Calypso Medical Technologies Acquired for $10M by Varian Medical Systems

9/20/11Follow @curtwoodward

Calypso Medical Technologies, a Seattle company whose “GPS for the body” technology helps target radiation at cancerous tumors, has been acquired for $10 million upfront by Varian Medical Systems of Palo Alto, CA.

While there are unspecified earn-outs for hitting sales milestones, the price probably isn’t something that will make investors smile. Calypso raised $50 million in one round in 2009, one of the largest seen in Washington state that year, and added another $6.4 million in January. Investors include Frazier Healthcare Ventures, Bay City Capital, Skyline Ventures, and InterWest Partners.

In a release announcing the acquisition, the companies said Calypso presently counts more than $15 million in annual revenue, with more than 110 of its systems installed in North America and Europe.

Calypso struggled through a trifecta of recession, proposed cutbacks in Medicare reimbursements, and uneasiness over national health care reform in 2008 and 2009, CEO Ed Vertatschitsch told us this spring. He’d been brought in after founding CEO Eric Meier left in 2010.

Calypso’s system uses transponders that are about the size of a grain of rice, which get implanted in a patient’s prostate gland. That transponder sends a signal to a base receiver that processes the precise coordinates of the prostate in real-time, and displays it on a simple user interface for the technician. The base machine costs $400,000 to $500,000, and Calypso sells the implantable transponders for $1,200 apiece.

Calypso was founded in 1999. It previously had a partnership with Varian for the two companies to  jointly develop products to incorporate the Calypso technology into Varian’s radiation therapy technologies.

Curt Woodward is a senior editor for Xconomy based in Boston. Email: cwoodward@xconomy.com Follow @curtwoodward

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