A Medical Device Daily

Volcano (Rancho Cordova, California) reported that it is collaborating with MediGuide (Haifa, Israel), a privately held company, in the development of advanced imaging and navigational technologies for use in a broad range of cardiovascular and endovascular applications. The companies said that the initial focus of the alliance will be on interventional cardiology.

The parties are negotiating an agreement that will include a collaboration development agreement and non-exclusive global distribution rights. No financial terms were disclosed.

Volcano and MediGuide said they initially plan to develop Guided IVUS (GIVUS), a product which will integrate MediGuide’s Medical Positioning System (MPS) with Volcano’s intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) system. This combination of technologies will expand the 2-D aspect of the existing IVUS image into a 3-D image designed to provide more useful clinical information, allow for easier interpretation of the image by interventional cardiologists and improve the clinical utility of the image.

MediGuide’s MPS system enables the real-time tracking of miniature sensors integrated into therapeutic and diagnostic medical devices. These MPS-ready devices will enable physicians to track real-time progression of the devices as they are manipulated through the anatomy while continuously registering their exact location and orientation utilizing advanced diagnostic systems such as Volcano’s IVUS system. This enhanced imaging capability will help physicians to assess the condition of the artery and treatment options while reducing exposure to X-radiation and usage of dye.

In addition to opportunities in interventional cardiology interventions, the alliance will explore opportunities to develop “MPS-ready” devices for imaging in the heart in conjunction with delivery of percutaneous structural heart therapies.

“When combined with Volcano’s integrated IVUS consoles, advanced catheter designs, and software technologies such as VH IVUS, MPS is expected to both enable and enhance these less-invasive therapies by providing better information and precision,” said Scott Huennekens, president/CEO of Volcano.

Martin Leon, MD, chairman of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation and associate director of the Center for Interventional Vascular Therapy (CIVT) at Columbia University Medical Center (New York), said, “With the availability of drug-eluting stents, we are performing increasingly complex interventions, and with this added complexity comes the need for more and better information on the location and morphology of lesions.”

Volcano’s IVUS product line includes ultrasound consoles that can be integrated directly into virtually any modern cath lab and single-use phased array and rotational IVUS imaging catheters. MediGuide develops tracking and imaging technologies for use in minimally-invasive surgical procedures. Its Medical Positioning System enables real-time tracking of therapeutic and diagnostic medical devices such as catheters and stents equipped with miniature MPS sensors.

In other dealmaking news, Brady (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), a developer of identification solutions, specialty materials and precision die-cut parts, has acquired Precision Converters (Dallas). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Precision Converters supplies die-cut products to the medical market with a focus on disposable, advanced wound-care products. Its products include antimicrobial foam and hydrocolloid dressings, wound closure strips, acne-control patches and surgical drapes. The company had sales of about $10 million in 2005 and employs about 80 people.

Scott Hoffman, vice president of Brady, said, “By combining Brady’s global infrastructure and die-cut expertise with Precision Converters’ experience in the fast-growing medical device market, we have an exceptional opportunity to provide a broader offering to our medical customers, as well as provide local supply and service to their customers who require global manufacturing capability, particularly in Asia.”

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