A Medical Device Daily

Orthofix International (Huntersville, North Carolina) reported acquiring the rights to all of the intellectual property related to the InSWing interspinous process spacer.

Details of the purchase were not disclosed, but Orthofix said that current plans include a limited market release of InSWing, which is CE marked, as early as the end of 4Q07. The company also indicated that the acquisition is not expected to impact 2007 financial results, but is expected to be slightly accretive to earnings in 2008.

InSWing is designed to alleviate the leg and back pain suffered by individuals with lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS). The device can be used in a minimally invasive surgical procedure involving minimal or local anesthesia, significantly less blood loss and a shorter rehabilitation period than alternative surgical procedures.

“Our acquisition of the innovative InSWing technology is an important addition to the broad array of products in our spine portfolio. It underscores the company’s continuing commitment to make new minimally invasive devices available to surgeons and advance the treatment of spine conditions for patients around the world,” said Orthofix CEO, Alan Milinazzo. “Our initial focus will be to make InSWing available to various international markets that we believe offer the most opportunities for this advanced technology.”

InSWing is designed to be placed between the spinous processes of the lumbar spine using a unilateral approach. It is secured through the deployment of an innovative double-wing structure resulting in the widening of the spinal canal and decompression of the spinal nerve that was causing the patient’s leg and back pain.

InSWing was developed by a team at LFC Sp. Zo.o. that included Marek Szpalski, MD; Robert Gunzburg MD, PhD; and Lechoslaw Ciupik, PhD, a bioengineer who was the team’s chief designer.

Szpalski is chairman of orthopedic and trauma surgery at the Iris South Teaching Hospitals (Brussels, Belgium), associate professor of orthopedics at New York University, and deputy editor of the European Spine Journal. Gunzburg is an orthopedic consultant at the Edith Cavell Clinic (Brussels), president-elect of Eurospine, and deputy editor of the European Spine Journal.

Orthofix develops minimally-invasive surgical and non-surgical, products for the spine, orthopedic and sports medicine sectors.

In other dealmaking:

• Quovadx (Dallas) reported the acquisition of Healthvision (Irving, Texas), a developer of solutions that connect the healthcare communities of hospitals, labs, physicians, patients and consumers.

Quovadx and Healthvision have combined forces for many years to deliver an solution, with Cloverleaf® serving as the critical component of Healthvision’s ehealth platform.

Scott Decker, CEO of Healthvision, said, “Having worked closely together over the past five years, we expect a smooth transition ... .”

Russell Fleischer, CEO of Quovadx, said, “The combined company will continue to support all of our collective products and provide the highest standard of customer service.”

They said that the expanded company will host 11 million patient records and serve over 2,000 hospitals, 250 extended healthcare communities, 23,000 clinicians, thousands of patients, and millions of consumers. It will retain its focus of providing healthcare software and solutions through Cloverleaf Integration Services and Healthvision’s Clinical and Consumer solutions.

Quovadx, clinical, financial, administrative and government solutions are designed to increase IT interoperability, improve business process efficiency and leverage existing technology systems.

• Tenet Healthcare (Dallas) said that one of its subsidiaries has agreed to sell Shelby Regional Medical Center (Center, Texas), a 54-bed acute care hospital, to Shelby Medical Holdings, a newly formed company owned by Tariq Mahmood, MD.

Pre-tax proceeds are expected to be about $2 million, with Tenet saying it expects to use the proceeds for general corporate purposes.

Mahmood is a hospital owner and operator with more than 10 years of experience running rural hospitals. His companies operate three hospitals in central Texas: Central Texas HospitalCameron, Lake Whitney Medical CenterWhitney, and Community General Hospital Dilley. Dr. Mahmood is an internist and has been practicing medicine in Texas for more than 20 years. The sale is expected to close by Nov. 30.

Shelby Medical said it will offer employment to “substantially all” current employees in good standing.

Tenet acquired Memorial on Oct. 1, 2000, in a bankruptcy proceeding, and then changed its name to Shelby Regional Medical Center. At that time, the hospital was purchased for $2.7 million from New American Healthcare.

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