TODAY’S HEADLINES:

mauna-kea-tech-logo-150px.gifMauna Kea Tech raises $30M for in-vivo cellular imaging — Mauna Kea Technologies, a Paris, France, developer of cellular-imaging technology, raised $30 million in a new financing round. Investors included the U.S.-based Psilos Group, France-based Seventure and Creadev.

Mauna Kea makes and sells instruments that image living tissue at the microscopic level, making possible minimally invasive examination of the gastrointestinal tract and lungs in a way that may make some tissue biopsies unnecessary. The funding will allow the company to expand its commercial operations and pursue clinical trials aimed at establishing its technology’s usefulness in diagnosing problems in the esophagus, colon, stomach and bile duct.

knopp-neuro-logo.gifKnopp Neuro takes in $10M for Lou Gehrig’s drug — Pittsburgh-based Knopp Neurosciences, a company developing a drug for Lou Gehrig’s disease, raised $10 million in a second funding round. Investors included Saturn Partners II, Kramer Capital Partners and LaunchCyte.

The latest financing involved the exercise of milestone-based callable warrants held by existing investors. Knopp anticipates calling another $10 million in the second round once it begins mid-stage human tests of its lead drug candidate, KNS-760704.

Knopp is developing that drug as a potential treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, an irreversible and eventually fatal neurodegenerative disease. KNS-760704, however isn’t exactly a new drug — it’s an “enantiomer,” or mirror-image copy, of an existing neurological drug sold as Mirapex, a treatment for so-called restless-legs syndrome. Knopp claims that its version of that drug may help protect nerve cells from the relentless destruction they face in ALS, but without side effects that it says limit the use of Mirapex in this way. The drug has completed early “phase I” human tests in healthy volunteers and plans to launch a mid-stage safety study in ALS patients this year.

cardiovascular-systems-logo-150px.gifCardiovascular Systems, arterial-plaque device maker, files for $86M IPO — St. Paul, Minn.-based Cardiovascular Systems, a developer of medical devices for the treatment of arterial plaque, filed to raise $86.3 million in an initial offering. The company makes and sells a sort of minimally invasive “rotary sander” with a diamond-head bit that grinds away artery-blocking deposits, or plaques, from peripheral blood vessels in the limbs.

Depending on who you believe, Cardiovascular has raised either $11 million (according to peHUB) or $12.5 million (according to VentureWire) over the past several months. The company’s artery-clearing device received FDA approval last September, but as of Sept. 30, 2007, it hadn’t generated significant sales, unsurprisingly. The startup has an accumulated deficit of $72 million since its formation in 1989. See our previous coverage of the company here (third item).

BG MedicineDiagnostics maker BG Medicine withdraws IPO — Waltham, Mass.-based BG Medicine, a developer of molecular diagnostics, withdrew its attempted IPO filing, citing market conditions. The company had previously dropped its expected share-price range by close to 40 percent (see our coverage here), but apparently failed to draw enough interest even at the lower price. That wasn’t the only setback BG Medicine faced — it had previously made plans to list its shares on Amsterdam’s EuroNext exchange, but apparently never followed through.

As a result, the startup is apparently in dire need of fresh investment. According to a December amendment to its IPO filing, BG Medicine had only $622,000 in cash and equivalents, plus another $5.3 million in “restricted” cash and short-term investments, on hand as of Sept. 30.