BD (Becton, Dickinson; Franklin Lakes, New Jersey) and Fujirebio Diagnostics reported the signing of a worldwide development and supply agreement for oncology diagnostic assays. Under the agreement, the two companies will develop diagnostic products that incorporate Fujirebio Diagnostics' cancer biomarkers for use on BD's multiplex testing platform. The initial products will be directed to the ovarian cancer biomarker, HE4, which is FDA-cleared for monitoring the progression or recurrence of epithelial ovarian cancer. Fujirebio Diagnostics also grants BD, through its BD Diagnostics-TriPath platform, access to its other cancer biomarkers for inclusion in future multiplex diagnostic products.

Bio-Imaging Technologies (Newton, Pennsylvania) and etrials Worldwide (Morrisville, North Carolina) jointly reported Bio-Imaging's intent to acquire etrials in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $10 million. The proposed acquisition is expected to be consummated through a tender offer for all of the outstanding shares of etrials stock. For each share of etrials stock, shareholders will receive 0.124 shares of newly issued Bio-Imaging common stock, 0.076 shares of newly issued Bio-Imaging preferred stock, and $0.15 in cash, which equates to a value of $0.9068 per share for etrials, representing a 27% premium to the average closing price for the past 30 days.

Covidien (Hamilton, Bermuda) agreed to buy smaller medical device maker VNUS Medical Technologies (San Jose, California) for $440 million in cash. The company is valuing VNUS at $29 per share. Covidien said it expects the deal to be complete by June 30. VNUS had 2008 revenues of $101 million. The boards of directors of both companies have unanimously approved the transaction, pursuant to which a wholly owned subsidiary of Covidien will pay $29 in cash per VNUS share for a total of roughly $440 million, net of cash acquired. The transaction is expected to be completed by June 30. VNUS's products include the VNUS Closure System, which employs a disposable radio frequency catheter that controllably heats and closes diseased veins. Once the transaction has been completed, Covidien will report the VNUS business as part of its Vascular product line in the Medical Devices segment.

GE Healthcare (Chalfont St. Giles, England) and Hansen Medical (Mountain View, California) reported a collaboration to promote the use of GE Healthcare's imaging technologies and Hansen Medical's robotic catheter technologies for electrophysiology (EP) procedures. In addition, the companies expect to pursue integrated product offerings in connection with their collaboration. The partnership enables the companies to promote the compatibility of the GE Innova X-ray imaging platform with Hansen's Sensei robotic catheter system. The companies said they seek to further augment the capabilities of electrophysiologists to perform EP procedures.

Jolife (Lund, Sweden) said it has renewed the exclusive distribution agreement of the LUCAS chest compression system with Physio Control (Redmond, Washington), a division of Medtronic (Minneapolis). The LUCAS chest compression system is a device that assists rescuers such as first responders, paramedics, nurses and doctors, in saving sudden cardiac arrest patients. Physio Control will continue to market the LUCAS system globally, with the exception of Sweden, Norway and Finland where Jolife has its own direct sales force. LUCAS is approved and marketed in major markets such as the U.S., Canada, Japan, Australia, and in Europe. The LUCAS system is designed to perform continuous mechanical chest compressions to maintain blood flow to the brain and heart.

Svelte Medical Systems (New Providence, New Jersey) reported a license agreement with Cordis (Bridgewater, New Jersey) for certain intellectual property rights around stent design and stent delivery systems. The agreement gives Svelte exclusive rights to some IP related to "Stent-on-a-Wire" delivery systems as well as non-exclusive rights to several stent designs for use on the "Stent-on-a-Wire" delivery system, the company said. Svelte is a private company that develops "highly deliverable" balloon expandable stents with the focus to reduce time and cost in an angioplasty procedure.

Zoll Medical (Chelmsford, Massachusetts) said it has completed the purchase of the assets of Alsius's (Irvine, California) intravascular temperature management device business for about $12 million. The deal was first disclosed in February. The entire complement of Alsius products will continue to be offered by Zoll to meet the ongoing needs of Alsius customers and their patients, the company said. This includes both the Thermogard XP Advanced Temperature Management System as well as the Cool Gard 3000 System. Zoll said it intends to maintain the full line of Alsius catheters, all of which provide central venous infusion capabilities. To make this transition seamless for customers, the company said it would provide all warranty and service obligations relating to the installed base of Alsius products. The company said it plans to consolidate the operations of the acquired business at its new 53,000-square-foot facility in Sunnyvale, California, which has a separate production area designed specifically for catheter manufacturing.