A Medical Device Daily

Humana (Louisville, Kentucky) reported that it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Metcare Health Plans (MHP), a wholly owned subsidiary of Metropolitan Health Networks (West Palm Beach, Florida), for an estimated $14 million.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

AdvantageCare, the Medicare Advantage health plan offered by MHP, provides Medicare beneficiaries with access to comprehensive healthcare coverage in Florida. The acquisition is expected to increase Humana's Medicare Advantage membership by about 7,000 members in Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Okeechobee, Polk, Sarasota, St. Lucie and Sumter counties.

"We are very excited about the purchase of MHP, as it will enhance Humana's mission to provide Medicare beneficiaries broad access to affordable healthcare in Florida," said Michael Seltzer, Humana Florida Senior Products CEO.

Humana has agreed to purchase all of the issued and outstanding shares of common stock of MHP for an estimated $14 million. Subject to regulatory approvals, the transaction is targeted to close in 3Q08.

Concurrent with the sale, Metropolitan, through its core provider service network business, Metcare of Florida, has agreed to enter into a provider-risk agreement with Humana in the 13 counties to provide care for AdvantageCare customers as well as future Humana customers. In addition, Metropolitan is expanding its provider relationship with CarePlus – Humana's wholly owned Medicare Advantage health plan – to include those 13 counties.

Humana said the transaction is not expected to have any effect upon its full-year 2008 earnings guidance of $4.10 to $4.35.

MDS Analytical Technologies (Mississauga, Ontario), a provider of drug discovery and life sciences research, reported that it has acquired Blueshift Biotechnologies (Sunnyvale, California) for $13 million. The acquisition of Blueshift, a developer of screening platforms for life sciences research and maker of the IsoCyte benchtop laser scanning cytometer, expands MDS's capabilities in cellular analysis, and further strengthens the company's global sales and service offering.

High-content screening (HCS) and high-content analysis (HCA) are growing trends in both pharmaceutical drug screening and life sciences research. The MDS cellular imaging product line now includes imaging systems and software that provide life sciences and drug discovery researchers with a more complete solution to conduct HCS and HCA.

"This acquisition fills a gap in our current product portfolio, allowing us to offer our pharmaceutical research customers fast and simple cellular analysis with a line of instrumentation that images the whole well at true high throughput screening rates, said Andy Boorn, president of MDS Analytical Technologies.

In other dealmaking news, Crdentia (Dallas), a provider of healthcare staffing services, reported its plan to immediately begin the process to take the company private.

The company said this plan furthers the company's goals of maximizing shareholder value and realizing substantial cost savings while accelerating the attainment of profitability and positive cash flow, it said.

As part of the plan, Crdentia's board has approved a 1,000-to-1 reverse split of the company's common shares. Any fractional shares remaining after the reverse split is effective will be paid out in cash at the valuation of the most recent equity financing, 30 cents per share on a pre-split basis, or $300 per share on a post-split basis.

It is expected that the company will have about 150 shareholders after the reverse split becomes effective, which will allow it to become a non-reporting company.

In order to complete the reverse split, a preliminary proxy or information statement is expected to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the upcoming days. Following the reverse split, a Form 15 is expected to be filed with the SEC, which will result in the company becoming a non-reporting corporation. The company said it intends to take any further steps necessary to take the company private.