A Medical Device Daily

Cyberonics (Houston) reported an agreement with Ethicon EndoSurgery (Cincinnati), granting exclusive rights to the company's patents and patent applications pertaining to vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) for the treatment of obesity and two related co-morbidities, diabetes and hypertension, in overweight patients.

Ethicon, a Johnson & Johnson (New Brunswick, New Jersey) company, will pay Cyberonics a signing fee of $9.5 million and royalties on commercial sales of products covered by the patents.

"This agreement advances our mission to improve the lives of people affected by chronic neurological disorders," said Dan Moore, Cyberonics' president/CEO. "Out-licensing our obesity-related patents permits us to obtain value from these assets while we continue to focus on our other strategic objectives — achieving positive cash flow and profitability, growing our core epilepsy business, and appropriately developing our treatment-resistant depression business — and provides an opportunity for a device leader in the obesity space to utilize Cyberonics' assets in developing weight reduction solutions."

More than 46,000 patients worldwide have benefited from VNS Therapy during the past 10 years, according to Cyberonics.

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