A Medical Device Daily

Zimmer Holdings (Warsaw, Indiana) said last week that its $360 million acquisition of Abbott Spine (Austin, Texas) from Abbott Laboratories (Abbott Park, Illinois) has been completed.

"It is a pleasure to welcome Abbott Spine employees and customers to the Zimmer family and we look forward to building toward critical mass with our expanded Zimmer Spine business," said David Dvorak, Zimmer president/CEO.

He added: "We have appreciated the engagement of the Abbott Spine management team as we have been able to move ahead briskly with our integration planning [and] are excited to now work together to execute those plans and begin to take advantage of the great potential and strategic opportunity represented by this combination."

Abbott Spine was founded in 1996 and has in addition to its U.S. headquarters in Austin has an international facility in Bordeaux, France.

The company has developed a series of technologies and techniques to treat spine disease. Among its key products are the InCompass pedicle screw system, the Pathfinder minimally invasive pedicle screw system, the Wallis interspinous stabilizer system (available outside the U.S.), the Ant-Cer Dynamic Cervical Plate, and the Universal Clamp.

Zimmer Spine, which is based in Minneapolis, said it intends to maintain a presence at Abbott Spine's Austin and Bordeaux sites. Abbott Spine has about 300 employees worldwide.

Zimmer is a global leader in the orthopedic space, with 2007 sales of some $3.9 billion.

Ethicon Endo-Surgery (Cincinnati) said it has completed its acquisition of SurgRx (Redwood City, California), following clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvement Act and similar regulations in other countries.

SurgRx is a private developer of the advanced bipolar tissue sealing system used in the Enseal family of devices.

Ethicon Endo-Surgery reported its agreement to acquire SurgRx in mid-August. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Ethicon said the acquisition "brings together two leading, complementary energy technologies in the rapidly evolving global energy segment. The combined portfolio of Enseal products and the Ethicon Endo-Surgery Harmonic line of ultrasonic medical devices will offer greater functionality and flexibility for diverse surgical procedure requirements."

Karen Licitra, company group chairman and worldwide franchise chairman of Ethicon Endo-Surgery, said, "The R&D expertise and rich history of innovation of the two companies will enable us to identify emerging patient and surgeon needs and deliver critical solutions to the market more quickly. This will serve as a key differentiator in the dynamic advanced energy space."

Ethicon Endo-Surgery, a Johnson & Johnson (New Brunswick, New Jersey) company, develops advanced devices for minimally invasive and open surgical procedures, focusing on procedure-enabling devices for the interventional diagnosis and treatment of conditions in general and bariatric surgery, as well as gastrointestinal health, gynecology and surgical oncology.

In other deals-related news:

• NextGen Healthcare Information Systems (Horsham, Pennsylvania), a provider of ambulatory healthcare information systems and connectivity solutions, reported entering into an agreement to acquire Practice Management Partners (PMP; Baltimore), a healthcare revenue cycle management (RCM) company.

Founded in 2001, PMP provides physician billing and technology management services to hundreds of healthcare providers, primarily in Mid-Atlantic region. The company has about 200 employees and generates some $16 million in annual revenue.

In May, NextGen Healthcare reported the acquisition of another revenue cycle management company, Healthcare Strategic Initiatives (St. Louis).

NextGen President Patrick Cline said, "We have been very pleased with the demand we have seen for our revenue cycle management services, and while we remain committed to organic growth in all areas of our business, PMP will help to build out our RCM capability both geographically and with regard to capacity and talent. This acquisition also continues to build our base of recurring, visible revenue. Like HSI, PMP presents a number of strategic synergies."

Don Good, president of Practice Management Partners, said, "This is an exciting step for PMP. Our proprietary denial management science and account receivable methodologies coupled with our strong management team and diverse client base made PMP an attractive partner for NextGen. Powered by NextGen, we will be able to offer what we know the physician community really needs and what the market is demanding, a truly integrated revenue cycle management solution."

NexGen, a wholly owned subsidiary of Quality Systems (Irvine, California), develops computer-based practice management and electronic medical records systems, and provides related services to medical group practices and healthcare systems.

• Solis Women's Health (Austin, Texas) said it has acquired Women's Imaging & Wellness (Dublin, Ohio). The center, led by Patricia Stafford, MD, is one of the only centers offering dedicated breast radiology in the Greater Columbus, Ohio, area.

Solis CEO Brad Hummel said, "The acquisition of Women's Imaging & Wellness further strengthens our footprint in the Greater Midwest. The deployment of Solis Mammography Centers, our community-based screening facilities, and the implementation of our digital infrastructure, will begin prior to year end and we believe will substantially improve the access to state of the art imaging for women in the Columbus area."

A specialized healthcare provider focused exclusively on the screening and diagnosis of breast cancer Solis operates nine North Central Texas facilities; 11 in the Phoenix and Tucson areas of Arizona, one each in Greensboro, North Carolina, and Indianapolis; and has several sites under development in other U.S. markets.

The company provides a range of breast health services including screening mammography, diagnostic mammography, computer-aided detection, breast ultrasound, bone densitometry and stereotactic and ultrasound-guided biopsy, breast-specific gamma imaging and breast MRI.

• Endologix (Irvine, California), developer of the Powerlink System for the minimally invasive treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysms, said it has received an unsolicited proposal from Elliott Associates to purchase all of the outstanding shares of Endologix for $2.25 a share.

The company said its board of directors would review and consider the unsolicited proposal and will make a determination and respond "in due course." Endologix urged its stockholders to defer judgment on the unsolicited proposal until that determination has been made.

• Health Care REIT (Toledo, Ohio) said that the purchase and sale agreement for the previously reported acquisition of Arcapita's (Atlanta) 90% interest in a venture owning 29 senior housing communities has been amended to extend the due diligence period from Oct. 17 until Oct. 31.

The facilities are managed by an affiliate of Sunrise Senior Living (McLean, Virginia).

Health Care REIT is a real estate investment trust that invests across the full spectrum of senior housing and healthcare real estate. As of Sept. 30, the company's portfolio consisted of 641 properties in 39 states.

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