A Medical Device Daily

Medical Imaging Holdings (Golden, Colorado), a holding company formed by Galen Partners (Stamford, Connecticut), said it has acquired the businesses of Barrington Medical Imaging (Carey, Illinois) and Echoserve (Golden, Colorado). The two companies will be combined to create a nationwide, independent service provider for medical imaging equipment across multiple modalities and vendor platforms, the company said.

The combined company will provide comprehensive imaging solutions to the medical imaging market, including field service, depot repair, parts and proprietary equipment sales, and the sales and installation of refurbished capital equipment, the company said. Senior management of Barrington and Echoserve will remain an integral part of the combined company's leadership team.

Galen Partners, a healthcare private equity firm, formed Medical Imaging Holdings in conjunction with Jeff Soinski, a Galen special venture partner and past CEO of one of Galen's portfolio companies, to build a technology-enabled service platform in the medical imaging market. Galen led the transactions and made a significant investment of growth capital into Medical Imaging Holdings, the company noted.

"Reimbursement cuts and the resulting pressure on healthcare costs have created a need for improved efficiency in diagnostic imaging. Galen is proud of its track record of working with proven entrepreneurs to build technology-enabled healthcare companies that have improved provider performance and reduced their costs, including our investments in MedAssets, Pyxis and Chamberlin Edmonds," said David Jahns, managing director of Galen Partners. "Working with our special venture partners to identify and execute on unique business platforms is an important part of our investment strategy. We look forward to working with this management team to drive organic growth as well as strategic acquisitions."

Barrington and Echoserve will continue to conduct business under their existing names and maintain operations at their current facilities during the integration process, the company said. It is anticipated that a new name for the combined company will be introduced later this year.

"In the post-Deficit Reduction Act era and in the face of continued pressure on reimbursement rates, controlling costs is critical for hospitals and diagnostic imaging centers," said Soinski, CEO of Medical Imaging Holdings. "By combining the technical capabilities, significant assets and, most important, the talented people of these two successful companies, we are well-positioned to provide high quality, cost-efficient solutions to the medical imaging market."

In other dealmaking activity:

• SynCardia Systems (Tucson, Arizona), maker of the SynCardia temporary CardioWest Total Artificial Heart, reported an exclusive technology licensing agreement with AorTech International (Surbiton, United Kingdom). The agreement licenses the use of AorTech's Elast-Eon polymer heart valve (PHV) in the Total Artificial Heart, as well as SynCardia's future family of pulsatile products.

"The Total Artificial Heart is the only device that eliminates biventricular heart failure by replacing both failing ventricles," said Michael Gaul, SynCardia chief operating officer. "The Elast-Eon PHV is designed to provide reliable support for patients who need the Total Artificial Heart as their Bridge To Life."

Due to its "outstanding operating efficiency," AorTech said the Elast-Eon valve requires less pressure and therefore less power to open and close. It is anticipated that the valve's efficiency will lengthen discharge driver battery life and result in quieter operation of the Total Artificial Heart, helping improve patient quality of life while they wait for a matching donor heart.

The license structure includes $2.1 million in fees payable over an 18-month period, minimum valve purchases and volume related discounts.

SynCardia anticipates animal studies later this year, with FDA and CE mark submissions in the second half of 2010.

• Bio-Path Holdings reported an exclusive license with The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center (both Houston) to develop liposome tumor targeting technology. Bio-Path is developing a neutral-lipid based liposome delivery technology for nucleic acid cancer drugs (including antisense and siRNA molecules). The new technology, being licensed in the field of neutral lipid-based liposome delivery of antisense technologies and FAK siRNA, will enhance the company's liposome delivery technology by adding vectors to the liposomes targeted to a receptor that is specifically over-expressed on a majority of solid and hematological tumors and on 80% of metastatic epithelial tumors, according to Bio-Path. The company said it believes this liposome tumor-targeting technology for antisense and FAK siRNA delivery is a "highly promising" strategy for treating primary and metastatic cancers.

• Healthcare Trust of America (Scottsdale, Arizona), a self-managed non-traded real estate investment trust, reported the completed acquisition of a 16-building portfolio from Greenville Hospital System (GHS; Greenville, South Carolina) for about $162,820,000 on Sept. 18.

GHS is the provider of healthcare services in South Carolina with roughly 70% of the market share in the largest metropolitan statistical area in South Carolina. Nearly 92% of the portfolio's square footage is located on or adjacent to one of four hospital campuses, and GHS will continue to occupy about 84% of the portfolio under a long-term lease arrangement.