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ICN in Talks With Firm to Market Laser

Technology: Costa Mesa drug maker agrees to acquireMedical Alliance in effort to get treatment in doctors' offices.

September 19, 2000|From Staff and Wire Reports

Costa Mesa drug maker ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Monday that it has agreed to acquire the laser sales, marketing and distribution system and other medical business assets from a Dallas company for $14.4 million.

ICN said in a news release that its purchase of Medical Alliance Inc. assets is subject to certain conditions, including approval from Medical Alliance shareholders.

With the acquisition, ICN would obtain a laser sales, marketing and distribution network to help it move its new laser treatment for wrinkle removal more quickly into the offices of dermatologists and plastic surgeons nationwide.

ICN recently received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to market the laser technology, which removes wrinkles from certain skin areas without damaging the skin's surface.

The company has said the technology has been shown in clinical studies to benefit patients in a range of age groups and who have various degrees of wrinkle severity. In clinical trials, the procedure required no anesthesia and was typically completed in 20 minutes with no reported discomfort by patients.

The patented technology was developed by ICN Photonics Ltd., a recently acquired ICN subsidiary based in Wales, and is marketed in European Union countries.

The news barely made a blip on the company's stock price, which fell 75 cents Monday to close at $29.75 a share in New York Stock Exchange trading.

Medical Alliance said that once the transaction is closed, the company "will not have an operating business" but will have about $27 million cash and $2 million in liabilities.

The company hired a financial advisor in August to consider selling its nonmedical operations. Early in the year, the company had said it would consider the sale of the entire company if its medical business was sold.

Medical Alliance said Monday that it is in talks with various parties for a possible sale of the company.

Shares of Medical Alliance gained 31 cents on Monday to close at $4.63 in Nasdaq trading.

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