A Medical Device Daily
North American Scientific (NAS; Chatsworth, California) said Friday that it plans to divest its Nomos Radiation Oncology business.
The company said it wants to renew its focus on the marketing and development of brachytherapy products for the treatment of cancer, including Prospera brachytherapy seeds and SurTRAK needles and strands used primarily in the treatment of prostate cancer. NAS says it remains on track to commercialize its ClearPath multi-channel catheter breast brachytherapy devices in 2007.
The ClearPath products are the only devices approved for both high-dose and continuous release, or low-dose, radiation treatments, the company says. The devices are designed to provide flexible, precise dose conformance and an innovative delivery system that is intended to offer a more advanced form of brachytherapy for the treatment of breast cancer.
"The company, with CIBC World Markets acting as our financial advisor, has been working to formalize the final details of our divestiture of the Nomos business, and we will announce those details when they are complete," said John Rush, president/CEO of NAS. "In the interim, Nomos will continue to provide its high quality products and services to customers. We expect the divestiture of the Nomos business to allow us to better utilize the company's financial resources to benefit the marketing and development of innovative brachytherapy products for the treatment of cancer."
North American Scientific's Nomos Radiation Oncology division provides external beam radiation therapy products for serial tomotherapy intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT). Serial tomotherapy IMRT allows an escalated radiation dose to be delivered to a tumor while limiting exposure and damage to nearby healthy tissue, according to the company. These products are marketed under the trade names NomosSTAT and CORVUS. The company's IGRT products, BAT, BATCAM and NTRAK, provide targeting and localization of a treatment volume on a daily basis, according to NAS.
In other dealmaking activity:
• Arrowhead Research (Pasadena, California) and Paragon Intellectual Properties (Charleston, West Virginia) reported that Arrowhead's majority-owned subsidiary, Unidym (Los Angeles), has signed an exclusive license agreement with Paragon's majority-owned subsidiary, Nanotech Catheter Solutions (NCS).
NCS will use Unidym's carbon nanotube technology in the development of devices for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Unidym will receive a 20% equity stake in NCS, and the companies will negotiate a supply agreement or royalty.
• Cantel Medical (Little Falls, New Jersey), through its Mar Cor Purification division, said it has closed the acquisition of the water-related assets of Dialysis Services (Springfield, Tennessee). The acquisition expands Mar Cor's water purification and filtration business in the Tennessee Valley.
• LipidLabs (Houston) reported the closing of its acquisition of Telemedicus, a medical communications technology developed jointly by Texas A&M (College Station, Texas) and the University of Texas Health Science Center (San Antonio) using nearly $20 million in U.S. government grants. LipidLabs will manufacture, install and manage Telemedicus systems for emergency service providers across America.
According to the company, the Telemedicus technology allows doctors to begin treatment of trauma patients immediately when the first responders arrive, rather than waiting for the patient to arrive at the hospital. Telemedicus is an advanced on-board communications and data system for emergency vehicles and portable military installations that includes an array of computer-based communications, medical monitoring and global positioning equipment mounted in emergency vehicles such as ambulances and life-flight helicopters, the company said.
LipidLabs specializes in the commercialization of technologies developed by major U.S. research universities.
• Behrman Capital (New York; San Francisco), a private equity investment firm, reported that it has acquired a portfolio of 35 post-acute care facilities from a group of private investors in a transaction valued at roughly $250 million. The 35 facilities, which collectively have more than 3,500 patient beds, will be owned by a newly created entity, Ark Holdings, which Behrman intends to use as a platform for a build-up strategy in the post-acute care sector.
Financing for Behrman Capital's acquisition includes a senior term loan arranged by Merrill Lynch Capital. Goodwin Procter served as legal advisor to Behrman Capital for the transaction.
• WellPoint (Indianapolis) reported the completion of its acquisition of American Imaging Management (AIM; Deerfield, Illinois), a radiology benefit management and technology company. AIM will remain headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois, as a wholly owned operating division of WellPoint and will continue to be led by its president, Dave Harrington.
AIM pioneered the integration of technology and clinical content for radiology management through the introduction of web-based prior authorization in 2002. This platform allows ordering physicians to directly submit information and receive real-time evaluation against widely accepted clinical guidelines through an easy-to-use interface, the company noted.
AIM serves health plan clients representing more than 20 million consumers. The acquisition of AIM will be accretive to earnings beginning in 2008, WellPoint said.
• Radiation Therapy Services (RTS; Fort Myers, Florida) said it has acquired a radiation therapy treatment center in Redding, California. The acquisition provides the company with entry into the Northern California local market, its second new local market entry of 2007.
The freestanding facility treats about 30 patients a day. It provides IMRT, IGRT and high dose rate brachytherapy programs. The acquisition was financed by the company's existing revolving credit facility and the company did not assume any debt in the transaction.
RTS, which operates radiation treatment centers primarily under the name 21st Century Oncology, is a provider of radiation therapy services to cancer patients. The company's 81 treatment centers are clustered into 26 local markets in 16 states.