After filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September, the assets of AcerMed (Irvine, California) have been acquired by Ophthalmic Imaging Systems (OIS; Sacramento, California), through its newly established subsidiary, Abraxas Medical Systems.

The California Central Bankruptcy Court approved the acquisition. Financial terms were not disclosed.

OIS makes digital imaging systems and informatics solutions for the eye care market.

AcerMed provided EMR and practice management (PM) software solutions for medical practices. Its suite of software is designed to automate the clinical, administrative, and financial operations of a medical office.

Gil Allon, CEO of OIS, told Medical Device Daily in an email that the company was attracted to AcerMed because it was impressed with the performance and features of the AcerMed EMR and PM software.

“We also appreciated the talent of the management team that worked for AcerMed, representing vast experience in the areas of EMR and PM,” Allon said.

Michael Bina, AcerMed’s CEO, has been named president of Abraxas. The subsidiary said it has hired seven former AcerMed employees.

“AcerMed bankruptcy was related to a litigation judgment that was awarded against them. The combination of the judgment with legal expenses forced the company to file for bankruptcy. As AcerMed was at a critical juncture of their new growth plan the impact on cash flow was irreversible. This event represented a good opportunity for OIS to purchase the main assets including the software,” Allon said. “OIS rehired some of AcerMed’s key employees and managers. We strongly believe that the judgment was not in any way a reflection of AcerMed’s management ability to build the business but an unfortunate series of events.”

Over the course of 2008, OIS said it anticipates expenses and investments of about $2 million related to the funds necessary to expand operations of Abraxas in all departments, including R&D, technical support and sales.

“We look forward to combining our expertise and experience in the EMR industry with OIS’s proven management and financial backing,” Bina said. “We believe that Abraxas’ clients will highly benefit from this winning combination, and enjoy best-in-breed EMR and practice management software, backed by exemplary service and support. As we expand our operations in 2008, we anticipate leveraging the positive trends favoring electronic solutions versus paper-based solutions.”

Allon said the acquisition allows the OIS to broaden its reach into new markets. He added that the deal fits into the company’s strategic plan.

“Part of the OIS long-term strategic direction is to have a significant role in the emerging EMR business in ophthalmology,” Allon said. “Currently OIS is a reseller of the NextGen EMR/EPM product. The acquisition will allow OIS, in the near future, to expend its offering of EMR/PM systems in ophthalmology while controlling the development of and access to the technology, thus providing our customers the best possible products and services.”

In other dealmaking activity:

• Boston Scientific (Natick, Massachusetts) said it has completed the sale of its cardiac and vascular surgery business to a Swedish company for $750 million in cash.

The deal, first disclosed in November (Medical Device Daily, Nov. 6, 2007), was conditional on the approval of competition authorities concerned.

Getinge Group (Stockholm, Sweden) said the competition authorities have approved the transaction. The group said it would use the acquisition to establish a base for building a global cardiac surgery business.

As part of its plan to “divest non-strategic assets and increase shareholder value,” Boston Scientific reported in August that it wanted to sell its cardiac and vascular surgery units (MDD, Aug. 20, 2007).

The sale of these units is in addition to the company’s earlier reported plans to explore the sale of its fluid management business (MDD, July 26, 2007) and its disclosure that it was selling the auditory assets of Advanced Bionics (Valencia, California) while retaining the pain management assets of that company after a protracted legal struggle with that company’s management (MDD, Aug. 13, 2007).

Last fall, Boston Scientific said it would eliminate about 2,300 positions worldwide, or about 13% of an 18,000-person, non-manufacturing workforce baseline as of June 30 (MDD, Oct. 19, 2007). The company has struggled with its finances since its $27.2 billion acquisition of Guidant (Indianapolis) last year. As a result of that transaction, Boston Scientific is carrying more than $8 billion in debt.

The company also has been hurt by a drop in sales of implantable heart devices. In 2Q07 Boston Scientific’s defibrillator sales were down 20% from two years before, when a series of recalls hurt the company’s reputation. Sales of stents were down 27% from a year ago.

Boston Scientific acquired its cardiac surgery business in April 2006 as part of the Guidant transaction. The cardiac surgery business develops medical technologies designed for use in surgical cardiac procedures, including beating-heart bypass surgery systems and endoscopic vessel harvesting for coronary bypass surgery. The business employs about 450 people.

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