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24 July, 2006 - 18:33 By Staff Reporter

NASDAQ deal precursor to IPO for Cambridge medical devices company?

A Cambridge company developing technology that could save lives in intensive care units has signed a breakthrough commercialisation deal that could spell an imminent IPO.Sphere Medical - the result of a joint venture between the Generics Group in Harston and Siemens - has penned the deal with NASDAQ listed Analogic Corporation, a designer and manufacturer of hi-tech health systems. Analogic is a well-known global innovator in CT, ultrasound and MRI scanning as well as patient monitoring and its technology is integrated by OEMs.

The pair will "develop and manufacture instruments for the monitoring of key blood parameters, such as glucose, blood gases, and electrolytes, in critical care patients."

It is a pivotal development for Sphere, which raised a £6.2m VC round last month.

Hyperglycemia, or high blood-sugar levels, is a common condition in critically ill patients and can significantly increase the possibility of death. Close control of glucose in these patients, according to the Van den Bergh study, can result in improved patient outcomes and reduced patient mortality.

Dr Stuart Hendry, Sphere Medical's CEO, said, "Our proprietary Proxima system will initially be applied to the monitoring of glucose, in which there is a strong current interest.

“However, critical care patients need frequent testing of many blood parameters, and our capability of simultaneously measuring other key blood components, such as blood gases and electrolytes, sets us apart in the field.

“By teaming with Analogic, a recognized leader in signal processing and the development of advanced medical instrumentation, we will bring a new generation of products to the critical care arena, which will give clinicians better control over the therapy delivered with expected improvements in patient outcomes."

Sphere Medical has gone on the record with its plans for a 2006 IPO on London's Alternative Investment Market, saying earlier in the year that commercial deals it had in the pipeline would determine the timing.

The deal with Analogic could herald a float within the next few weeks.

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