Medtronic can’t shake shareholder suit over Covidien merger

A Minnesota state court last week gave a group of Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) shareholders another chance at a lawsuit brought over its $50 billion acquisition of Covidien.

In early 2015 Medtronic closed the Covidien deal, consummating in the biggest medical device acquisition ever. Shortly after the deal was announced during the summer of 2014, shareholder Lewis Merenstein sued in Minnesota’s Hennepin County District Court, arguing that the proposed merger’s conversion of Medtronic stock into the new stock of the combined company “will result in a substantial loss to Medtronic shareholders” and seeking class-action status.

The deal saw Medtronic pay $93.22 per share for Covidien, with COV share converted to the right for $35.19 in cash and 0.956 MDT shares, leaving Covidien stockholders with about a 30% stake in Medtronic, the world’s largest-pure-play medical device company.

“Medtronic stockholders will be forced to pay taxes on any gains in Medtronic stock,” according to Merenstein’s original complaint. “But because the sale does not generate cash proceeds that would allow stockholders to pay the taxes, Medtronic stockholders who have held the stock for over a year could see federal tax rates of 15% to 30% on the gain.”

The Minnesota Appeals Court ruled that the lower court should not have tossed 11 of the 12 claims in the Merenstein suit in 2016, remanding the case back to the Hennepin County court. Medtronic appealed that decision to the Minnesota Supreme Court, which in August 2017 sent the case back to Hennepin County. There Judge Frank Magill tossed three of the suit’s nine claims alleging unjust enrichment, conspiracy to aid and abet unjust enrichment and conversion against Medtronic and its management. Magill allowed the other six claims to proceed.

The lawsuit, which could involve claims worth more than $16 billion, aims to win damages now that it’s too late to block the Medtronic-Covidien union, plaintiff’s attorney Vernon Vander Weide told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

“We intend to vigorously defend against the plaintiffs’ surviving claims, which we believe are meritless and should ultimately be dismissed,” Medtronic spokesman Fernando Vivanco told the newspaper via e-mail. “Medtronic’s acquisition of Covidien was undertaken for strategic reasons, has created a company that has provided value for shareholders and is positively impacting the lives of more patients, in more ways and in more places around the world.”

The post Medtronic can’t shake shareholder suit over Covidien merger appeared first on MassDevice.

Inovio launches Ph1 study of Hep C vaccine

Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NSDQ:INO) and its partner, GeneOne Life Science (KSE:011000), said today that the companies have dosed the first patient in a Phase I study designed to test a preventive vaccine against hepatitis C infection.

The companies plan to recruit 24 study participants to evaluate Inovio’s GLS-6150 candidate. Participants will include people who have a sustained virologic response following treatment for Hep. C, as well as healthy controls. They are slated to receive one of two doses of vaccine, administered intra-dermally and followed by electroporation with Inovio’s Cellectra device.

Get the full story at our sister site, Drug Delivery Business News.

The post Inovio launches Ph1 study of Hep C vaccine appeared first on MassDevice.

ReShape Lifesciences shares plunge on Q2 release, withdrawn offering

Shares in ReShape Lifesciences (NSDQ:RSLS) have fell 30% today after the weight loss device maker posted second quarter earnings that missed expectations on Wall Street and announced it terminated plans for an upcoming offering.

The San Clemente, Calif.-based company posted losses of $35.3 million, or $14.23 per share, on sales of $653,369 for the three months ended June 30, seeing losses grow 415.3% while sales grew 602.1% compared with the same period last year.

Losses per share were significantly behind the $1.79 consensus on Wall Street.

“We have made a lot of meaningful progress this quarter at ReShape, with particular success in our product development efforts as we advance our platform for future use and applications in additional large markets such as type 2 diabetes. Despite cutbacks and reductions in our teams, our sales force also really stepped up and increased productivity substantially in the quarter.  We remain confident in our ability to establish our products as the standard of care for obesity,” prez & CEO Dan Gladney said in a press release.

In an SEC filing posted late last week, ReShape said it withdrew an underwriting agreement from August 7 with H.C. Wainwright & Co. for an offering of hsares of the company’s common stock.

The company said the agreement was “terminated by the Underwriter in accordance with its terms due to Nasdaq’s determination that the offering was not a public offering under the Nasdaq rules, and therefore could not be completed without shareholder approval.”

As a result, ReShape Lifesciences said it does not plan to offer any shares of stock in the offering, according to an SEC filing.

Shares in ReShape Lifesciences fell 33.4% today, closing at 8¢. A year ago, the company’s shares opened at $29.25.

In July, ReShape Lifesciences said that it inked a private placement deal worth approximately $2.6 million.

The post ReShape Lifesciences shares plunge on Q2 release, withdrawn offering appeared first on MassDevice.

ViewRay prices $150m offering

ViewRay (NSDQ:VRAY) yesterday priced an upcoming offering looking to raise $150 million.

The Cleveland-based company plans to float approximately 16.2 million shares of common stock at $9.25 per share, bringing in $150 million gross before offering-related payments.

The offering, slated to close on August 17, will also include a 30-day underwriter’s option to purchase an additional 2.4 million shares at the same price.

ViewRay said it plans to use funds raised to support working capital and general corporate purposes, including R&D, clinical trials, capital expenditures and infrastructure expenses, according to a press release.

Late last month, ViewRay said that it tapped former Spectranetics head Scott Drake as its new chief executive officer and former Spectranetics COO Shar Matin as its new COO.

The post ViewRay prices $150m offering appeared first on MassDevice.

Medtronic launches In.Pact Admiral drug-coated balloon in Japan

Medtech titan Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) said today that it launched its In.Pact Admiral drug-coated balloon in Japan.

The company won approval and reimbursement for its device last year from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare for the treatment of peripheral artery disease in the upper leg.

Get the full story at our sister site, Drug Delivery Business News.

The post Medtronic launches In.Pact Admiral drug-coated balloon in Japan appeared first on MassDevice.

Novocure inks collaboration for pivotal pancreatic cancer trial

Novocure (NSDQ:NVCR) and US Oncology Research said today that the groups are collaborating on a phase III pivotal trial designed to test Novocure’s Tumor Treating Fields with nab-paclitaxel and gemcitabine in patients with unresectable locally advanced pancreatic cancer.

Using a network of community-based oncology practices, US Oncology Research plans to open 10 clinical trial sites to enroll patients in Novocure’s Panova-3 trial, the companies reported.

Get the full story at our sister site, Drug Delivery Business News.

The post Novocure inks collaboration for pivotal pancreatic cancer trial appeared first on MassDevice.

Wright Medical shares rise on Q2 earnings Beat

Shares in Wright Medical (NSDQ:WMGI) rose today in pre-market trading after the medical device maker beat expectations on Wall Street with its second quarter results.

The Amsterdam-based company posted losses of $67.7 million, or 64¢ per share, on sales of $205.4 million for the three months ended July 1, seeing losses grow 64.5% while sales grew 14.3% compared with the same period last year.

Adjusted to exclude one-time items, losses per share were 3¢, just ahead of the 6¢ loss-per-share consensus on The Street, where analysts were looking for sales of $196.8 million, which the company also topped.

“We produced outstanding results across the board in the second quarter, including 13% constant currency net sales growth, an estimated 370 basis point increase versus the first quarter of 2018, and we exited the quarter on a strong, positive trajectory, which we expect to continue throughout the remainder of 2018.  These results represent another strong performance in our U.S. upper extremities business, which grew 22% in the second quarter, driven by 24% growth in our U.S. shoulder business.  We anticipate that continued penetration of our Simpliciti shoulder system, our ongoing Perform reversed launch and accelerating adoption of our Blueprint enabling technology will continue to drive market-leading shoulder sales growth in 2018,” prez & CEO Robert Palmisano said in a press release. “Our U.S. lower extremities growth rate accelerated to 9% in the second quarter, driven by approximately 15% growth in total ankle and improved growth in our core lower extremities business.  The lower extremities business returned to market rates of growth well ahead of schedule, driven primarily by increased contributions from our expanded sales organization.  We are on a good trajectory headed into the second half of the year when we expect the third quarter launch of our PROstep minimally invasive surgery system to provide further momentum for this business.  We also received PMA approval for Augment injectable bone graft and initiated launch activities in the U.S.  We believe the superior handling characteristics and ease of use of Augment injectable, combined with the proven clinical benefits of Augment, will accelerate the growth in our biologics business in the back half of this year.”

Wright Medical increased its net sales guidance for the year, lifting it from between $800 million and $812 million to between $808 million and $820 million. Non-GAAP adjusted earnings per share are expected to be a loss of between 14¢ and 21¢, the company said.

Shares in Wright Medical rose 8.4% in premarket trading to $28.50.

In June, Wright Medical said that it inked a deal for $675 million in debt to be offered by a wholly-owned subsidiary.

The post Wright Medical shares rise on Q2 earnings Beat appeared first on MassDevice.

InVivo Therapeutics shares down as losses grow in Q2 earnings release

Shares in InVivo Therapeutics (NSDQ:NVIV) fell today after the medical device maker missed expectations on Wall Street with its second quarter results.

The Cambridge, Mass-based company posted losses of $12.9 million, or $7.48 per share, up 104.1% as compared with the same period during the previous year. Losses per share were well behind the 41¢ expectations on Wall Street.

“We continued to make progress in the second quarter of 2018, as the net proceeds of $13.5 million from our successful June 2018 public offering have put us in a position to focus on the initiation of the Inspire 2.0 Study. We are currently engaging in the clinical site initiation process with previously-identified sites and manufacturing the clinical product for the Study. We have also selected a clinical research organization for the Study. We look forward to providing future updates on the progress of the Inspire 2.0 Study as we advance toward patient enrollment,” prez & CEO Dr. Richard Toselli said in a press release.

Shares in InVivo fell 4.8% today, closing at $1.98.

In June, InVivo said that it closed a new public offering, bringing in approximately $15.2 million.

The post InVivo Therapeutics shares down as losses grow in Q2 earnings release appeared first on MassDevice.

Second Sight shares down despite Q2 earnings beat

Shares in Second Sight Medical (NSDQ:EYES) fell today despite the opthalmalogical device maker beating loss per share expectations on Wall Street with its second quarter earnings results.

The Los Angeles-based company posted losses of $8 million, or 12¢ per share, on sales of $1.9 million for the three months ended June 30, seeing losses grow 16.3% while shales shrunk 14.7% compared with the same period last year.

Losses per share were just ahead of the 14¢ consensus on Wall Street.

“I am pleased with the progress made during the past quarter with our Orion clinical and R&D programs. The technology is performing as expected and is generating spots of light via cortical stimulation with all subjects. Moreover, the stimulation parameters are within our expectations and we are now progressing with more complex testing involving real-time video input. One subject is close to being cleared for home use and we will start the critical artificial vision rehabilitation process shortly thereafter. The focus in coming months will be the collection of important clinical and performance data to support the safety and efficacy of this breakthrough device,” prez & CEO Will McGuire said in a press release. “Our confidence in Orion and its market potential continues to grow, as does our commitment to advance this revolutionary technology. As a result, the Orion clinical and R&D programs will be our top priority. With respect to our ongoing Argus commercial and clinical efforts, we will prioritize activities that maximize our return on investment or have strategic value. Finally, we are excited to start sharing details of research we are conducting in areas such as eye-tracking and object recognition that can be integrated with artificial vision to provide a more interesting and useful experience for our users.”

Shares in Second Sight have risen 7.3% so far today, at $1.55 as of 2:56 p.m. EDT.

In May, Second Sight said that it inked a stock purchase agreement worth approximately $10 million with businesses owned by board chair Gregg Williams.

The post Second Sight shares down despite Q2 earnings beat appeared first on MassDevice.

Myomo shares down on Q2 miss

Shares in Myomo fell today after the wearable medical robotics maker missed expectations on Wall Street with its second quarter results.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based company posted losses of $2.7 million, or 21¢ per share, on sales of $632,369 for the three months ended June 30, seeing losses grow 38.7% while sales grew 106.2% compared with the same period last year.

Losses per share were just behind the 19¢ consensus on The Street.

“We are pleased to report quarterly revenues growth of 106% year over year. We have opened new sales regions, added new O&P locations, and launched digital marketing campaigns to reach the many individuals in the US with upper limb paralysis. With growing interest from patients and O&P providers, we continue to expect increased revenue for the year,” chair & CEO Paul Gudonis said in a press release.

Shares in Myomo have fallen 4.1% so far today, at $2.09 as of 1:56 p.m. EDT.

In May, Myomo saw shares fall after the company missed expectations on Wall Street with its first quarter earnings.

The post Myomo shares down on Q2 miss appeared first on MassDevice.