Chinese University of Hong Kong
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Latest From Chinese University of Hong Kong
Whether the astonishing missteps by Sequenom, which earlier this year disclosed it could not support its data for a non-invasive Down Syndrome test, were merely poor management or a reality check for the field of non-invasive prenatal disgnostics, the NIPD opportunity is compelling. But the profession also understandably balks at obtaining information that is not then clinically actionable -- an issue that could further amplify in importance as technologies like microarrays and direct DNA sequencing increase become more prevalent.
Our monthly update on technology transfer deals--licensing agreements between companies and universities or other research institutions--in the fields of life sciences, including pharmaceuticals, medical devices, in vitro diagnostics and research/analytical instrumentation and reagents.
There's been a buzz around Sequenom's prenatal diagnostic technology and the anticipated launch next year of a blood based test for Down's syndrome. Although success is far from assured, the development of that assay has done much to resurrect the company's prospects.
Highlights from the Q3 2008 review of device and diagnostics dealmaking: Led by late-stage rounds, financing for medical device firms--at just over $1bn--showed a slight improvement over the last quarter. IPOs and follow-ons were noticeably absent in Q3, reminiscent of a time in 2003 when the IPO window closed. Not even one of the 13 device M&A transactions reached the billion-dollar mark, but the largest deal, GE Healthcare's buy of Vital Signs for $990mm, came close. In vitro diagnostics/research financings doubled to $643mm led by Illumina's $343mm FOPO. M&A activity in this industry was scant with a mere three transactions. However, Nanogen's reverse merger with Elitech Group--worth $99mm-beat the median M&A deal price ($60mm) over the past five years. Interestingly many in vitro diagnostics players turned to alliances with tech transfer entities in hopes of filling their pipelines.
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