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Drug Pricing Scrutiny Could Impact Device Stocks - Merrill Lynch Analyst

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

Stock valuations in the medical device sector may be adversely affected by the threat of federal scrutiny over U.S. prescription drug pricing, given the tendency of some investors to lump devices with drugs when making decisions, according to Merrill Lynch medical device analyst Daniel Lemaitre.

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Sonic Innovations, Inc.

Hearing aid maker goes public May 1 via initial offering of 3.6 mil. shares of common stock at $14 per share to raise $50 mil. Larger than an initially anticipated offering of up to $46 mil., the offering will help fund commercialization of the firm's Conforma digital hearing aid (1"The Gray Sheet" March 20, p. 17). The device debuted March 16. The Salt Lake City-based company also will use a portion of the proceeds for further R&D and debt repayment. Sonic Innovation shares will trade on the Nasdaq exchange under the symbol "SNCI." Underwriters Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown and U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray have a 30-day overallotment option to purchase up to an additional 540,000 shares

Reimbursement Tops List Of Venture Capital Concern Over Device Start-Ups

The low number of first-round venture capital (VC) deals in 1999 among medical device start-ups is cause for concern, according Casey McGlynn, of the Silicon Valleuy law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

Device Start-Up Financing Plan Should Match Exit Strategy, Experts Advise

Device start-ups with limited prospects for completing an initial public offering and becoming a stand-alone operation should implement an organizational structure and financing strategy with an eye towards an acquisition exit, Allan May, president and CEO of Intella Interventional Systems advised.

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