Boston Scientific (Natick, Massachusetts) said that it has been awarded a contract by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for a full line of the company's pacemakers and defibrillators. The one-year contract took effect in December and has annual renewal options for up to four years. It includes Boston Scientific's newest technologies in both product categories: the Altrua family of pacemakers and the Teligen implantable cardioverter defibrillator.

Cardiac Science (Bothell, Washington) a developer of advanced cardiac diagnosis, resuscitation, rehabilitation, and informatics products, completed a three-year agreement for product design and engineering services from Syncroness (Westminister, Colorado) a design and engineering firm serving the medical devices industry.

Medtronic (Minneapolis) reported that it has completed its previously disclosed $225 million acquisition of privately held Ablation Frontiers (AF; Carlsbad, California). The transaction includes an initial payment of $225 million plus potential additional payments contingent upon achievement of certain clinical milestones. Operating within Medtronic's Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management (CRDM) business, Ablation Frontiers and the recently acquired CryoCath Technologies (Montreal) expand the company's recently launched AF Solutions business, Medtronic said.

Micell Technologies (Raleigh, North Carolina) said it has entered into a strategic agreement with Maxcor (New York), a newly incorporated subsidiary of Opto Circuits (OCI; Bangalore, India). Micell has obtained the rights to Maxcor's Genius MAGIC Cobalt Chromium Coronary Stent System to develop and market drug-eluting stents based on Micell's coating technology. The system was developed and is marketed in Europe by EuroCor (Bonn, Germany), another subsidiary of Opto Circuits. The companies also entered into an agreement to develop drug-eluting balloon products for cardiovascular applications. Terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

Neovasc (Vancouver, British Columbia), a new specialty vascular device company, reported that entering into a distribution agreement with LeMaitre Vascular (Burlington, Massachusetts) for Neovasc's biological vascular strip for use in vascular surgery procedures. Under the terms of the seven-year agreement, LeMaitre has exclusive rights to market and sell certain sizes of Neovasc's tissue patch products used for vascular surgery in the U.S. and Europe. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

Premier Purchasing Partners (San Diego) reported new agreements in three categories: diagnostic and interventional radiology, peripheral and biliary stents and electrophysiology. In the diagnostic and interventional radiology portfolio, contracts were awarded to Bard Peripheral Vascular (Tempe, Arizona); Boston Scientific (Natick, Massachusetts); and Cook Medical (Bloomington, Indiana). In the peripheral and biliary stents portfolio, contracts were awarded to Abbott Laboratories (Abbott Park, Illinois); Boston Scientific and ev3 Endovascular (Plymouth, Minnesota). Effective Jan. 1, the 13-month agreements are available to acute-care and continuum-of-care members of the Premier healthcare alliance. For electrophysiology products, the company signed deals with the Bard Electrophysiology Division of C. R. Bard (Lowell, Massachusetts) and Boston Scientific. Effective Dec. 1, 2008, the 36-month agreements are available to acute-care and continuum-of-care members of the Premier healthcare alliance. Premier also reported new agreements for drug-eluting coronary stents with Abbott Laboratories (Abbott Park, Illinois), Abbott Vascular (Redwood City, California) and Cordis (Miami Lakes, Florida). Effective Jan. 1, the 13-month agreements are available to acute-care and continuum-of-care members of the Premier healthcare alliance. It also reported new agreements for perfusion products with Edwards Lifesciences (Irvine, California); Sorin Group USA (Arvada, Colorado); and Terumo Cardiovascular Systems (Ann Arbor, Michigan). Effective Feb. 1, the 36-month agreements are available to acute-care and continuum-of-care members of the Premier healthcare alliance.

Thoratec (Pleasanton, California) said in mid-February that it had agreed to acquire HeartWare International (Sydney, Australia), a company that makes miniaturized implantable heart pumps, in a cash-stock deal valued at about $282 million. Thoratec said it would pay about 50% in cash and the other half will be paid in shares of its common stock. Based on a Thoratec common stock price of $26.25 a share, this reflects a current price of 86 cents a share for each HeartWare Chess Depositary Interest (CDI), or AUS$1.32 based on the current US/AUS exchange rate of 1.5265. Upon completion of the transaction, the combined company will offer a broad portfolio of approved devices and will continue to develop emerging technologies for the treatment of heart failure patients, Thoratec said. HeartWare's HVAD, part of the HeartWare Ventricular Assist System, is a full-output pump designed to be implanted next to the heart. It recently received CE-mark approval to begin commercial sales of the device in Europe and has enrolled about 10 patients in a 150-patient U.S. BTT clinical trial. After the deal closes, HeartWare's operations will be integrated into Thoratec's cardiovascular division.

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