A Medical Device Daily

Alere Medical (Reno, Nevada), ParadigmHealth (Upper Saddle River, New Jersey) and Matria Healthcare (Marietta, Georgia) reported that they are now united under a single brand. The three health management companies were brought together in May 2008 by Inverness Medical Innovations (IMI; Waltham, Massachusetts) (Medical Device Daily, Oct. 25, 2007).

The new companies will operate under the name Alere.

"The combination of Alere, ParadigmHealth and Matria creates what we believe to be the most patient-centered company in the health services sector today," said Alere CEO Ron Geraty, MD, former CEO of Alere Medical. "Our ambition is to build the broadest and most fully-integrated portfolio of diagnostic and health management services in our industry."

Geraty said the new Alere offers a continuum of healthcare services, in-home diagnostics, monitoring devices and case management services. He said the new company is leveraging its expertise to bring greater clarity to health management, provide interventions designed for the lifespan, from pre-cradle to end-of-life care, and address the continuum of health, from wellness and prevention, to disease management for the chronically ill and programs for those with multiple, late-stage co-morbidities.

In other dealmaking:

Joseph Finn Jr, assignee of the assets of Spherics (Mansfield, Massachusetts) for the benefit of creditors, said that all of its oral drug delivery intellectual property will be sold at a sealed-bid auction on Oct. 10.

Spherics' anhydride-based hydrophobic thermoplastic polymers, Spheromers, have "superior conventional hydrophilic bioadhesive polymers," according to the company. These polymers improve drug performance by increasing absorption and residence time in specific regions of the gastrointestinal track, Spherics said.

BIOadhesive gastro-intestinal targeted system and BIOadhesive rate-controlled oral delivery system were developed at Spherics, the company said. These are bioadhesive, polymer-based oral drug delivery systems offering the flexibility of achieving a variety of drug release profiles, according to Spherics.

• Memry (Bethel, Connecticut) said it has rescheduled its Sept. 17 shareholders meeting to Sept. 29, to vote to merge SAES Getters (Milan, Italy) and SAES Devices into Memry, with Memry as the surviving corporation. The merger was disclosed last month (MDD, Aug. 19, 2008).

Memry provides design, engineering, development and manufacturing services to the device and other industries using its shape memory alloy and polymer extrusion technologies.

• Cross Country Healthcare (Boca Raton, Florida) said that it has completed its previously reported acquisition of the assets of privately-held MDA Holdings (MDA; Norcross, Georgia) and its subsidiaries for $112.3 million in cash, plus additional earn-out payments based on 2008/2009 performance criteria. The company expects this acquisition to be accretive to its 2008 earnings by about 2 cents per diluted share.

MDA provides multi-specialty physician and allied staffing services to the healthcare industry in all 50 states. MDA was an ESOP-owned company, and in 2007, had revenue of $158 million.

With this transaction, Cross Country entered into a $200 million syndicated credit facility with Wachovia Capital Markets and certain of affiliates, Banc of America Securities and certain other lenders. The company amended its existing $75 million revolving credit facility and entered into a new $125 million five-year term loan, these proceeds used to finance the acquisition and for future general corporate purposes.

• Encorium Group (Wayne, Pennsylvania), a clinical research organization, reported an amendment to its letter of intent with Prologue Research International (Columbus, Ohio) to acquire all of the issued and outstanding stock of Prologue for about $11.75 million, consisting of $500,000 in cash previously paid to Prologue as a non-refundable exclusivity fee; $1.13 million of assumed debt; $2 million in senior non-convertible notes; $2 million in senior non-convertible notes; and $6.12 million in subordinated convertible notes.

Closing of the transaction is subject to approval by the boards of the two companies and signing of a definitive agreement. The closing is expected Sept. 19.

• Arius Research (Toronto) reported that RiskMetrics ISS Canada (Toronto), an independent proxy firm, is recommending that Arius shareholders and warrant holders vote in favor of the proposed plan of arrangement whereby Roche (Basel, Switzerland), will acquire Arius' outstanding shares and warrants.

"[I]n our opinion, [this recommendation] provides significant independent validation that the transaction represents the best option for maximizing shareholder value," said David Young, president/CEO of Arius.

Arius shareholders and warrant holders will vote on the meeting at a Sept. 16 meeting in Toronto.

• Lumalier (Memphis, Tennessee) reported that it has received the distribution rights for the TRU-D Rapid Room Sterilizer, instrumentation used to reduce pathogens, from Jeffrey Deal, MD, a surgeon and clinical instructor. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Lumalier said that clinical trials demonstrate that TRU-D destroyed the biological contaminates that cause MRSA, C. diff, VRE, E. coli, acinetobactor, and other infectious diseases. The company said that another benefit of TRU-D is that the air within the treated space is disinfected by default, preventing airborne pathogens from later re-colonizing.

A 2004 study supervised by Deal tracked 13,510 admissions at a 450-bed regional hospital. Almost 15%, 2,012 patients, acquired an infection. The average length of stay for infected patients increased 9.25 days, and direct hospital costs increased $13,118,000, or more than $29,000 per bed per year.

Lumalier develops ultraviolet germicidal irradiation products.