Replidyne (Louisville, Colorado) has agreed to merge in an all-stock deal with Cardiovascular Systems (CSI; St. Paul, Minnesota), a device company developing interventional systems for vascular disease. Replidyne will issue new shares of its common stock to CSI shareholders. CSI shareholders are expected to own 83% of the combined company and Replidyne shareholders are expected to own 17%. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2009. David Martin, president/CEO of CSI, said the company expects about $35 million to $40 million in additional cash and investments from the merger. "We're very excited about this transaction, it provides the critical capital for us to continue to grow our business, we will be able to achieve access to public financial markets during these difficult times, and certainly this gives Replidyne investors an attractive option before their investment," Martin told listeners during a conference call on the deal. For Replidyne, the decision to merge with CSI came after a rather lengthy process of evaluating strategic alternatives – a process that the company began after abandoning further clinical development of faropenem medoxomil, an oral, community antibiotic. "Over the past several months, we and our advisors have evaluated more than 120 life sciences companies," Kenneth Collins, president/CEO of Replidyne told call listeners. He said Replidyne was "impressed by the strong launch" of CSI's Diamondback 360, the growth opportunity for treatment of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) with the device, particularly in calcified lesions, and "the quality of the management team driving the company." Martin said CSI has devoted its resources since 1997 to developing the Diamondback 360. The atherectomy device is based on orbital technology, he said, for the treatment of PAD, which is caused by the accumulation of plaque in peripheral arteries, reducing blood flow. The plaque deposits range from soft to calcified, with calcified plaque being difficult to treat with traditional interventional procedures, according to CSI. The company said its device is capable of treating a broad range of plaque types both above and below the knee, including calcified vessel lesions. In August 2007 the FDA granted 510(k) clearance for use of the Diamondback 360 as a therapy in patients with PAD. CSI introduced the product in the U.S. in September 2007 and began a full commercial launch in 1Q08. Upon consummation of the merger, Replidyne's name will be changed to Cardiovascular Systems and the combined company will apply for listing on the Nasdaq Global Market under a new trading symbol. CSI had filed for an initial public offering in January but has withdrawn its registration statement.

Datascope (Montvale, New Jersey) said it has received a request for additional information, or a "second request," from the Federal Trade Commission, seeking additional information concerning Getinge's (Stockholm, Sweden) proposed acquisition of the company. Getinge and Datascope said they remain committed to working cooperatively with the FTC as it conducts its review of the proposed acquisition and remain confident of a successful close to the transaction. Getinge's offer is conditioned upon, among other things, the expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act. Datascope specializes in intra-aortic balloon counterpulsation and makes products for clinical healthcare markets in interventional cardiology, cardiovascular and vascular surgery and critical care.

The Sorin Group (Milan, Italy) reported that it has received a binding offer for the acquisition of its vascular therapy business from Italian investment fund Investimenti e Partecipazioni (IP). Closing of the transaction is subject to completion of regulatory procedures involving employee representatives of the vascular therapy business in Italy and France. Upon completion of the transaction, IP would become the new owner of the entire Sorin coronary vascular therapy business worldwide, including its unique intellectual property portfolio. The Sorin Group is a developer of technologies for cardiac surgery, cardiac rhythm dysfunctions, interventional cardiology and the treatment of chronic kidney diseases.

• SurModics (Eden Prairie, Minnesota), a provider of surface modification and drug delivery technologies to the healthcare industry, reported that it is providing advanced hydrophilic coating technology for Elixir Medical's (Sunnyvale, California) drug-eluting and bare-metal stent systems, which are designed to optimize vessel scaffolding and localized drug delivery to provide a safe and effective treatment for cardiovascular patients. Elixir has conducted five first-in-human clinical studies evaluating the therapeutic effectiveness of the company's novolimus-eluting and myolimus-eluting stent systems. Novolimus and myolimus are macrocyclic lactones in the same family as rapamycin.