St. Jude Medical (St. Paul, Minnesota) has acquired the intellectual property and non-cash assets of Northstar Neuroscience (Seattle) for a payment of $2 million.

"Today's announcement reflects St. Jude Medical's strong commitment to developing our neuromodulation business," said Daniel Starks, chairman, president/CEO of St. Jude Medical. "The purchase of these assets strengthens our intellectual property position which is critical to bringing important therapies to the market."

Northstar is focused on developing cortical stimulation therapies for the treatment of major depressive disorder, stroke and other neurological disorders. The company developed the Renova Cortical Stimulation System, an investigational device designed to deliver targeted stimulation to the cerebral cortex.

Cortical stimulation involves a neurosurgical procedure to place an electrode over a specific area of the brain's cortex, the outer layer of the brain which plays a role in many complex brain functions including movement, behavior, perceptual awareness, vision and hearing. The electrode is then connected to a neurostimulator that is implanted in the patient's chest.

"Today there are millions of people who suffer from various neurological disorders that do not have an adequate treatment," said Chris Chavez, president of the St. Jude Medical Neuromodulation Division. "We believe cortical stimulation shows promise as another potential therapy for those patients who have proven refractive to other treatments.

With this transaction, St. Jude Medical acquires Northstar's intellectual property portfolio, clinical study data, device designs, and manufacturing equipment. The transaction is expected to be neutral to St. Jude Medical's consolidated earnings per share in 2009.

In other dealmaking news:

• Acacia Research (Newport Beach, California) reported that its subsidiary, Acacia Patent Acquisition, has acquired the rights to patents for medical image manipulation technology.

"As Acacia's licensing success grows, more patent owners are selecting us as their partner for the licensing of their patented technologies," said Paul Ryan, Acacia chairman/CEO. "Acacia is rapidly becoming the leader in technology licensing and we continue to grow our base of future revenues by adding new patent portfolios."

This technology generally relates to the manipulation of medical images and can be used in the surgical process.

• OrthoMEMS (Menlo Park, California) has been granted an exclusive option from the Cleveland Clinic to expand its license to include all fields of use.

The option is exercisable upon the satisfaction of certain undisclosed conditions. In the event conditions are met, OrthoMEMS would obtain worldwide exclusive rights to develop and commercialize its core sensing and wireless technology for all medical and industrial applications. Currently, OrthoMEMS has an exclusive license for spine and orthopedics uses.

"This option allows us to leverage our wireless pressure sensing platform everywhere in the human body. Beyond spine and orthopedics, our immediate focus is on applications in cardiology, neurology and ophthalmology large medical markets where pressure matters," said Douglas Lee, chairman/CEO of OrthoMEMS.