A Medical Device Daily Staff Report

W. L. Gore (Gore; Flagstaff, Arizona) said that it has purchased the assets and intellectual property of NMT Medical (Boston) including the data related to CLOSURE I, a prospective, multi-center, randomized controlled trial of PFO closure with the STARFLEX Device vs. best medical therapy for the prevention of recurrent stroke and/or transient ischemic attack (TIA) in patients with cryptogenic stroke/TIA and PFO.

"We made the decision to acquire these assets in the spirit of collaboration and in the interest of advancing scientific and medical understanding," said Stuart Broyles, PhD, Associate with the Gore Medical Division Stroke Business. The study data were acquired with the rest of the NMT assets, but the transaction did not transfer any liabilities or regulatory obligations of NMT.

The acquisition came after NMT ceased operations earlier this year (Medical Device Daily, April 21, 2011). NMT said it was closing its doors after failing to meet endpoints in its CLOSURE I pivotal study evaluating its Starflex patent foramen ovale (PFO) closure device. The news came as the company had struggled to raise additional funds to support its program.

In other dealmaking activity; HealthSmart Holdings (Irving, Texas) said that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Wells Fargo Third Party Administrators, the medical third-party administration business of Wells Fargo Insurance Services – part of Wells Fargo & Company (San Diego). Terms of the transaction, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year, were not disclosed.

Neal Aton, president/CEO of Wells Fargo Insurance Services, said his organization will continue to distribute medical TPA products and services to its customers using HealthSmart's broad network and capabilities. "Wells Fargo Insurance Services is dedicated to providing the best possible service to our customers," he said. "For more than 30-years, HealthSmart has been serving customers in the commercial and Medicare segments through its state-of-the-art claims system. By working with HealthSmart, we are able to offer our customers additional access to the medical TPA products and services they need."

Following the acquisition, HealthSmart will have annual revenues of more than $100 million, employ more than 1,000 workers, and manage more than $5 billion in claims.

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