A Medical Device Daily

Asuragen (Austin, Texas) reported completing its formation as a new molecular diagnostic company resulting from the completion of the $273 million sale of the Research Products Division of Ambion (Austin) to Applied Biosystems Group (Foster City, California) (Medical Device Daily, Dec. 29, 2005).

Asuragen is comprised of Ambion's Diagnostics and Services divisions, along with the formation of a new Discovery group to transform research into clinical products. The company will have a focus around microRNAs and their potential roles as cancer diagnostics. Asuragen will be led by Matt Winkler, founder and former CEO of Ambion.

Asuragen will have more than 95 employees from Ambion and the diagnostic and therapeutic rights to Ambion's intellectual property.

“My vision for Asuragen is to become a fully integrated diagnostic company focused on molecular oncology,“ Winkler said.

The company is being funded with about $35 million in proceeds from the sale of Ambion's research products division. This transaction is expected to close in late February.

In other dealmaking activity:

• American Medical Alert (AMAC; Oceanside, New York), a provider of healthcare communication services and home health monitoring technologies, reported acquiring the operating assets of Rhode Island-based MD On Call and Capitol Medical Bureau (Rockville, Maryland). Terms were not disclosed.

Howard Siegel, CEO of AMAC, said that with the purchase the company has completed its seventh acquisition serving “to extend our service capacity throughout the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions. AMAC intends to retain both communication centers, personnel and operating infrastructure in order to increase the company's overall reach and capacity as we continue to experience increasing demand for our specialized telephone-based communication services.“

AMAC's portfolio includes Personal Emergency Response Systems and emergency response monitoring, electronic medication reminder devices, disease management monitoring appliances and healthcare communication solutions. It operates seven communication centers under local trade names.

• Integrated Security Technologies (Vancouver, British Columbia) reported the purchase of the U.S. provisional patent application No. 60/718716, including related intellectual property, from Hadasit Medical Services and Development (Jerusalem, Israel). The provisional patent application relates to a method of preparing insulin so that it may be taken orally for use in the treatment of people with diabetes. Terms were not disclosed.

Hadasit also agreed to provide consulting services to Integrated Security for $200,000.

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