A Medical Device Daily

Royal Philips Electronics (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) reported reaching an agreement to acquire Alpha X-Ray Technologies (Mumbai, India), a manufacturer of cardiovascular X-ray systems targeting the economy segment of the Indian market.

Upon closing of this transaction in the 4Q08, which is subject to certain contractual and other conditions such as regulatory approvals, Alpha will become part of the Cardiovascular X-ray business within Philips' Healthcare.

Financial details of this agreement were not disclosed.

"The acquisition of Alpha is another great example of how Philips continues to strengthen its industrial and commercial footprint in emerging markets," said Ronald de Jong, CEO of Emerging Markets for Philips Healthcare. "It provides us with significant presence in the high-growth economy segment for Cardiovascular X-ay systems, underlining our commitment to deliver affordable healthcare solutions in emerging markets."

Philips said that Alpha's product portfolio complements its existing high-end cardiovascular X-ray range and helps Philips to capture an even larger slice of the global 11.8 billion cardiovascular X-ray market.

"The addition of Alpha represents another significant addition to our emerging markets healthcare product portfolio, and comes on the heels of two key product introductions in India: the SureSigns VM3 patient monitor and the cost-effective Ultrasound HD15 system," said Murali Sivaraman, CEO of Philips Electronics India.

SituGen completes cord blood device trials

SituGen (Tel Aviv, Israel) reported the completion of clinical trials of its patent-pending device for the collection of umbilical cord blood.

The company said that the trials show that the device increases the number of stem cells collected by an average of 81%, to 1.51 billion total nucleated cells (TNC), compared to the world average of 0.83 billion TNC. This significantly increases the quantity of stem cells that can be transplanted into adults.

TNC is the main indicator for the quality of cord blood collected. The number of nucleated cells is a significant factor in transplantation success and is a major predictor of recovery speed after transplant, the company said.

The company said it expects FDA approval for the device by the end of the year, with European approval soon to follow.

"The results of the clinical trials are a global breakthrough in cord blood collection," says Miki Shacham, SituGen CEO. "The increase in cord blood quantity and quality collected will now enable transplants of these quality stem cells in adults with an average body weight of 65 kg. Adults comprise the majority of patients who need stem cell transplants, and today they are mostly dependent on bone marrow stem cell donations or on umbilical cord stem cells originating from several donors."

SituGen's says that the device is disposable and needle-free, relieving the bottleneck effect created by applying a needle to collect the blood from the cord's vein. The device is in full accordance with all the requirements set for all umbilical cord blood collection devices. It is also suitable for operating rooms and caesarean sections.

Following successful completion of clinical trials, SituGen is preparing to manufacture and market the device to cord blood banks worldwide. In addition, it will continue R&D in the stem cell and cord blood fields, focusing on blood coagulation aspects in the umbilical cord and the placenta, in pregnancy and birth.

CoveValve completes ReValving system cases

CoreValve (Irvine, California) reported that five clinical evaluation sites — two in New Zealand and three in Australia — have completed their first series of proctored cases using the company's proprietary ReValving system for percutaneous aortic valve replacement, featuring a porcine pericardium valve mounted in a self-expanding frame.

During a 12-day period, 24 patients at hospitals in Auckland, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Hamilton underwent successful percutaneous aortic valve replacement with the system. These hospitals are participating in a clinical evaluation registry as required for market clearance in Australia and New Zealand.

CoreValve says that, to date, more than 1,500 patients at 75 sites worldwide have now received a ReValving bioprosthesis since the CE mark was issued for the system.

GE unit funds sale and leaseback financing

GE Healthcare Financial Services (Chicago) said it has provided a $10 million sale and leaseback financing to Catholic Medical Center (CMC; Seoul, South Korea), one of the largest hospital chains in South Korea.

The company said it will use the financing to lease back various equipment, including electronics, medical equipment and furniture for its new hospital and cancer center.

CMC's eight hospitals are in Seoul, Kyunggi and other provinces, with a bed count of 4,878. It is building a new cancer center in Seoul, which will increase the bed number to 5,678 by 2009.

It reported a total number of outpatients of 4.5 million, with a 90% bed occupancy ratio in 2007. Catholic Foundation's total revenue reached $1 billion in 2007, with more than $1.2 billion TNW.