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Thallion, Caprion, GE Healthcare, Biosite, Genedata, Serenex, Pittcon 2008

Thallion Sells Majority Stake of Caprion to Great Point Partners
Thallion Pharmaceuticals this week sold an 80 percent stake in Caprion Proteomics to Great Point Partners, a health care investment firm. Thallion will retain the remaining 20 percent in Caprion, spun out as a general partnership when Caprion Pharmaceutical merged with Ecopia BioSciences to create Thallion earlier this year[See PM 03/15/07].
The companies did not disclose the price of the deal, but said that Great Point is acquiring Thallion’s proteomics assets including the CellCarta platform. It will also assume $22,150,259 in long-term debt obligations from Thallion without recourse to Thallion. Caprion Proteomics will also issue $4.1 million in secured subordinated notes to Thallion at an annual interest rate of 9.5 percent.
Thallion is entitled to 100 percent of any royalty payments and half of any milestone payments from existing licensing agreements related to its proteomics business. Thallion has also secured the rights to certain target candidates using the CellCarta platform for future preclinical and clinical development, as well as certain preferred services for biomarker development for its clinical programs, it said in a statement.
Great Point will make a material investment into Caprion for general working capital purposes. Caprion has about 35 employees currently. Martin LeBlanc, currently president of the Caprion general partnership will become president and CEO of the incorporated business, also called Caprion Proteomics.
The deal is expected to close on July 10.

GE Healthcare Financial Services Provides $1.3B to Inverness for Purchase of Biosite
GE Healthcare Financial Services this week closed a $1.3 billion senior secured credit facility for Inverness Medical Innovations for its acquisition of Biosite.
The facility includes a $150 million revolving credit facility, $900 million first lien term loan, and $250 million second lien term loan. Inverness is also using the funds to refinance its existing indebtedness and to provide increased liquidity for its working capital needs, GE said in a statement.
GE Healthcare Financial Services serves as administrative agent for the facility. GE Capital Markets and UBS Investment Bank were joint lead arrangers for the facility.
Inverness’ purchase of Biosite is expected to close at the end of the second quarter or start of the third quarter. Inverness and Biosite agreed to $1.5 billion merger last month [See PM 09/24/07].

Genedata Opens Japanese Office
Genedata announced this week it has created a Japanese subsidiary, Genedata KK, in response to a growing need among Japanese pharmaceuticals for enterprise-level computational solutions for life sciences and drug discovery research.
The new offices will be in Tokyo’s Shinagawa district. Frank Staubli will head the Japanese operations.

Serenex Secures $31M in Financing
Serenex said this week it has secured $31 million in financing, including $26 million in a Series D private placement of preferred stock and a $5 million working capital debt facility.
The company plans to use the proceeds to clinically develop two cancer product candidates, SNX-1012 and SNX 5422, and to advance promising antifungal, antineurodegenerative, antiviral, and other non-oncology programs from its portfolio of heat shock protein 90 inhibitors.
SNX-1012 is a molecule for chemotherapy- and radiation-induced oral mucositis in solid tumor patients. SNX-5422 is a small molecule inhibitor of Hsp90.

Ramping up for Pittcon 2008
The Pittsburgh Conference this week launched its website for Pittcon 2008, being held from March 2-7 in New Orleans. The site,, features a blog where researchers, exhibitors, and others can discuss topics such as HPLC/MS use and new faculty/competitive research/training.
Information about the technical program, short courses, and exposition will be posted on the site as it becomes available.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.