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BG Medicine Files IPO to Trade on Nasdaq; Looks to Raise $86M

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Biomarker firm BG Medicine today filed a preliminary prospectus with the US Securities and Exchange Commission of its intentions to go public.

The company did not disclose an opening price for its shares or the number of shares that will be made available, but said that the offering would raise a maximum of a little more than $86 million. Shares of BGM stock would trade on the Nasdaq Global Market under ticker symbol "BGMD."

In the summer of 2007, the Waltham, Mass., company filed an IPO to trade its shares on the Euronext Amsterdam Exchange but withdrew it a few months later due to unnamed "current market conditions."

BGM develops biomarker-based diagnostic tests and proceeds from the offering will be used for four main purposes, it said in its filing: to fund the commercial launch of its lead product, a test for the detection of a protein implicated in heart failure; fund development and commercialization of its other cardiovascular diagnostics; fund biomarker discovery and possible development of tests based on those biomarkers; and fund general business purposes.

Its lead product is the BGM Galectin-3 test, which measures galectin-3 levels in blood. In October, the company obtained a CE mark for the test and has begun selling it in parts of Europe. In March 2009, the company filed a 510(k) premarket notification with the US Food and Drug Administration to market and sell the test in the US. However, the FDA requested additional clinical and other data in support of its filing, BGM said.

In December, it resubmitted its application. If approved by the FDA, the test could start selling in the US starting in the second half of 2010, BGM said.

Other tests under development at the company include a galectin-3 test as a predictor of heart failure in patients who have had a heart attack or who have an unstable angina; its AMIPredict multianalyte panel for the identification of patients at high risk for heart attack or stroke; and LipidDx, a protein assay for common lipid disorders.

In March 2009, BGM signed a cooperative research and development agreement with the Framingham Heart Study aimed at discovering biomarkers associated with heart disease. While the study covers a variety of biomarkers, the focus would be on proteomics, Pieter Muntendam, CEO of the company, said at the time [See PM 03/19/09].

The company also participates in the High-Risk Plaque Initiative for artherothrombotic cardiovascular disease. Launched in 2006, the overarching goals of the effort — which also includes Merck, AstraZeneca, and Abbott, among others, as partners — are to gain a better understanding of the disease on a molecular level and "to provide a roadmap for the development and registration of screening diagnostic and therapeutic interventions for high-risk plaque," BGM said in its S-1 form filed with the SEC.

The company is discovering and validating blood-based biomarkers for high-risk plaque as part of the initiative, as well as developing imaging methods to be used in conjunction with biomarker-based methods.

In its S-1 form, BGM said it posted receipts of almost $8.5 million in 2009 and had a net loss of $16.1 million. As of Dec. 31, 2009, it had $10.4 million in cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities.

It reported total assets of $12.6 million and total liabilities of $5 million. Its total capitalization is about $8.9 million, it said.

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