A Medical Device Daily

Greatbatch (Clarence, New York) said it has completed its acquisition of Enpath Medical (Plymouth, Minnesota).

Greatbatch reported last week that it had completed its tender offer for Enpath (Medical Device Daily, June 13, 2007). The company first reported its intention to acquire Enpath last month for $102 million in cash plus the assumption of debt. (MDD, May 1, 2007).

Greatbatch's acquisition of Enpath was structured as a cash tender offer for the outstanding shares of Enpath Medical followed by the merger of a Greatbatch acquisition subsidiary with and into Enpath, resulting in that company becoming a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of Greatbatch. In the merger, outstanding Enpath shares not included in the tender offer were converted into the right to receive $14.38 a share, in cash, without interest and less any required withholding taxes.

Greatbatch makes critical components used in implantable devices and other technical applications.

Enpath makes percutaneous delivery systems and stimulation leads technologies. Its products include venous vessel introducers, articulating and fixed curve delivery catheters, epicardial and endocardial stimulation leads, and other products for use in pacemaker, defibrillator, catheter and infusion port procedures as well as neuromodulation markets.

In other dealmaking activity:

• Powerway (Indianapolis), a provider of manufacturing product development process solutions for automotive manufacturers, said it has significantly expanded its market position with its purchase of Cohesia (Cincinnati). This key acquisition extends Powerway's reach into the aerospace and defense sectors and sets up the strategic infrastructure to enable the company to expand into medical devices, pharmaceuticals, electronics and other complex manufacturing environments, it said.

Cohesia is a software company that provides web-based quality management solutions to companies, such as those in the aerospace industry, which operate in highly complex manufacturing environments.

• Stem Cell Sciences (SCS; Edinburgh, United Kingdom), a global biotechnology company focused on the commercialization of stem cells and stem cell technologies, reported the exclusive in-licensing of what it calls a breakthrough technology. This is expected to accelerate the application of human embryonic stem (ES) cells in both research and cell-based therapies, the company said. This discovery overcomes the key challenge in the effective scale-up of stem cell technologies — cell death. When separated from one another, during transfer from one growth vessel to another in routine laboratory processes such as scale-up and genetic modification, human ES cells commonly undergo cell death. The use of a selective ROCK inhibitor to increase the robustness of the cells will allow for the large-scale automated production that is needed for industrial research and clinical application. SCS has secured exclusive rights to the discovery in all global territories except Japan where the company holds non-exclusive rights. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The discovery, made by Professor Yoshiki Sasai's team at The Institute of Physical and Chemical Research of the RIKEN Centre for Developmental Biology (Kobe, Japan), uses a class of compounds known as ROCK (Rho-associated kinase) inhibitors to block the onset of stem cell death when the clusters of growing cells are dissociated for transfer and scale-up. This discovery, published May 27 in Nature Biotechnology, was effective on all human ES cell lines tested, according to the company. The discovery represents a world first in terms of stem cell technology, SCS noted.

• BD Biosciences (Franklin Lakes, New Jersey) and StemCell Technologies (Vancouver, British Columbia) said they have each entered into a worldwide license agreement with the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF; Madison, Wisconsin). The agreements will allow BD Biosciences and StemCell Technologies to develop and commercialize novel growth media and validated tissue culture surfaces that together offer a complete cell culture environment for human embryonic stem cells, the companies said.

Financial details of the deals were not disclosed.

The agreements also mark the beginning of a strategic collaboration between BD Biosciences and StemCell Technologies, the companies said, which aims to provide products that are superior in quality, performance and reliability to facilitate and support the field of stem cell research. The development of these products arises from primary research performed by Dr. James Thomson and Dr. Tenneille Ludwig at the University of Wisconsin - Madison and the WiCell Research Institute , a nonprofit subsidiary of WARF.

The first commercial products expected from these new license agreements and collaboration are a defined medium and compatible tissue culture surface to support the feeder-independent maintenance of hESC-a major advance in current state-of-the-art cell culture conditions. The companies expect these products to be introduced to the market on June 18 at the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR; Northbrook, Illinois) annual meeting in Cairns, Australia.

BD makes devices, instrument systems and reagents and is focused on improving drug therapy, enhancing the quality and speed of diagnosing infectious diseases, and advancing research and discovery of new drugs and vaccines.

StemCell Technologies provides highly specialized cell culture media and cell separation products that support and enable medical research in areas such as cancer, hematology, immunology, cell transplantation, gene therapy, and stem cell biology.

WARF supports world-class research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison by protecting the intellectual property of faculty, staff and students, and by licensing inventions resulting from their work.

WiCell was created to support human embryonic stem cell research on the UW-Madison campus.

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