A Medical Device Daily

Baxter International (Deerfield, Illinois) reported that it has signed individual licensing agreements with Intercytex (Cambridge, UK) and Spinal Restoration (Austin, Texas) to evaluate the use of Baxter's fibrin sealant Tisseel in novel regenerative medicine therapies.

"Baxter's new partnerships will broaden the application of Tisseel in new and investigational applications that are intended to address unmet needs," said Ronald Lloyd, VP and general manager of Regenerative Medicine at Baxter. "These agreements reflect our ongoing commitment to improving clinical procedures through the therapeutic use of our fibrin sealants."

Baxter will supply Intercytex and Spinal Restoration with Tisseel at agreed upon pricing for use in their investigational treatments. Baxter will also obtain shares as part of the Spinal Restoration agreement.

Intercytex will use Tisseel in combination with allogeneic dermal fibroblasts (cells that are critical to the wound healing process) in the continuing development of two of its products; ICX-PRO, an investigational topical wound care product designed to actively stimulate healing in chronic wounds and ICX-SKN, an investigational skin replacement designed to replace autologous skin grafts.

Currently in Phase II and III trials, ICX-PRO is being evaluated in a variety of chronic wound settings including venous leg ulcers and diabetic foot ulcers. ICX-SKN recently completed a Phase I trial.

Spinal Restoration is working with Baxter to use Tisseel in the development of its Biostat Biologx Fibrin Sealant to augment healing and repair of painful defects in the intervertebral disc area of the spine. The sealant will be combined with the company's technology to create the Biostat Disc Augmentation System, a minimally invasive product that will be studied to determine safety and efficacy for the treatment of painful degeneration of intervertebral discs.

SRA International (Fairfax, Virginia), a provider of technology and strategic consulting services and solutions to federal government organizations, reported the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire Constella Group (Durham, North Carolina) a privately held provider of global health consulting services.

Constella employs more than 1,500 professionals organized by three interrelated service offerings: domestic health sciences, international health development and global drug development. The domestic health sciences business provides research, technology, communications and strategy support to U.S. government agencies charged with protecting and advancing the health of their constituents. Constella's international health development business helps emerging nations across the world create and implement health policy, primarily through contracts with the governments of the U.S. and the UK. The global drug development business provides blue-chip pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device firms with the strategic insight and services needed to take a drug, biologic or device through the development process from concept to market.

SRA president/CEO Stan Sloane, said the purchase "will form the foundation of a new health business unit to be led by Don Holzworth [Constella's founder and CEO], which will bring even greater focus to this growing market in the future."

Completion of the transaction is expected within a month.

In other dealmaking news:

• Avid Radiopharmaceuticals (Philadelphia), a molecular imaging company, and Bayer Schering Pharma (Berlin), a diagnostic imaging pharmaceutical company, reported that Bayer Schering Pharma has exercised its right to license Avid's 18F-AV1/ZK compound, a molecular imaging agent that targets amyloid plaques in the brain.

When used with positron emission tomography (PET) imaging, the AV1/ZK compound may enable earlier and more accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease (AD), a disease that currently affects an estimated 5 million Americans and is expected to potentially affect up to 16 million Americans by the year 2050, according to the company.

AV1/ZK is one of a series of compounds discovered in the laboratory of Dr. Hank Kung from the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) and licensed to Avid for development. Avid entered into an exclusive option agreement with Schering (now Bayer Schering Pharma) in December 2005 for the development of AV1/ZK and related compounds referred to as 18F-stilbenes for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of Alzheimer's.

• CAS Medical Systems (Branford, Connecticut), focused on non-invasive vital signs monitoring, has entered into agreements with Davis Marcus Partners (DMP; Connecticut) for the sale and leaseback of its headquarters and manufacturing facility at 44 East Industrial Road, Branford, Connecticut. The agreement provides for a purchase price of $3 million and a long-term leaseback of the property. The completion is expected to take place during the third quarter of 2007.

Upon completion of the sale of the property, CAS Medical will lease the property for a 10-year initial term with the option to extend the term for two additional successive periods of five years, subject to certain notice and financial covenants requirements. The lease provides for an annual base rent in years 1-5 of $244,800, and years 6-10 of $268,800, payable monthly. In addition, CAS Medical will have a right of first offer to lease any additional space or building built by DMP on the property, subject to certain restrictions.

CAS manufactures cerebral oximeters, blood pressure measurement technology, vital signs monitors, blood pressure cuffs, cardio-respiratory and apnea monitors and products for neonatal intensive care.