1. Lightlab Imaging, Axsun Technologies, and Volcano Corporation in Legal Dispute

    Lightlab Imaging, Axsun Technologies, and Volcano Corporation in Legal Dispute

    Volcano Corporation's recent Securities and Exchange Commission 10-k filing announced a suit by Lightlab Imaging against Axsun Technologies and Volcano Corporation. Some background information that may be relevant to this court case:

    On January 7, 2009 Lightlab Imaging filed suit against Axsun Technologies and Volcano Corporation in the Business Litigation Section of the Superior Court of Massachusetts.

    On December 10, 2007, Volcano, a leading supplier in Intravascular Ultrasound (IVUS) equipment acquired startup company CardioSpectra for ~$55M ($25M plus an additional ~$30M earnout). According to the press release, "CardioSpectra's unique OCT imaging system is expected to complement Volcano's existing product offerings and will further enhance Volcano's position as an imaging technology leader in the field of interventional medicine," said Scott Huennekens, president and chief executive officer of Volcano. Cardiospectra was founded in 2005 and is based in San Antonio, Texas. CardioSpectra's core product line is based on technology licensed from the University of Texas and Dr. Thomas Milner, a co-founder of CardioSpectra.

    On May 27, 2008, Lightlab Imaging, a leading company in the OCT cardiology space (Lightlab has surpassed 10,000 OCT imaging procedures - see article), announced a strategic supply agreement with Axsun Technologies, a leading company in micro-optical systems technology. According to the press release, "Under this multi-year exclusive agreement for cardiac Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), Axsun will provide advanced tunable lasers for Lightlab’s next generation OCT imaging system  ... This agreement is the culmination of the successful joint development effort undertaken by the companies to design a product unique for OCT imaging," explained Lightlab.

    On December 23, 2008 Volcano announced the acquisition of Axsun for $21.3M. According to the press release, "Axsun is another complementary and important transaction for Volcano as it provides us proprietary OCT technology that we believe will both accelerate our OCT product development efforts and provide us significant and sustainable competitive advantages in the invasive imaging arena. We believe OCT technology will extend Volcano's reach to clinical indications and research opportunities that represent sizeable market opportunities that are beyond those served by our current offerings," said Mr. Huennekens.

    On January 5, 2009 Volcano Corporation held a conference-call/webcast to discuss the Axsun Transaction. A transcript can be heard here. On the call Volcano discusses the value of Axsun swept source and other micro-optic system technology as well as Volcano’s plans to use Axsun technology for their OCT cardiology product and a variety of other applications either through partnerships or establishing new verticals.

    On January 14, 2009, Volcano Corporation participated in the 27th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. A transcript and slide show presentation by Mr. Huennekens can be see at the here. In this presentation Mr. Huennekens talks about, among other things, the promising future of OCT in cardiovascular.  Volcano is projecting the OCT cardiovascular applications and related markets at more than $1B (see related article).

    Eric Swanson
    OCT News

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