St. Jude Medical-backed Nanostim drums up $10M | Wall Street Beat Wall Street Beat

Nanostim, the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company that’s developing a leadless pacemaker, raised $10 million in an equity and options deal, according to a regulatory filing.

The stealthy medical device company is working on MRI-compatible, "miniaturized," pacemakers which are designed to be placed inside the heart of a cardiac patient in a percutaneous, catheter-based procedure. The devices are leadless, and therefore aren’t connected to the heart muscle via wires, a modification over previous models that the company touts as major safety improvement.

Nanostim is backed by St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ), which last year entered a milestone-based deal featuring an exclusive option to acquire.

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Nanostim is also backed by InterWest Partners, US Venture Partners, Emergent Medical Partners and Life Science Angels. Six unnamed investors participated in the most recent round, according to the filing.

"Our leadless pacemakers are designed to be less invasive, safer devices that will simplify the implantation procedure," Nanostim CEO Drew Hoffmann when the deal was announced in May 2011. "These catheter-based devices also have the potential to drive increased market penetration in developing markets because of the greater number of trained interventional cardiologists than device implanters."

 Ex-Ardian founders lead Cibiem to $10M
Cibiem, a Coridea incubator spinout that’s led by the co-founders of Ardian, raised a $10 million Series A round led by SV Life Sciences and Third Rock Ventures.

Mark Gelfand and Dr. Howard Levin co-founded Ardian, which developed the Symplicity renal denervation device to treat high blood pressure. Ardian was acquired by Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) for more than $800 million in 2010.

Now the duo have founded Cibiem to work on a similar system to treat hypertension, heart failure, diabetes and renal failure via what it calls "carotid body modulation," or ablation of nerves lining the carotid artery.
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 AngioDynamics closes Vortex buyout

AngioDynamics (NSDQ:ANGO) said it closed the acquisition of Vortex Medical that could wind up being worth some $55 million.
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 Given Imaging is on the auction block
Given Imaging (NSDQ:GIVN) said it’s hired Barclays to help it evaluate "a range of strategic options, including preliminary non-binding indications of interest received from a number of parties relating to a possible merger or sale," according to a regulatory filing. Elron Electronic Industries (TASE:ELRN) owns about 31% of Given, according to a separate filing.
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 Study: Don’t split board chair, CEO roles
A study from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business challenges the prevailing wisdom that CEO and board chair positions should be held by different people, indicating that the roles should be split only when there’s a problem – and then only through a "demotion strategy" to keep the CEO but bring in an independent chair.

Splitting the roles is considered best practice. Fueled by the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the number of S&P 500 companies dividing the roles rose from 25% to 43%.
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 Analysts’ ups and downs

  • Abbott (NYSE:ABT): Leerink Swann maintains “market perform” rating, $65-70 price target.
  • Abiomed (NSDQ:ABMD): Northland Securities initiates coverage with "underperform" rating, $14 price target.
  • Align Technology (NSDQ:ALGN): Credit Suisse lowers price target to $30, cuts estimates, sets "neutral" rating; Jefferies lowers price target to $34, cuts estimates, sets "buy" rating.
  • Cyberonics (NSDQ:CYBX): Northland Securities assumes coverage with "underperform" rating, $40 price target.
  • (NSDQ:DXCM): Northland Securities assumes coverage with "market perform" rating, $12 price target
  • Intuitive Surgical (NSDQ:ISRG): Mizuho raises price target to $565 from $540, sets "buy" rating; Leerink Swann maintains "market perform" rating, ~$580 price target.
  • Novadaq Technologies (TSE:NDQ): Northland Securities initiates coverage with "underperform" rating, $6 price target.
  • Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ): Deutsche Bank reiterates “hold” rating, raises price target from $72 to $75; Leerink Swann maintains "outperform" rating, reiterates $76 price target.
  • St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ): Leerink Swann maintains “outperform” rating, $50 price target; Canaccord Genuity downgrades from "buy" to "hold" rating, reduces price target from $50 to $43; Goldman Sachs downgrades from "buy" to "neutral" rating, lowers price target from $48 to $42.
  • Stryker (NYSE:SYK): BMO lowers estimates, cuts price target to $55, sets "market perform" rating; Leerink Swann maintains "outperform" rating, lowers price target from $66 to $61, lowers estimates; Northland Securities assumes coverage with "market perform" rating, $52 price target; Oppenheimer downgrades from "outperform" to "perform" rating, lowers price target from $61 to $57.

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