• Biomagnetics Diagnostics (Orangevale, California) reported beginning the process to acquire other businesses. It said it has secured acquisition capital and has contracted with Southbridge Business Resources (Tulsa, Oklahoma) to acquire deals for Biomagnetics. The company said it is looking at six companies which Southbridge will be able to help it acquire, potentially bringing an additional $15 million or greater and EBITDA greater than 20% through acquisitions in 2008. Biomagnetics, through its subsidiary, Biospectrum Technologies (also Orangevale), has patented diagnostic equipment and assays designed to be qualitative, quantitative and easily performed.

• Neovasc (Vancouver, British Columbia), formerly known as Medical Ventures, a company developing specialty vascular devices, reported its name change and the expansion of its product portfolio, as the company completed the acquisition of two vascular product development companies and the closing of an $8.3 million private financing. The company's previously reported share consolidation is also now in effect. With the closing of the acquisitions of Neovasc Medical and B-Balloon, both pre-commercial-stage device companies based in Israel, Neovasc said it has significantly expanded its new product pipeline. The pipeline includes a specialized stent for the treatment of refractory angina, as well as devices designed to improve the treatment of commonly occurring ostial lesions in the coronary and peripheral arteries. On closing the transactions, the new company's issued share capital is about 18 million shares (23 million fully diluted), including about 12 million shares, warrants and options issued in connection with the acquisitions of Neovasc Medical and B-Balloon, some three million shares and warrants issued in conjunction with the private financing and just under 2 million incentive options available under a 10% rolling plan.

• Novartis (Basel, Switzerland) and Nestl (Vevey, Switzerland) reported that they have completed the first-step purchase and sale of 74 million shares of eye care company Alcon (Huenenberg, Germany/Fort Worth, Texas) common stock currently owned by Nestl pursuant to an agreement between the two firms. With the completion of the first-step transaction, Nestl remains Alcon's majority shareholder with about 52% of its issued capital; Novartis now owns a minority stake in Alcon of about 24.85% of Alcon's issued capital. Via this first step, Novartis will pay Nestl $11 billion. Novartis will then have the exclusive right to buy Nestle's remaining 52% stake in Alcon for about $28 billion between January 2010 and July 2011. In that phase, Alcon's shares will be valued at about $181, though Nestle could get a 20.5% premium above the price for Alcon shares when finally sold. While the second step is optional, both companies would have to agree not to exercise their rights for it to fall through.

• Signalife (Los Angeles) reported that it has received board approval to proceed with its previously disclosed merger with Heart One Global Research (London), and that a specially-formed committee has been appointed to proceed with due diligence and other matters incident to completion of the transaction. It is anticipated that the respective businesses of Signalife and Heart One will be operated in two separate wholly-owned subsidiaries, with the subsidiary holding Signalife's current business to be managed by Signalife's current management team, and the subsidiary holding Heart One's current business to be managed by Heart One's current management team. After the merger is effected, Signalife shareholders will own 94% of the surviving company.

• St. Jude Medical (St. Paul, Minnesota) said it has completed its acquisition of EP MedSystems (West Berlin, New Jersey) and reported the final allocation of cash and stock to EP shareholders in connection with the deal. St. Jude agreed to pay about $91 million, consisting of some $54,558,607 in cash and about 898,000 shares of St. Jude stock. St. Jude's board also approved an additional $50 million stock buyback authorization, which will offset the shares issued in the transaction. As previously reported, EP shareholders will receive either $3 in cash or 0.0738 shares of St. Jude common stock for each share of EP common stock, subject to proration so that 60% of the EP shares are exchanged for cash and 40% are exchanged for shares of St. Jude common stock. EP develops a line of products for use in the cardiac rhythm management or electrophysiology market.

• Theragenics (Buford, Georgia) said it would pay $47.8 million in cash for NeedleTech Products (Attleboro, Massachusetts), a private manufacturer of specialty needles and related devices. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter. With revenue of $16.9 million in 2007, NeedleTech's products include coaxial needles, biopsy needles, access trocars, brachytherapy needles, guidewire introducer needles, spinal needles, disposable veress needles, and other needle-based products. End markets served include the cardiology, orthopedic, pain management, endoscopy, spine, urology, and veterinary markets, the company said. Theragenics expects to finance $24.5 million of the purchase price with borrowings under its existing $40 million credit facility, and the remainder will come from the company's current cash and investments. These borrowings will bring Theragenics' total outstanding borrowings under its current credit facility to $32 million. Theragenics operates two business segments: its surgical products business and its brachytherapy seed business.