused on the foot-and-ankle surgery market that Wright has executed in the past 12 months. InBone is the manufacturer of the InBone total ankle system and the InBone intraosseous fusion rod and plate system. With the acquisition now complete, Wright has initiated distribution of the InBone product line through its U.S. distribution network. Select international markets will follow upon receipt of required regulatory clearances.


Affinergy Inc. (Research Triangle Park, NC), a Duke University spinout that develops site-specific biological delivery systems, has been awarded five new small business innovation research (SBIR) grants, including a phase 2 SBIR program for more than $2 million. The phase 2 grant is funded through the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. The focus of the program is to advance development and optimization of Affinergy's peptide linkers to accelerate a patient's natural healing processes. The other four grant awards are for phase 1 programs that, in aggregate, exceed $1 million. "Affinergy is very excited to move forward with these important programs," said Jonathan Gindes, Affinergy's CFO and senior vice president of business development. "This further validates our technology as reviewed by scientific peers and acknowledges the progress that was demonstrated by our staff during the previous 18 months."


The board of directors at ArthroCare Corp. (Austin, TX) announced that the company has decided to investigate financial and strategic alternatives that could enhance its shareholder value. Possible alternatives include everything from a recapitalization or stock repurchase to the sale of certain assets or a potential merger. "We remain confident in the strength and growth opportunities of our business, as reflected in our reported 2007 results and the guidance previously provided for 2008 in our recent earnings call, as well as the opportunities for near- and long-term value creation for our shareholders through execution of our business plan," said Michael Baker, CEO of ArthroCare. "Any decisions the board makes will be based upon what it believes will be best for enhancing shareholder value."

PolyRemedy Inc. (Mountain View, CA), manufacturer of a robotic system for the delivery of nanomaterial-based wound dressings at the point of care, announced the closing of a $25 million investment from leading venture capital firms. The series B financing was led by Advanced Technology Ventures and IDG Ventures Boston. It included participation from series A investor MedVenture Associates and new investor Harris & Harris Group Inc. "Wound care management is a multi-billion-dollar market that has historically been difficult to manage and costly for healthcare providers, patients, and their families," said Daniel A. Eckert, president and CEO of PolyRemedy. "The PolyRemedy delivery system enables clinicians to fabricate personalized, advanced dressings for their patients, on demand and at the point of care."


Bayer HealthCare affiliate Medrad Inc. (Warrendale, PA) and Possis Medical Inc. (Minneapolis) have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Medrad will acquire Possis Medical for an estimated $361 million. Medrad is a provider of contrast injection systems used to diagnose cardiovascular and other diseases. Possis Medical is a provider of mechanical thrombectomy devices used to treat narrowed or blocked arteries and veins. The proposed merger will join two leaders in their respective fields, and underscores Medrad's commitment to the treatment of patients in the growing cardiovascular intervention field. "This merger will capitalize on both companies' strengths to deliver growth in our current markets, and create a formidable cardiovascular portfolio in the future," said John P. Friel, Medrad president and CEO. "It is a truly compatible partnership in terms of product performance, company growth, and employee culture."

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