• Ariad Pharmaceuticals (Cambridge, Massachusetts) reported that it has entered a nonexclusive license agreement with Icon Medical, an emerging cardiovascular medical device company, to develop drug-eluting stents that deliver Ariad's mTOR inhibitor, deforolimus, to prevent restenosis of injured vessels following angioplasty /stenting. Inhibitors of mTOR block the wound-healing response to arterial injury that leads to restenosis, Ariad says. Ariad will receive an equity stake in Icon, up to $27 million in payments based on achievement of clinical, regulatory and commercial milestones for two products and royalties on worldwide sales of all Icon medical devices delivering deforolimus. Icon will be responsible for the development and commercialization of these devices, and ARIAD will supply deforolimus to Icon. Additional terms were not disclosed.
• Arteriocyte Medical Systems (Cleveland) said it struck a deal with Medtronic (Minneapolis) for the purchase of Medtronic's Magellan Platelet Business, an exclusive, five-year distribution agreement in the cardiac surgery market and a manufacturing services agreement for the Magellan products. Medtronic's cardiac surgery sales force includes 80 representatives throughout North America and Europe, placing the Magellan system in more than 400 surgical centers, it said. The Magellan System, a one-source biologic concentrator and delivery system, collects and concentrates platelets and white blood cells from a small volume of the patient's own blood, providing a supply of plasma as a foundation for autologous platelet gel. Medtronic says the system presents an opportunity to accelerate wound healing and reduce infection in cardiac surgery, plastic and reconstructive surgery, orthopedics and vascular surgery. "The acquisition positions our company to capitalize on the convergence of medical device and biologic delivery for patients, further differentiating our cellular therapy strategy," said Don Brown, Arteriocyte CEO. He called the Magellan System "the best platelet separation technology available" and "a leader in cardiac surgery."
• Biophan Technologies (Pittsford, New York) reported that its note holders provided the approvals necessary to close the company's deal with Medtronic for an $11 million cash sale of a portion of the company's patents. The note holders consent allowed the company to invest further in Myotech (Pittsford, New York), which the note holders "view as an exciting opportunity," Biophan said. Biophan said it has agreed to invest $1.2 million in Myotech to increase its holdings to 68% from 44% prior to the deal. Biophan thus will control Myotech, a private company developing a circulatory support device designed to restore cardiac output from an arrested heart. With Myotech achieving certain milestones, Biophan will invest another $2 million to increase ownership in the company.
• Edwards Lifesciences (Irvine, California) has agreed to buy certain assets of the CardioVations division of Ethicon (Somerville, New Jersey), a Johnson & Johnson (New Brunswick, New Jersey) company, for about $27 million. The deal is expected to close by the year's end. The CardioVations product line is expected to generate sales of more than $20 million in 2008, Edwards said. It includes the Port-Access products, such as the EndoCPB and EndoDirect systems for minimally invasive heart valve surgery, including soft tissue retractors, venous and arterial cannulae, vent and coronary sinus catheters, and reusable instruments, for performing port-access cardiac valve procedures. The purchase includes inventory, related intellectual property rights and the assumption of certain liabilities, Edwards said. It is not expected to have an impact on earnings in 2008 and will be accretive thereafter, the company said. Edwards focuses on heart valve disease, peripheral vascular disease and critical care technologies.
• Greatbatch (Clarence, New York) reported signing an agreement to acquire Quan Emerteq (Blaine, Minnesota) for about $55 million in cash. Quan Emerteq makes single-use medical device products for the vascular, cardiac rhythm management and neurostimulation markets. The company anticipates that Quan Emerteq will have annual sales in the range of $20 million-$24 million for 2007. Excluding one-time purchase accounting adjustments, such as in-process R&D charges, earnings are expected to be neutral in 2007 and 2008 and accretive thereafter. "The acquisition of Quan Emerteq expands our vascular market presence into the peripheral, coronary and neurovascular markets and broadens our existing CRM and neurostimulation product offerings," said Thomas Hook, Greatbatch president/CEO. "This acquisition provides revenue growth opportunities to sell our expanded product portfolio to existing customers as well as diversifies our customer base with the addition of several new blue chip medical device companies. The addition of Quan Emerteq to our existing Enpath [Plymouth, Minnesota] business creates critical mass in the growing vascular market." The company expects to close the purchase some time in November.
Greatbatch also reported that its subsidiary, Electrochem Commercial Power, has acquired substantially all of the assets of IntelliSensing (Orchard Park, New York) for about $3.9 million. IntelliSensing designs and manufactures wireless sensor solutions that measure temperature, pressure, flow and other critical data. IntelliSensing's products, powered by lithium batteries, are designed to operate in environments where wired sensors are undesirable or impractical. IntelliSensing's portfolio will extend Electrochem's product portfolio in existing markets to offer complete technology solutions that enable customers to manage their processes more effectively, including oil & gas services, military, aerospace and other industrial applications. Unlike many other wireless sensor solutions, IntelliSensing's products can measure both pressure and temperature all in one, helping reduce cost for customers by eliminating the need for two separate sensors. The 'End-to-End' system is based on open standards with user-defined settings, offering a total turnkey solution for customers to ensure signal integrity and system interoperability. Proprietary hardware designs are able to withstand the harsh environments in which Electrochem customers operate. Electrochem, a subsidiary of Greatbatch designs lithium cells and battery packs. Greatbatch, is a manufacturer of critical components used in medical devices for the cardiac rhythm management, neurostimulation and interventional radiology markets.
• Hansen Medical (Mountain View, California) reported that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire AorTx (Redwood City, California), an early stage developer of catheter-based valve technology. Hansen said it expects the acquisition to close before the end of this year. Financial terms include a closing payment of $5 million in Hansen common stock and $5 million in cash. Hansen could pay up to $15 million in common stock and $15 million in cash upon achievement of regulatory clearances, revenue and partnering milestones. Hansen said the acquisition will allow it to leverage its Sensei Robotic Catheter system, which is currently marketed for electrophysiology procedures, into the market for percutaneous heart valve therapy."It has been a core element of our business strategy to address not only the electrophysiology market, but expand the platform architecture of our Sensei system into applications such as structural heart disease including percutaneous valve replacement," said Frederic Moll, MD, founder and CEO of Hansen. "This pending acquisition represents another step in a planned accumulation of intellectual property and novel technology to position Hansen Medical for entry into the emerging market for the treatment of structural heart disease." The AorTx valve embodies a design that consists of a low-profile folded metallic frame, which incorporates a valve made from biologic tissue. The frame, which is positioned in the location of the native valve, unfolds in a precise and controlled fashion, and is deployed into the proper anatomic location in the aortic root. An important element of the design is its ability to be fully retrieved, and if necessary, repositioned before final detachment from the catheter delivery system.
• Lab 21 (Cambridge, UK), a provider of health and environmental diagnostics, reported an exclusive license with Ark Therapeutics (London) for a test to measure autoantibodies to oxidized low density lipoprotein (oxLDL), a predictive risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD). The oxLDL test is designed to identify those at the greatest risk for developing CHD, with the companies targeting the emergency room setting. Ox-LDL is released from atherosclerotic plaque as the plaque becomes more unstable, and thus with the increasing likelihood that an area of it will break away from the surface of the blood vessel and obstruct either the coronary artery or a cerebral vessel.
• Micrus Endovascular (San Jose, California) said it has entered into a non-binding term sheet to sell certain cardiac and peripheral catheter platform assets and technology for $3 million to Merit Medical Systems (South Jordan, Utah). The purchase will include the transfer from Micrus to Merit of manufacturing know-how, intellectual property, inventory and technology. Micrus will receive an initial payment of $1.5 million and an additional $1.5 million upon the transfer of the assets and technology to Merit, no later than one year after closing. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year. Merit makes disposable devices used in interventional and diagnostic procedures, particularly in cardiology and radiology. Micrus develops both implantable and disposable devices used in the treatment of neurovascular diseases.
• Mid-State Cardiology Associates (Nashville) and The Heart Group (Nashville) said they have united to form the Tennessee's largest private cardiology practice, St. Thomas Heart. The physicians of Mid-State Cardiology, with offices on the Baptist Hospital campus, and The Heart Group, located on the Saint Thomas Hospital campus, will practice under the umbrella of Saint Thomas Heart, a new division of Saint Thomas Health Services (STHS). This combined group of 45 heart specialists sees more than 130,000 heart patients in a 69-county region that stretches throughout Middle Tennessee and into southern Kentucky and northern Alabama. Saint Thomas Heart includes nearly 70 cardiac specialists practicing at Saint Thomas Hospital and Baptist Hospital and Middle Tennessee Medical Center (Murfreesboro, Tennessee).