A Medical Device Daily

While the word “pharmaceuticals”positionsAngiotech Pharmaceuticals (Vancouver, British Columbia) clearly on the pharma side of med-tech, the company now bills itself as a “pharmaceutical and medical device” company.

The supplier of the drug product for the Taxus drug-eluting stent made by Boston Scientific (Natick, Massachusetts), Angiotech loaded up a bit more on the device side of the equation this week by completing the acquisition of Quill Medical (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina), including all of Quill's technology and intellectual property, for $40 million in cash plus future milestone payments based on product revenues.

In October 2004, Angiotech's Surgical Specialties division and Quill entered into a manufacturing and distribution agreement for the Contour Threads product line to be used in minimally invasive aesthetic and cosmetic surgery. Compared to conventional sutures that are smooth, the Contour Threads products have tiny teeth-like barbs or cogs along the surface. Once inserted under the skin, these self-anchoring sutures hold tissue in place to suspend sagging tissue or close wounds.

With the completion of the purchase, Angiotech now owns the rights to develop applications of the Contour Threads product line in a variety of aesthetic markets as well as other large, non-aesthetic markets where sutures are commonly used, such as wound closure and tendon repair for orthopedic applications.

“Building on the success of the minimally invasive facelift procedure, our Contour Threads product line can potentially offer 'non-extreme' options for a variety of other aesthetic procedures, such as breast lifts, neck contouring, and other body contouring indications,” said Dr. William Hunter, president and CEO of Angiotech. “We will also now be able to offer this innovative technology to surgeons for a variety of general wound closure applications, such as orthopedic, cosmetic, vascular and endoscopic surgery, which significantly expands our potential markets.”

Pete Molinaro, president of Angiotech's Surgical Speci-alties division, said, “By the end of this year, we anticipate that we will more than double our existing Contour Threads sales force, create new distribution agreements in key markets, and further expand our existing global distribution channels in Asia, Europe, South Africa and the UK.”

Angiotech, said it will initiate a study investigating the use of its Contour Threads products in certain aesthetic surgery procedures for the breast in 3Q06.

It cites 2005 figures indicating more than 290,000 breast augmentation procedures and in excess of 90,000 breast lifts in the U.S. Angiotech said the Contour Threads product line allows it to expand this market to include those patients who desire aesthetic changes but are unwilling to have more invasive procedures, such as implant surgery.

In the area of wound closure, the company estimates more than 280 million sutures used annually, and the worldwide market for suture-based wound closure is about $2 billion.

Quill's technology enables surgical sutures to self-anchor in tissue without the need for suture knots. Earlier this year, a bi-directional version of the Contour Threads product was launched, further eliminating the need to tie a suture knot when initially inserting the product.

Angiotech said it would continue work on a portfolio of next-generation Contour Threads products, including a biodegradable version, which will be absorbable.

In other dealmaking activity:

• Agile Software (San Jose, California), a provider of product lifecycle management solutions (PLM), said it has agreed to acquire Prodika (Dallas), a provider of PLM solutions for the consumer packaged goods industry. Terms were not disclosed.

The acquisition, subject to the satisfaction of normal conditions to closing, is expected to close on June 30.

Agile helps companies drive profits, accelerate innovation, reduce costs and ensure regulatory compliance.

United BioSource (UBS; Bethesda, Maryland) reported acquiring Muse & Associates (Washington), a consulting firm specializing in Medicare and Medicaid cost estimates and projections, policy analysis, reimbursement and coding and special studies for the pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device, health insurance and health service industries. Financial terms were not disclosed.

UBS said the deal expands its reimbursement support capabilities by providing access to government health insurance claims databases and building the company's team of Medicare/Medicaid experts.