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BG Medicine Withdraws IPO After Failing To Price All Week

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Diagnostic-test maker BG Medicine Inc. withdrew its planned initial public offering Thursday, after the deal failed to price all week long. The company, which focuses on blood-based tests, had planned to offer at least 4.8 million shares in an estimated price range of $13 to $15. Those terms were scaled back from its initial plan in January, when it registered to sell up to an estimated $86.3 million of stock. This, the year's final week of IPO issuance in the U.S., has been marked by heavy volume and weak pricings on the whole as companies struggle to finish deals before a winter hiatus. BG Medicine's lead product, a test for heart failure, was slated to launch this month in a manual model, after it received clearance from the Food and Drug Administration in November. The company, however, has said an automated version is necessary for it "to achieve broad customer acceptance and clinical adoption." It has partnerships with Abbott Laboratories (ABT), Alere Inc. (ALR) and bioMerieux SA (BIM.FR) to include the heart-failure test on a variety of automated lab instruments, and it plans to apply for FDA clearance for it no later than the fourth quarter next year. It had planned to use proceeds from the IPO to help launch the test, as well as for development of other products. It also said it may have used the money for possible technology acquisitions. Like many development-stage companies in health care, BG has never been profitable. According to filings with the Security and Exchange Commission, it expects to post losses for the next several years. In the first nine months of this year, BG Medicine's loss widened because of higher interest expense. The company was slated to have about 18 million shares outstanding after the IPO. It was going to list on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol BGMD. -By Joan E. Solsman, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2291;

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