A Medical Device Daily

Health Discovery (HDC; Savannah, Georgia), a leader in support vector machine (SVM) based molecular diagnostic and prognostic test development reported the signing of an agreement with Patent Profit International (PPI; Silicon Valley, California), a Silicon Valley-based patent brokerage firm, with the goal of exploiting the full monetization potential of HDC's extensive pioneering patent portfolio.

PPI will market HDC's patent portfolio, which includes exclusive rights to SVM techniques and applications that reach far beyond biomarker discovery and the healthcare field, to prospective buyers/licensees in a wide range of technologies, including, but not limited to, information technology such as Internet browsers and search engines, spam mail detection, oil exploration, homeland security, and the automotive industry.

As a requirement of any sale of the patent estate, HDC said it expects to retain a royalty-free, worldwide, exclusive license, with the right to grant sublicenses, in the entire field of healthcare. This strategic initiative would allow HDC to potentially generate significant revenue from its patent estate covering the field of SVM technology in non-medical applications while continuing uninterrupted its wide-ranging research, development, licensing and commercialization activities in broad-ranging diagnostic and prognostic areas such as prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, endometrial cancer, colon cancer, leukemia and other healthcare arenas.

This is a strategy designed to transform HDC's underutilized patents into working financial assets to increase shareholder value, it said.

PPI is one of a small number of successful patent brokerage firms that specialize in the sale of patent portfolios and has strong contacts in the high technology arena. Under the commission-based arrangement, PPI will utilize its contacts and market knowledge to identify companies to whom HDC's patent portfolio is relevant and position the portfolio to attract prospective buyers. PPI will then facilitate negotiations to obtain the best possible price and terms and with HDC's approval to close the deal.

In other dealmaking news:

HealthSouth (Birmingham, Alabama) has finalized, through one of its wholly owned subsidiaries, its previously reported purchase of The Rehabilitation Hospital of South Jersey (Vineland, New Jersey), a 34-bed inpatient rehabilitation hospital.

The acquisition of The Rehabilitation Hospital of South Jersey adds a third New Jersey rehabilitation hospital to HealthSouth's northeast region. HealthSouth operates HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of New Jersey (Toms River) and Tinton Falls Rehabilitation Hospital, a Joint Venture of HealthSouth and Monmouth Medical Center (Long Branch, New Jersey) HealthSouth provides inpatient rehabilitation services.

LHC Group, (Lafayette, Louisiana) a provider of home nursing services in the U.S., reported that it has acquired 100% of the assets of Morristown-Hamblen Home Health and Hospice located in Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare System (Morristown, Tennessee).

This acquisition will operate as a subsidiary of LHC Group's home care partnership with the University of Tennessee Medical Center (Knoxville). The agencies will operate under the name of Morristown-Hamblen HomeCare and Hospice.

The primary service area has an estimated total population of 1.2 million people, with nearly 15% over the age of 65. The combined net revenue for the most recent 12 months is nearly $2.8 million, and this acquisition is not expected to add materially to earnings in 2008.

Emergency Medical Services (EMSC; Greenwood Village, Colorado) reported that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the management services entity of Clinical Partners, (CPPA; Longview Texas), a provider of anesthesiology services, as well as an associated billing company.

Upon closing, the management entity will enter into a long-term agreement to provide management services to CPPA, and the company anticipates that the acquisitions will contribute nearly $7 million in annual management services revenue.

CPPA provides anesthesiology services to more than 35 hospitals in six states with annual provider revenues of nearly $85 million.

The purchase agreement was entered into effective on July 31 and is expected to close within 30 days, subject to customary closing conditions.

Upon completion of the transaction, the two new entities will become subsidiaries of EmCare (Dallas), and will provide anesthesiology practice management services to hospitals which will include recruitment of physicians and certified registered nurse anesthetists, risk management, billing and collection, and other services.

EMSC is a provider of emergency medical services in the U.S.

EmCare is a provider of outsourced emergency department staffing and related management services to healthcare facilities.

MicroDose Technologies (Monmouth Junction, New Jersey) has reported that the first clinical milestone in its collaboration with Merck (Whitehouse Station, New Jersey), through a Merck affiliate, has been achieved, triggering the first payment under the global license agreement for MicroDose's dry powder inhaler (DPI) technology announced in March 2008. This milestone signals the initiation by Merck of a phase I clinical study of an investigational compound using the MicroDose DPI technology.

Merck will fund development and commercialization of products that employ MicroDose's DPI technology for the administration of Merck compounds.

Gentiva Health Services, (Melville, New York) a provider of home health services, said it plans to expand its home health services to three Certificate of Need counties surrounding Charleston, South Carolina with the report that it has acquired Hospice of Charleston.

Hospice of Charleston is a not-for-profit homecare company that provides hospice services, as well as home health, in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. Gentiva will expand its home health operations to include Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester Counties, rounding out its home health coverage in the state.

Gentiva will also fold the existing hospice operations into its current hospice structure. Under the terms of the agreement, Hospice of Charleston has created a foundation to retain ownership of the building that houses its 20-bed inpatient hospice facility, which Gentiva will operate under a lease agreement.