Medical Device Daily

Iris International (Chatsworth, California), a manufacturer of urinalysis systems and consumables for use in hospitals and commercial laboratories, reported that its Iris Sample Processing Business unit has entered into a manufacturing and supply agreement with Idexx Laboratories (Westbrook, Maine).

The agreement is for internal centrifugal drive systems and related whole blood separators developed by Iris for use in the new Idexx Catalyst Dx Chemistry Analyzer for the veterinary market, which Idexx has begun selling worldwide.

In exchange for a $1.5 million upfront payment and future royalties starting in 2014, Iris Sample Processing has granted Idexx an exclusive worldwide license to manufacture the whole blood separator technology developed for the Idexx Catalyst Dx Chemistry Analyzer. Idexx will assume manufacturing for the whole blood separator.

Additionally, running through the end of 2020, Iris will exclusively manufacture and sell to Idexx the internal centrifugal drive system it developed for the Catalyst Dx analyzer. Idexx may assume manufacturing for the drive systems starting in 2016 by paying Iris a per-unit royalty for the remaining term of the agreement.

"After a prolonged research and development effort, we are pleased to have developed the internal centrifugal drive systems and related disposable whole blood separators for the newest generation of Idexx chemistry analyzers," said Robert Mello, Iris corporate VP and president of the Sample Processing business unit. "We have had a long standing working relationship with Idexx dating back to the late 1980s as the sole provider of standalone veterinary centrifuges for all of Idexx's in-clinic needs. This latest agreement extends this partnership into new revolutionary diagnostic products incorporating our technology, bringing unprecedented efficiency, speed, throughput and test menu breadth to the veterinary point of care market."

In other dealmaking news:

• LHC Group (Lafayette, Louisiana), a large provider of home nursing services in the U.S., and Ochsner Health System (New Orleans), have entered into a joint home health venture allowing both organizations, they said to serve "1.6 million residents in southeast Louisiana."

The j-v includes an LHC Group purchase of 75% of two home health agencies owned by Ochsner, in Kenner and Raceland, Louisiana, and an Ochsner purchase of 25% of three home health agencies, owned by LHC, in Houma, Lutcher and Hammond, Louisiana. The transaction is expected to close Feb. 1.

"Ochsner and LHC Group support this partnership because it's the best move for home health patients in southeast Louisiana. This decision increases Ochsner Home Health locations and patient accessibility to additional home health services provided by LHC Group," said Warner Thomas, president/CEO of Ochsner Health.

As part of this deal, more than 100 Ochsner Home Health employees will become employees of LHC. LHC operates 211 home nursing operations in 17 states.

Ochsner Health is a non-profit, academic, multi-specialty system of seven hospitals and more than 35 health centers throughout Southeast Louisiana, also providing research and education.

• Med-Emerg International (Toronto) reported that its shareholders have voted in favor of the previously disclosed plan of arrangement with AIM Health Group (Markham, Ontario) at a meeting held in Toronto (Medical Device Daily, Dec. 15, 2008). More than 90% of the votes cast were for the deal, with AIM to acquire all of MedEmerg's outstanding shares.

Completion of the deal remains subject to a hearing by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on Jan. 13 and satisfaction of closing conditions.

Holders of MedEmerg common shares will receive 0.78091 of an AIM share for each MedEmerg share, subject to adjustment in the case of fractional AIM shares.

MedEmerg delivers healthcare services in Canada, including a chronic pain management program, infusion centers and health human resource management.