A Medical Device Daily North American Scientific (NAS; Chatsworth, California) said it has agreed to sell its prostate brachytherapy product line to Best Theratronics (Ottawa), part of the TeamBest family of companies. These products include Prospera brachytherapy seeds, SurTrak needles and strands and various accessories used primarily in the treatment of prostate cancer.

NAS will receive $5 million for the product line, with $2 million being paid at the closing of the transaction and the remaining $3 million being paid in installments over the 12 month period following the closing. The company's board has approved the deal, which is subject to stockholder approval and satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

The deal is expected to close in April. The companies also entered into a short-term management agreement, which provides that Best will manage North American Scientific's prostate brachytherapy business from March 1 until the closing of the transaction.

"This divestiture allows us to focus exclusively on our implantable ClearPath devices which were developed to optimize local radiation delivery for the treatment of breast cancer. We believe that a focused effort on this exciting women's health opportunity will give us the best chance to deliver the shareholder value that we strive for," said John Rush, president/CEO. "While we are confident that this is the right strategic direction for our organization, these decisions are always difficult when it comes down to customers and employees. This decision was made somewhat easier knowing that TeamBest has an employee-friendly, customer-focused culture throughout its organization."

Krishnan Suthanthiran, president of Best Theratronics, said the acquisition is a continuation of the company's strategy to provide hospitals and clinicians "one stop, low cost, effective products and services."

In other dealmaking activity:

• Response Biomedical (Vancouver, British Columbia) reported that Roche Diagnostics (Basel, Switzerland) has agreed to fund two new projects aimed at strengthening the commercial success of the Response cardiovascular line of products that Roche is expected to market in North America, beginning in this quarter. Response and Roche signed a strategic partnership in June to commercialize Response's cardiovascular tests (Medical Device Daily, June 27, 2008).

The first project approved for funding is to complete a submission for a CLIA-waiver for the RAMP NT-proBNP assay. NT-proBNP is used in the diagnosis of heart failure. According to the company, the RAMP NT-proBNP assay has been well accepted as a rapid, accurate test to expedite this diagnosis. In an effort to expand the availability of this system to physician's offices and smaller group practices that are only licensed to perform simple (CLIA-waived) tests, Roche and Response will combine efforts to complete a clinical trial to support CLIA-waived status for the RAMP NT-proBNP assay. The companies expect to complete the trial and submit the CLIA-waiver to the FDA this year.

The next project Response will undertake is a next-generation Troponin I (TnI) assay development. Troponin I is a critical part of the diagnosis of heart attacks or acute myocardial infarction, especially for the more than 50% of cases where an electrocardiogram is inconclusive, the company said. According to Response, the development of the improved RAMP TnI test will re-align the results obtained to more closely reflect those obtained on the most commonly used central laboratory analyzers.

The RAMP cardiovascular product line includes NT-proBNP, Troponin I, CK-MB and Myoglobin tests.

• Symmetri Marketing Group (Chicago) said it has acquired C3 Healthcare Marketing (Downers Grove, Illinois), a firm heavily focused in the dental industry, to form a new division, Symmetric3.

C3 President Michael O'Connell will retain the same role at Symmetric3 and continue to lead business development efforts in the healthcare technology arenas. In addition, C3 partner, John Perkins, will make the transition to Symmetric3 as creative director and product information specialist.

• Acacia Research (Newport Beach, California) said its Cardio Access subsidiary has entered into a license agreement with Johnson & Johnson (J&J; New Brunswick, New Jersey) covering a 1993 patent relating to medical devices. The agreement resolves litigation that was pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas with respect to certain products made by J&J's Ethicon (Somerville, New Jersey) division.

The technology generally relates to medical devices known as cannulae having multiple access port legs and at least one hemostatic valve, which are adapted for percutaneous insertion of various catheters into the bodies of patients, the company said.

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