Point BioMedical folds, Acusphere agent remains

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Point BioMedical of San Carlos, Calif., has withdrawn the new drug application for its molecular imaging agent CardioSphere and is liquidating its assets to avoid a formal bankruptcy proceeding.

According to BioSpace, Tom Feldman, ex-CEO of Point BioMedical, the company’s lead investor, Vendanta Capital has chosen not to follow through with the second half of its $50 million private equity financing.

Point received $25 million, the first tranche of financing, in February of this year. The proceeds were going to the second round of phase III clinical trials of CardioSphere, an imaging agent designed to measure myocardial perfusion using ultrasound.

The company said the agent had the potential to allow patients to undergo evaluation for coronary artery disease in a cardiologist’s office without the radiation exposure of currently available perfusion technologies. It was granted a patent in 2004.

Point expected to draw on the second tranche of its financing in the second quarter of this year when Vendanta pulled out unexpectedly. Feldman said that the company was not told why it chose not to invest, reported BioSpace.

Meanwhile, Acusphere is still actively seeking FDA approval for its coronary artery disease imaging agent Imagify for use with myocardial profusion echocardiography.

In July, the Watertown, Mass.-based pharmaceutical company cut 24 jobs and cut salaries for senior managers to reduce costs while FDA approval currently is pending.

BioSpace reported that Point Biomedical underwent an assignment for the benefit of creditors with Sherwood Partners in early July and that Sherwood will liquidate all of Point’s assets and pay off any creditors the company has with the money they raise. Any proceeds will go to shareholders.