Aclara BioSciences Inc.
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Though Abraxane (paclitaxel) is now part of Celgene Corp.'s growing oncology portfolio, you don't need Celgene stock to invest in its newest product, a reformulation of the generic chemotherapy that's approved to treat metastatic breast cancer. As part of Celgene's cash-and-stock $2.9 billion acquisition of Abraxis BioScience Inc. Celgene deferred at least $650 million in potential payments to Abraxis shareholders, plus royalty payments tied to Abraxane sales. Unlike most earn-out-laden deals, however, the contingency value rights, or CVRs, for the earn-outs have been securitized and now trade under the ticker CELGZ. Despite potential advantages - tradeable CVRs let shareholders bet on the success or failure of specific assets, for instance - these investment vehicles are still a rarity in the marketplace.
Although scientific and clinical interest in molecular diagnostics is at an all-time high, companies are still struggling to find the right business model for the field. Qiagen's recent acquisition of the assets of Molecular Staging, one of the sector's pioneers, reflects the promise and limitations of a field in which competition is fierce, development time is lengthy, and technology is evolving much faster than general market acceptance.
After years of confusion and stagnation, the field of cancer biomarker diagnostics seems to be progressing, even as huge challenges remain. Investors are alert but cautious. The sheer volume of funding and attention devoted to proteomics and genomics, along with advances in research tools, have led to new approaches to looking for and developing assays. But with exception of Cytyc Corp., not a lot of successful cancer-oriented diagnostic role models exist for start-ups.
Statistical review compiled from our Strategic Transactions database including financings by type (IPO, private placement etc.); financings by sector (surgical equipment, implantable devices, etc.); alliances by therapeutic category (cardiovascular, orthopedic, etc.); alliances by industry segment (biomaterials, monitoring equipment, etc. ); for three separate industries: medical devices, in vitro diagnostics, and pharmaceuticals/biotechnology.
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