On The Block

Discovery Laboratories Inc. (Nasdaq: DSCO) Chairman W. Thomas Amick said his top priority is to secure capital to advance the biotechnology concern’s KL4 surfactant pipeline, and the company would prefer to obtain said funding through strategic alliances in order to further its development of respiratory disease therapies. The Warrington, Pa.-based company is evaluating several potential strategic and financial alternatives to secure capital sources. It is also taking operational steps to conserve capital. The company had cash and marketable securities of $17.7 million at the end of September, down by $5.7 million from the end of June. For the third quarter, the company’s losses narrowed to $7.2 million from $10.6 million a year earlier.

USEC Inc. (NYSE:USU) has hired a financial adviser to help the Bethesda, Md.-based uranium supplier explore strategic alternatives. All options are on the table, including a sale of the company or a merger with another business. The supplier to nuclear power plants is mulling options after action on its loan guarantee application with the Department of Energy was pushed to at least early next year. USEC plans to use the loan to fund a new uranium enrichment processing plant. For the third quarter, USEC swung to a loss of $6.2 million, from a profit of $8.4 million a year earlier, as total revenue dropped to $549.3 million from $590.4 million.

IAC/InterActiveCorp. (Nasdaq: IACI) might be planning to unload its Ask.com Internet search engine, based on what Chief Executive Barry Diller said during a conference call with Wall Street analysts about third-quarter earnings. When asked if he was open to consolidation in the search business, Diller said, “The answer is ‘yes.’ And it is unlikely that we would be the consolidator.” Ask.com is the fourth-ranked search engine behind Google, Yahoo and Bing. Microsoft Corp. relaunched Bing in June 2009 and signed a partnership agreement to power Yahoo’s search engine that is expected to start in 2010. IAC/InterActiveCorp.’s third-quarter revenue fell to $336.6 million from $369.3 million a year earlier.

International Baromedical Services has hired Triton Value Partners to explore strategic initiatives for the Atlanta, Ga.-based company that runs four hyperbaric treatment centers. The review will consider the sale of the company to a strategic buyer or a private equity fund. Triton Value will also review other options, such as alliances and asset divestitures. International Baromedical has three centers in the metropolitan Atlanta area and one in Austin, Texas. The centers specialize in providing hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which is an approved treatment in the United States for 14 medical conditions, including carbon monoxide poisoning, certain types of wounds and decompression sickness.