American Medical Systems Holdings (AMS; Minnetonka, Minnesota) reported that it signed an agreement to sell the assets of its aesthetics division acquired via the Laserscope (San Jose, California) acquisition to Iridex (Mountain View, California) for total consideration of up to $37 million. The transaction is anticipated to close no later than Jan. 31. The transaction calls for $28 million in total consideration to be paid to AMS at closing, with up to an additional $9 million in cash to be paid for any remaining inventory at the end of a six to nine month manufacturing transition period. AMS bought Laserscope in July 2006 for $715 million. Iridex is a worldwide provider of therapeutic-based laser systems, disposable laser probes and delivery devices to treat eye diseases and skin diseases.

ATS Medical (Minneapolis) has acquired certain assets of EM Vascular (Shoreview, Minnesota). It said the transaction will be completed by issuing ATS common stock to EM Vascular and subsequently distributed to EM Vascular stockholders. The projected value of the deal was not disclosed. ATS said the "significant asset" acquired in the deal is intellectual property "that may lead to breakthroughs in the treatment of common vascular and blood disorders." It said the technology may allow for a "non-invasive, non-pharma therapy for the treatment of such disorders as atherosclerotic plaque and blood hypercholesterolemia." The technology also provides opportunities for future angiogenesis applications, it said.

Biomoda (Albuquerque, New Mexico), a developer of early lung cancer detection testing and other cancer diagnostics, has signed an agreement to exclusively license cancer detection technology from Los Alamos National Laboratory. Financial terms were not disclosed. Biomoda's technology is based on a porphyrin application that preferentially binds to cancerous or aberrant cells, which are non-invasively collected from lung sputum samples. The porphyrin then glows red under fluorescent light, easily identifying cancerous cells.

Braun (Kronberg, Germany), part of Procter and Gamble (P&G; Cincinnati), and Kaz (New York), have formed a partnership under which Kaz has acquired Braun's thermometer and blood pressure monitoring business. The partnership also includes a licensing agreement between the two companies, in which the products will be marketed by Kaz under the Braun name. The business comprises Thermoscan digital thermometers and wrist blood pressure monitors and currently represents about 5% of Braun's global sales. Braun and its vendors will continue manufacturing thermometers and blood pressure monitors for a significant period of time after the transaction.

Gamma Medica-Ideas (GM-I; Los Angeles/Oslo, Norway), a developer of imaging devices for the pre-clinical and clinical markets, reported reaching agreement to acquire and merge operations with Advanced Molecular Imaging (AMI; Quebec), which bills itself as the only company in the world delivering a fully digital APD positron emission tomography (PET) product for pre-clinical imaging. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Gamma said that the combined company will be "the first and only firm with a complete range of digital imaging technologies, including APD PET and GM-I's recently unveiled CZT SPECT detector technologies, as well as the most advanced range of multiple modality imaging systems for drug discovery and medical research."

Micrus Endovascular (San Jose, California) reported that it has acquired certain assets and business of privately held VasCon (Doral, Florida), a maker of vascular access and delivery devices. The subsidiary of Micrus formed to acquire the assets will develop and manufacture neurovascular catheter products for Micrus, including Micrus' steerable catheter, the Enzo. VasCon's cardiovascular products will continue to be sold through non-Micrus distribution channels. Micrus, through its subsidiary, acquired assets of VasCon for an up-front payment of about $5 million, paid in cash and Micrus stock, and performance based earn-out payments over three years. VasCon has made diagnostic catheters, guiding catheters, PTCA catheters, catheter sheath introducers, neurological stimulators, hydrophilic coating and stent deployment systems under private label, as well as for a list of medical device customers.

MIV Therapeutics (MIVT; Atlanta/Vancouver, British Columbia), heretofore focused primarily on the development of a material to be used in a drug-eluting stent (DES), has acquired a key stent platform for its technology with the purchase of Biosync Scientific (Gujarat, India), a developer of interventional cardiology products, including stents. MIVT said that Biosync provides it a "highly competitive" bare metal stent (BMS) platform that compares favorably with the best BMS devices available today. MIVT said it will use the Biosync stent platform as the underlying BMS technology for its biocompatible polymer-free DES.

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