M&A spree continues......Prestige Brands acquires Blacksmith. Boston Scientific buying Asthmatx Print E-mail
By BioMedReports.com Staff   
Monday, 20 September 2010 18:42

Below is a look at some of the headlines for companies that made news in the healthcare sector on September 20, 2010.

Prestige Brands Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: PBH), a leading marketer of branded consumer products, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 100% of the stock of Blacksmith Brands Holdings, Inc., for $190 million in cash. Blacksmith, a portfolio company of Charlesbank Capital Partners, owns five leading consumer over-the-counter ("OTC") brands. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including clearance under the Hart-Scott Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, and is expected to close during the fourth quarter of calendar year 2010. The brands being acquired are: *Efferdent®, a powerful effervescence that cleans dentures and kills odor-causing bacteria; *Effergrip®, a zinc-free denture adhesive cream; *PediaCare®, a well-known OTC cough/cold/allergy/sinus and fever remedy for infants and children;*Luden’s®, great-tasting throat drops that relieve sore, dry and scratchy throats; and *NasalCrom®, non-drowsy allergy prevention for allergy sufferers.

Shares of Prestige surged $1.05 or 13.43% to close the day at $8.87.

Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE:BSX) today announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement, under which Boston Scientific will acquire Asthmatx, Inc., a privately held company in Sunnyvale, California. Asthmatx designs, manufactures and markets a less-invasive, catheter-based bronchial thermoplasty procedure for the treatment of severe persistent asthma in the 6 to 8 million patients 18 years and older worldwide whose asthma is not well controlled with drugs (inhaled medications). The agreement calls for an upfront payment of $193.5 million and additional payments of up to $250 million contingent upon achievement of specified revenue-based criteria through 2019.

Asthmatx markets the Alair Bronchial Thermoplasty System, which received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in April of this year. Bronchial thermoplasty is a less-invasive procedure routinely performed under conscious sedation with patients typically returning home the same day. The Alair System delivers thermal energy to the airway wall in a precisely controlled manner to reduce excessive airway smooth muscle. The procedure is designed to decrease the ability of the airways to constrict, thereby reducing the frequency and severity of asthma attacks.

Dynavax Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:DVAX) after the bell today announced that Aspire Capital Fund, LLC, an Illinois limited liability company, has purchased 1,000,000 shares of Dynavax common stock at $2.00 per share, representing a 23% premium to the closing market price on September 17, 2010. The investment was made in connection with a $30 million At-The-Market common stock purchase agreement under which Aspire Capital has committed to purchase up to an additional $28 million of Dynavax common stock over the next 25 months.

Results from the U.S. registry of Abiomed, Inc.(NASDAQ: ABMD), AB5000 patients were recently published in the September 2010 issue of The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. The paper, "Use of the AB5000 Ventricular Assist Device in Cardiogenic Shock After Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI)," concludes that the "results from this nationwide registry suggest that VADs can restore normal hemodynamics and support recovery of native cardiac function in the majority of survivors when conventional therapies fail."

"This is the largest reported paper on AMI cardiogenic shock patients on VAD support. It demonstrates that aggressive and early implantation of bridge to recovery VADs, such as the AB5000, can potentially improve recovery and survival outcomes of cardiogenic shock patients," said Mark Anderson, MD, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. "Recovery should be the first option. Though VAD support for AMI cardiogenic shock patients is not yet in the clinical guidelines, this paper shows that temporary heart recovery devices have the ability to recover heart muscle and avoid heart transplantation in these critically ill patients."

Athersys, Inc. (Nasdaq:ATHX) announced today the publication of a key study in the October issue of Experimental Neurology conducted by researchers at Athersys, the University of Texas Medical School, the Michael E. DeBakey Institute for Comparative Cardiovascular Science and Biomedical Devices, and Texas A&M University. This study demonstrates that intravenous injection of MultiStem, Athersys' multipotent adult progenitor stem cell therapy product, provides neurovascular protection after traumatic brain injury (TBI) in an established preclinical model of brain injury. The publication outlines how the administration of MultiStem enabled the preservation of the "blood brain barrier", and also reduced the effects and extent of the brain injury.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY) and AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) today announced results from a randomized, double blind Phase 3 clinical study, which demonstrated that the addition of the investigational drug dapagliflozin to existing glimepiride (sulphonylurea) therapy produced significant reductions in glycosylated hemoglobin levels (HbA1c) in adult patients with type 2 diabetes compared to glimepiride alone. The study also demonstrated that dapagliflozin plus glimepiride achieved reductions in the secondary efficacy endpoints of change in total body weight, oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and fasting plasma glucose (FPG) levels from baseline at week 24 compared to placebo plus glimepiride. More people taking dapagliflozin and glimepiride were able to achieve a target HbA1c of less than 7% compared to patients taking glimepiride alone. Results from the study were presented at the 46th European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) Annual Meeting.

Celera Corporation (NASDAQ:CRA) and Abbott (NYSE:ABT) today announced that they have signed an exclusive distribution agreement to market Celera's CE-marked KIF6 diagnostic test for use on Abbott’s CE-marked m2000™ instrument system. The KIF6 genotyping assay detects a genetic marker that may be used in conjunction with clinical evaluation and patient assessment for the identification of individuals at risk for coronary heart disease (CHD), and in patients for whom statin treatment is being considered.

The agreement follows the application by Celera for the CE mark in June 2010, of its real-time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test for detection of a variant in the KIF6 gene. This is the first of Celera’s proprietary cardiovascular genetics products to be CE marked. Under the 4-year agreement, Celera will manufacture the KIF6 test kit that Abbott will distribute in the European Union, other geographic areas that recognize the CE mark, and elsewhere worldwide, excluding the U.S. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLDX) today announced that the first patient has been treated in a randomized Phase 2b study of the Company’s CDX-011 (glembatumumab vedotin) antibody drug conjugate in glycoprotein NMB (GPNMB) expressing advanced, refractory breast cancer patients. CDX-011 targets the protein GPNMB, which is over expressed in a variety of cancers including breast cancer, melanoma, and brain tumors.

"The CDX-011 antibody drug conjugate provides a targeted intervention for GPNMB expressing breast cancer, including patients with triple-negative disease" said Tom Davis, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. "This Phase 2b trial will target patients whose tumors express GPNMB and is anticipated to include a significant proportion of patients with difficult-to-treat triple-negative tumors. It will build upon the positive Phase 1/2 trial which demonstrated encouraging activity in both of these patient subsets."

Intellect Neurosciences, Inc. (OTCBB:ILNS), a biopharmaceutical company with both internal preclinical and clinical-stage pipelines, as well as multiple licenses with major pharmaceutical companies covering products in late-stage clinical trials, announced that Dr. Daniel Chain, Ph.D., Chairman and CEO will deliver a key note speech at the Rural Doctors of Ireland 25th Anniversary Conference to be held in Mulranny, County Mayo, Ireland on October 2nd 2010. Dr. Chain's speech, "Development of Novel Alzheimer's Therapeutics," will provide an overview and balanced assessment of progress in the field.

Micromet, Inc. (NASDAQ: MITI) today announced the initiation of a phase 2 trial of the Company’s lead product candidate blinatumomab (MT103) in adult patients with relapsed or refractory B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Blinatumomab is the first of a new class of agents called BiTE® antibodies, designed to harness the body’s T cells to kill cancer cells.

This phase 2, single-arm study is intended to evaluate the efficacy, safety and tolerability of blinatumomab in 20 adult patients with B-precursor ALL who are resistant or intolerant to standard chemotherapy. Patients will receive blinatumomab daily for 28 days followed by two weeks off therapy over a six week treatment cycle, for up to five treatment cycles. Patients will receive starting doses of blinatumomab of 15 micrograms per meter squared, with dose escalation in subsequent cohorts based on tolerability. The primary endpoint of the study is objective response rate. Secondary endpoints include duration of response and overall survival.

Myrexis, Inc. (Nasdaq:MYRX), a biotechnology company focused on discovering, developing, and commercializing novel treatments for cancer, today announced key findings from preclinical studies of the Company's novel cancer metabolism inhibitor (CMI), MPC-9528, at the Cancer and Metabolism: Pathways to the Future Symposium in Edinburgh, Scotland. Compelling preclinical evidence demonstrates that treatment with MPC-9528 results in significant tumor growth inhibition and that the co-administration of niacin improves the therapeutic index of MPC-9528. Additional data, from a large panel of tumor cell lines and primary human tumor tissue indicate that approximately 40% of all cancers may carry a biochemical defect making them respond well to the combination of niacin and MPC-9528 treatment. A simple companion diagnostic could be used to identify patients with such tumors.

Revolutions Medical Corporation (OTCBB:RMCP) filed suit in Charleston County Common Pleas Court against Philip Maurice Hicks (a.k.a. "Marty Hicks) for libel. According to the complaint, Hicks, using the alias "tazmanian353" on two Internet message boards, is alleged to be waging a cyber smear campaign in an effort to destroy RMCP and its corporate management, particularly the company's chief executive officer, Rondald Wheet.

"If you want to get very aggressive with this company," reads one posting by tazmanian353 on RagingBull.com, "buy a small amount of stock in it and I'll show you how to destroy Ron [Wheet.] Trust me, I am."

The complaint alleges Hicks committed multiple counts of libel by falsely accusing Wheet, company president, Thomas O'Brien and RMCP of violations of securities law in a number of postings on the investor message boards of RagingBull.com and Yahoo!Finance relating to RMCP. Further, Hicks falsely accuses Wheet and O'Brien of fraud, assault, identity theft, racketeering, and theft of intellectual property, among other crimes, in order to advance an elaborate "pump and dump" stock scheme.

"As RevMed executes its business plans the shorters, who only profit from the stock declining, whose motives are self serving, continue to lose all creditability. However, the shorters need to recognize that when a line is crossed the company will take appropriate action," says Ron Wheet, CEO.

Also Monday:

Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: ACOR) today announced that Ron Cohen, M.D., President & CEO, will present at the upcoming Fifth Annual JMP Securities Healthcare Conference on Monday, September 27, 2010 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time at The New York Palace Hotel in New York, NY.

Apricus Biosciences (Nasdaq: APRI), backed by a revenue generating CRO business and seeking to leverage its multi-route NexACT® drug delivery technology and internal pipeline through out-licensing partnerships, today announced that results from a United States Pharmacopeia Preservative Efficacy Test (USP PET) qualified NexACT as an anti-microbial preservative.

Biomagnetics Diagnostics Corp., (PINK SHEETS:BMGP) a developer of revolutionary diagnostic systems and technology for HIV, hepatitis, tuberculosis and malaria detection, and other innovative technologies, recently announced its management team was flying to China to close its merger with Zhuhai Energy Science and Technology.

Caliper Life Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq:CALP) today announced that Kevin Hrusovsky, President and CEO of Caliper will be providing a keynote presentation this week at the MipTec conference in Basel, Switzerland.

Cannabis Science Inc. (OTCBB:CBIS) a pioneering US biotech company developing pharmaceutical cannabis products, is pleased to announce that its Board of Directors have begun investigating the corporate and legal requirements required to issue dividends to shareholders to create a new class of common shares.

Cardium Therapeutics (NYSE Amex:CXM) announced today that Christopher J. Reinhard, Cardium's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer will present at the 10th Annual Biotech in Europe Investor Forum to be held September 29-30, 2010 at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Zurich.  

Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLDX) today announced that the first patient has been treated in a randomized Phase 2b study of the Company's CDX-011 (glembatumumab vedotin) antibody drug conjugate in glycoprotein NMB (GPNMB) expressing advanced, refractory breast cancer patients.

China-Biotics, Inc. (Nasdaq:CHBT) the leading developer, manufacturer and distributor of probiotics products in China, today hosted its first investor day with a group of investors and analysts in Shanghai.

Cytokinetics, Incorporated (NASDAQ:CYTK) announced today that Robert I. Blum, President and Chief Executive Officer, is scheduled to present a corporate update at the Fifth Annual JMP Securities Healthcare Conference on Monday, September 27th at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time at The New York Palace Hotel in New York, New York.

Daxor Corporation, (NYSE Amex:DXR), a medical instrumentation and biotechnology company, today announced that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") instituted administrative proceedings pursuant to the Investment Company Act of 1940 on Friday, September 17, 2010.

Endo Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:ENDP) today announced the successful completion of the tender offer by its indirect wholly owned subsidiary, West Acquisition Corp., for all of the outstanding shares of common stock of Penwest Pharmaceuticals Co. (Nasdaq: PPCO).

Generex Biotechnology Corporation (Nasdaq:GNBT)the leader in drug delivery for metabolic diseases through the inner lining of the mouth, today announced that it has entered into a sales agreement with Elias Shaker & Company, a leading national full-service consumer product brokerage firm, to represent Generex's novel consumer products to national and regional retail and wholesale accounts in the USA.

Healthmed Services, Ltd. (OTCQB: HEME) (PINKSHEETS: HEME) is an innovative software development company. The Company has developed remote access software that allows communication between Apple's iPad and stationary computers.

Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:KERX) today announced that Ron Bentsur, the Company's Chief Executive Officer, will be presenting at the 2010 UBS Global Life Sciences Conference, being held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City.  

Mantra Venture Group Ltd. ('Mantra') (OTCBB:MVTG) is pleased to announce that it has moved to larger premises in South Surrey. The move was required to accommodate growth and to showcase the LED lighting products being handled by subsidiary, Climate ESCO Ltd, and to act as a distribution center.

Neuro-Biotech Corporation (PINKSHEETS: MRES) (OTCQB: MRES) is a worldwide based biotechnological enterprise involved in the unique international niche of clinical neuroscience diagnostic testing. Neuro-Biotech's presently has the opportunity to market 12 clinical "Neuro Blood Tests" through partnerships.

Orthovita, Inc. (NASDAQ: VITA), an orthobiologics and biosurgery company, is pleased to announce the publication of "Clinical Experience Using Cortoss for Treatin Vertebral Compression Fractures with Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty" in the September 15, 2010 edition of Spine.

Novogen Limited (ASX:NRT) (NASDAQ: NVGN) has appointed three new Directors.

Protectus Medical Devices, Inc. (OTCQB: PTMD) (PINKSHEETS: PTMD), which designs, engineers, and manufactures safety needle devices to protect healthcare workers from accidental needlestick injuries, was recently interviewed by The Investor Relations Group of New York City to discuss the Protectus Medical Safety Syringe.

Sanofi-aventis (EURONEXT: SAN and NYSE:SNY) announced today results of two studies presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) 46th Annual Meeting in Stockholm, Sweden.  

Sanofi-aventis (EURONEXT: SAN and NYSE:SNY) announced today the first Phase III results of the GetGoal clinical trial program assessing the efficacy and safety of lixisenatide, a once-daily GLP-1 receptor agonist, as monotherapy in patients with type 2 diabetes.

SensiVida Medical Technologies Inc. (PINKSHEETS:SVMT) is pleased to announce the appointment of Margaret Lydon, as the Company's new Chief Operating Officer and John P. Spoonhower, as Chief Technology Officer.

Vascular Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq:VASC) and Shepherd Scientific, Inc. today announced they have entered into a distribution agreement providing for Vascular Solutionsv to distribute Shepherd Scientific's Angio Assist and Teirstein Edge products in the United States.

WuXi PharmaTech (NYSE:WX), a leading pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device research and development outsourcing company with operations in China and the United States, today announced that it had been awarded a Certificate of Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) compliance from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for toxicology and mutagenicity studies conducted at the company's Suzhou facility.

ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc. (Nasdaq: ZIOP) announced today that Richard Bagley, President and Chief Operating Officer, will present at the JMP Healthcare Conference on Monday, September 27, 2010 at 1:00 pm ET at the New York Palace Hotel in New York City.

Biotech investors interested in seeing more details about these companies and a full list of their related stories can do so by typing the stock ticker symbol into the Stock Quotes box on the right side of the page.

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