• Angiotech Pharmaceuticals (Vancouver, British Columbia) and The Atlanta Cardiology Group (ACG; Atlanta, Georgia) reported signing an agreement formalizing an affiliation with Piedmont Healthcare (Atlanta,) as part of the Piedmont Heart Institute, effective Nov. 15 of this year. The 25-member cardiovascular physician practice will become a new group practice under the institute and open a new main office on the Piedmont Hospital campus in December, while maintaining offices across Georgia. With the addition of ACG, more than 80 cardiovascular physicians will be available at Piedmont. "Our affiliation with ACG will enable us to more effectively provide our quality services to patients in the many communities we serve," said Michele Molden, CEO of the Piedmont Heart Institute. "ACG will complement the existing cardiovascular expertise at Piedmont, a tradition that started over 50 years ago." ACG has 15 offices in the Atlanta area and surrounding communities.
  • Edwards Life Sciences (Irvine, California) in early December agreed to sell assets of its LifeStent peripheral vascular product line to C. R. Bard (Murray Hill, New Jersey) for up to $140 million. The deal includes cash payments of about $74 million upon closing and up to an additional $65 million on the achievement of certain milestones, including FDA approval of LifeStent products for a superficial femoral artery (SFA) indication and the transfer of LifeStent device manufacturing. For 2007, this business represents about $30 million in sales, according to Edwards. Bard's Peripheral Vascular division in Tempe, Arizona, will assume marketing responsibility for the product. "Although sales are growing, the LifeStent product line is generating operating losses," said Michael Mussallem, Edwards' CEO and chairman. "This transaction enables Edwards to increase our investments in the exciting opportunities in our market-leading heart valve and critical care businesses. Achieving leadership in the peripheral vascular market would have required substantial additional investment, which can now be directed to our core businesses." The transaction is expected to close in January, pending regulatory approvals.
  • eResearchTechnology (eRT, Philadelphia) said that it agreed acquire the centralized ECG business of Covance (Princeton, New Jersey). In addition, Covance and eRT have entered into an exclusive 10-year marketing agreement to supply eRT's centralized cardiac safety services to Covance clients. Covance will exclusively use eRT as its provider of centralized cardiac safety services for a 10-year period. The companies disclosed that eRT will make a cash payment of $35.2 million and may pay about $14 million in additional compensation based upon eRT's potential realization of revenue from the backlog transferred and from new contracts secured through Covance's marketing activities. eRT will adjust its previously issued Q4 2007 revenue guidance of $27 million to $28.5 million, adding approximately $1.5 to $2.0 million additional revenue as a result of the transaction.
  • Getinge Group (Stockholm, Sweden) said it will acquire the cardiac and vascular surgery businesses of Boston Scientific (Natick, Massachusetts) for $750 million in cash. Getinge, a global provider of healthcare equipment and systems, said it would use the acquisition to establish a base for building a global cardiac surgery business in the coming years.
  • Hansen Medical (Mountain View, California) said it will acquire AorTx (Redwood City, California), an early-stage developer of catheter-based valve technology. Financial terms include a closing payment of $5 million in Hansen stock, $5 million in cash and milestones payments up to $15 million.
  • Prescient Medical (Doylestown, Pennsylvania) said it has acquired a new technology designed to identify and quantify metabolic activity and inflammation in human artery tissue by measuring the time it takes for light to dissipate after the tissue has been excited with ultra-short light pulses. Terms were not disclosed. The technique, called Time Resolved Light Induced Fluroescence Spectroscopy (TR-LIFS), exploits the phenomenon that bi-products of metabolic activity behave differently than surrounding tissue. In TR-LIFS, a short light pulse (picoseconds) is used to excite the tissue and then the resulting light that emanates from the tissue is monitored over a brief time span (several nanoseconds).
  • Utek (Tampa, Florida), a technology transfer firm, and NeoStem (New York) reported that NeoStem has acquired Stem Cell Technologies (Louisville, Kentucky), a subsidiary of UTEK, in a stock for stock transaction. Stem Cell Technologies owns a worldwide exclusive license to a technology developed by researchers at the University of Louisville to identify and isolate rare stem cells from adult human bone marrow, called very small embryonic-like (VSELs) stem cells. NeoStem says it seeks to provide the infrastructure, methods and systems that allow adults to have their stem cells safely collected and conveniently banked for future therapeutic use, as needed, in the treatment of such life-threatening diseases as diabetes, heart disease and radiation sickness that may result from a bio-terrorist attack. According to the company, VSELs have been shown to grow in the laboratory and multiply into clusters of cells that then can differentiate into specialized cells found in different types of tissue including cardiac, neural, endothelial, muscle, pancreatic and hematopoietic cells.
    Columbia) reported that it has completed its acquisition

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