• 3M (St. Paul, Minnesota) reported it has acquired certain assets of Zargis Medical (Stamford, Connecticut) maker of an FDA-approved diagnostic software to classify suspected systolic and diastolic heart murmurs. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Included in the transaction are the Telesteth online auscultation software, Stethassist software, and heart sound analysis software (Zargis Cardioscan) products developed by Zargis.

Align Technology (San Jose), the company that makes the Invisalign tooth-straightening system as an alternative to braces, said it has agreed to buy dentistry services provider Cadent (Carlstadt, New Jersey) for $190 million in cash. Cadent provides three-dimensional digital scanning services for dentists and orthodontists. The deal is expected to close in 2Q11.

• AmSurg (Nashville, Tennessee) reported the signing of a definitive merger agreement for the acquisition of National Surgical Care (NSC; Dallas, Texas) for $173.5 million in cash. NSC owns and operates 18 ambulatory surgery centers, including 16 multi-specialty centers and two centers that specialize in gastroenterology procedures.

• Alcon (Huenenberg, Switzerland) reported that its shareholders approved the merger of Alcon into Novartis (Basel, Switzerland) at its annual general meeting of shareholders, ending a saga that saw the deal nearly collapse due to an initial lowball offer for Alcon's minority sharholders. Under the most recent deal valued at $12.9 billion, minority shareholders will receive 2.9228 Novartis shares or American Depositary Shares plus a cash payment of $8.20 for each Alcon share. This was the third main stage of the buyout for Novartis. The company bought $10.4 billion worth of Alcon shares from Nestlé (Veve, Switzerland) for $143 a piece in 2008; then it paid Nestlé $28.1 billion, or $180 a share, in August 2010 for that company's remaining holdings in Alcon.

• Alliance Oncology (Newport Beach, California) reported that it has acquired US Radiosurgery (Nashville, Tennessee), a stereotactic radiosurgery provider. The purchase price is expected to total about $54 million, which is comprised of $43 million in cash and $11 million in US Radiosurgery's share of assumed debt. With this acquisition, the oncology division's full year 2011 revenue guidance range is $68 million to $73 million.

• Brainlab (Munich) and SurgiVision (Irvine, California) reported a collaboration aimed at integrating SurgiVision's ClearPoint product line with Brainlab's iMRI product line, with particular focus on local delivery of drugs and other therapeutic agents to precision targets in the brain under magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) guidance. Brainlab also received the right to sell SurgiVision's ClearPoint product line, including the right to exclusively sell ClearPoint products in the neurological drug delivery field, and Brainlab made an investment into SurgiVision.

• CryoLife (Kennesaw, Georgia) and Cardiogenesis (Irvine, California) said the boards of both companies have approved a definitive agreement for CryoLife to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Cardiogenesis for $0.457 a share. The all-cash deal values Cardiogenesis at roughly $22 million, net of cash acquired and liabilities assumed. The transaction is expected to be conducted as a tender offer followed by a merger and to close in mid to late May. Cardiogenesis' YAG laser system and single use, fiber-optic delivery systems are FDA approved for performing a surgical procedure known as transmyocardial revascularization, which treats patients with angina that is not responsive to standard medications.

• Endo Pharmaceuticals (Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania) has agreed to shell out $2.9 billion in cash to acquire American Medical Systems (AMS; Minnetonka, Minnesota). The purchase price, $30 a share, includes the assumption and repayment of $312 million of AMS debt. The combined company will be positioned to deliver more comprehensive healthcare solutions across its businesses in branded pharmaceuticals, generics and devices and services, in the areas of urology and pain, Endo and AMS said. AMS provide devices intended to help restore pelvic health.

• GE Healthcare (Chalfont, UK) reported that it has acquired the assets of Steady State Imaging (SSI; Minneapolis), a company that develops novel MRI technology. The terms of agreement were not disclosed. Through this acquisition, GE Healthcare's MRI business expands its current advanced technology portfolio with the addition of the University of Minnesota's (Minneapolis/St. Paul) Sweep Imaging with Fourier Transformation (SWIFT) method, which allows the visualization of tendons, ligaments and other tissues not normally seen using conventional imaging methods.

• Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp; Burlington, North Carolina) and Orchid Cellmark (Princeton, New Jersey) an international provider of DNA testing services primarily for forensic and family relationship applications, reported that they have entered into a definitive agreement and plan of merger under which LabCorp will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Orchid Cellmark in a cash tender offer for $2.80 per share for a total purchase price to stockholders and optionholders of nearly $85.4 million.