Vital Signs: The Weekly Roundup

Here's your weekly dose of biotech and health care news in the Washington region, by Washington Post biotech reporters Kendra Marr:

*MacroGenics, a privately held Rockville biotech, raised $25 million in financing.

*Hanger Orthopedic Group of Bethesda announced that Ares Corporate Opportunities Fund said it would sell 2.5 million shares of Hanger stock.

*Martek Biosciences Corp. of Columbia announced that it would be the exclusive provider of its nutritious omega fatty acids, DHA and ARA, in all infant formulas produced by Grupo Ricap in Mexico. The company will also be the sole supplier of ARA in infant formula manufactured by Hochdorf Nutricare for China and certain parts of Europe.

*BioInformatics of Arlington, a life sciences market research firm, published "Protein Research: Strategies for Marketing to Chemists and Biologists." The report helps suppliers better understand the needs of scientists.

*Ernst & Young released its first-ever report on the medical technology industry at AdvaMed 2008. It found that private investment in the U.S. medical technology industry has remained strong the last 18 months, despite a decrease in public equity funding because of the credit crunch this year.

*Arisyn Therapeutics of Frederick acquired small molecule inhibitors, which could treat cancer and HIV, from UAF Technologies and Research, a nonprofit established by the University of Arizona Foundation.

*AHIC Successor appointed a board of directors. This public-private partnership is being established in cooperation with the Department of Health and Human Services as a successor to the American Health Information Community (AHIC), a federal advisory committee that will soon dissolve. The organization is tasked with implementing a nationwide health IT system.

*Columbia's Osiris Therapeutics completed enrollment of a second phase trial evaluating Prochymal, a stem cell treatment for lung diseases. A total of 62 patients were enrolled in the Phase II trial at six sites throughout the United States. The Department of Defense recently awarded the biotech a $224.7 million contract to develop Prochymal to treat soldiers exposed to radiation from nuclear or radiological attacks.

*Bethesda's Chindex International, a provider of western health-care products and services in the China, sold its second Intuitive Surgical daVinci S robotic surgical system to a Chinese hospital. The company's chief executive Roberta Lipson predicted earlier this year that sales of this expensive, minimally-invasive surgical equipment could help left Chindex's medical products division out of the red.

*Regenerx Biopharmaceuticals of Bethesda completed enrollment for the second of four ongoing clinical trials studying the safety and efficacy of RGN-137, a drug treating leg ulcers.

By Dan Beyers  |  September 26, 2008; 2:30 PM ET  | Category:  Vital Signs
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