Sunstone Capital portfolio company Nuevolution announced in June that it has entered into a drug discovery collaboration with Merck & Co. Inc. Nuevolution will apply its proprietary Chemetics drug discovery technology to identify novel small molecule leads against several drug targets of interest to Merck. Under the terms of the agreement, Merck will provide Nuevolution with an upfront payment, research funding, and milestone payments as candidate molecules progress through preclinical and clinical development and onto the market. In addition, Nuevolution is eligible to receive royalties on the commercial sales of approved products. Further financial details have not been disclosed.

Santaris Pharma A/S, a Danish biopharmaceutical anti-sense/RNAi company, has announced that Søren Tulstrup, previously Vice President, Global Human Health at Merck & Co, Inc, has been appointed President & Chief Executive Officer, effective July 1, 2008. Prior to joining Merck, Søren Tulstrup held management positions with Sandoz AG (now Novartis) in Basel, Switzerland and Abbott Laboratories in Copenhagen, Denmark. He holds a Master of Science degree in Economics and Business Administration from Copenhagen Business School and the JL Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University, in Chicago.

PreciSense A/S, headquartered in Horsholm, Denmark, is a diagnostics company focusing on minimally invasive continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) technologies. Specific terms of the acquisition are not disclosed.

By this acquisition Medtronic moves significantly closer to providing a closed-loop system that will more frequently and more precisely monitor the available glucose in diabetes patients and more correctly dose the required amount of insulin. A closed-loop system simulates the insulin delivery of a normal pancreas using a device that intelligently accommodates for glucose fluctuations in insulin-challenged persons via an automated delivery of insulin.

Sunstone Capital LSV Fund I initially invested in PreciSense A/S in 2003 and has actively managed PreciSense together with Georg Skøtt (CEO of PreciSense A/S), Scandinavian Life Science Ventures and Omega Funds. The company will cease its R&D operations in the field of CGM and will onwards focus on supporting the agreement pertaining to the acquisition.

Fierce Biotech has announced that Santaris Pharma has been included in the annual FierceBiotech “Fierce 15” list, designating it as one of the top biotech companies of 2008. The editors of FierceBiotech evaluated hundreds of privately-held firms based on company vision, revenue potential, quality of deals, strength of technology, partnerships, and competitive market position. Santaris Pharma was determined to be one of the “fiercest,” proven by their creativity and innovations in the industry.