Continuing a strong push into the device realm – and thereby further expanding its opportunities for innovative device/drug combinations – Angiotech Pharmaceuticals (Vancouver, British Columbia) has unveiled plans to acquire privately held American Medical Instruments Holdings (AMI; Lake Forest, Illinois), a company of several manufacturers of medical devices. It is purchasing AMI from RoundTable Healthcare Partners (Lake Forest) and the Marmon Group (Chicago) for about $785 million in cash. Best known for supplying the drug portion of Boston Scientific’s (Natick, Massachusetts) Taxus drug-eluting stent, Angiotech now becomes a seller of its own products, according to William Hunter, MD, the company’s president and CEO. In a conference call, Hunter said the transaction produces “a very exciting and important day” for the company. “To this point in our evolution we’ve been largely an R&D and intellectual property-based company. For the first time we are a fully integrated company capable of many more things than we were yesterday.” He called the purchase rationale “compelling,” giving Angiotech “a commercialization platform to capitalize on and really extract full value from our significant R&D pipeline and our drug delivery capabilities.” Hunter said transaction close is targeted for the second quarter. It is expected to be immediately accretive to its 2006 and 2007 results. AMI has global operations in 12 locations and four countries, including more than 550,000 square feet of manufacturing operations. Post-transaction, Angiotech will have two specialty sales forces operating on a worldwide basis: one focused primarily on general surgery, plastic surgery, and ophthalmic surgery, the other focused on vascular surgery, interventional radiology and tumor biopsy. AMI has two dedicated and focused sales organizations for physician products. These sales teams could potentially sell the stand-alone Lifespan vascular graft products, which Angiotech acquired late last year from Edwards Lifesciences (Irvine, California); Angiotech’s Vascular Wrap paxlitaxel-eluting mesh; drug-loaded surgical sealant products; drug-eluting central venous catheter, currently in clinical trials; and the anticipated new product offerings. These new offerings will combine Angiotech’s various biomaterials and drug technologies and will see rapid development and launch, it said. Mike Hudson, AMI’s CEO, and Richard Adloff, that company’s CFO, will assist in the integration process, Angiotech said. Peter Molinaro, president of the Surgical Specialties division, Robert Pietrafesa, president of the InterV division, and Kirk O’Brien, president of the OEM division, will join Angiotech’s management team. AMI’s revenue base is highly diversified from a product and customer concentration perspective, its catalogue serving areas such as vascular surgery, interventional radiology, general surgery, wound closure, ophthalmology and minimally invasive cosmetic surgery. With close of the transaction, AMI will be a division of Angiotech, with operations in Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, Florida, Denmark and the UK. It will consist of three specific operating business units: Surgical Specialties, InterV and an OEM division.

• Instant Technologies (IT; Norfolk, Virginia) reported that it has acquired Accu-Stat Diagnostics (Lake Forest, California) for an undisclosed sum. Accu-Stat recently obtained FDA 510(k) clearances to sell its Accu-Stat line of home testing products for drugs of abuse, breath alcohol, cholesterol, and fecal occult blood tests over-the-counter. “The acquisition of Accu-Stat is strategic to the advancement of [our] goal to expand our product portfolio and enter the consumer products market,” said Jeff Konecke, IT’s director of business development. “The OTC market for drugs of abuse is poised for growth and is in need of a strong market leader, which we intend to become.” Instant Technologies is a developer of rapid test devices that include drug and alcohol testing, women’s health and clinical diagnostics.

• Nanogen (San Diego) reported that it has completed the purchase of the rapid cardiac immunoassay test business of Spectral Diagnostics (Toronto) for C$9 million. Payment was comprised of C$5.65 million in cash and C$3.35 million in Nanogen common shares. The deal, first unveiled in December, expands Nanogen’s portfolio of diagnostics to include Spectral’s Cardiac STATus and Decision Point product lines, the i-Lynx reader, related intellectual property and manufacturing capabilities. Nanogen said it now has a fully integrated point-of-care (POC) group with capabilities in research, product development, manufacturing, and sales and marketing, with a worldwide distribution network to compete in the $1.5 billion worldwide POC market. About 50 employees from Spectral will join Nanogen, including David Ray, former chief operating officer of Spectral. Spectral said that with the sale it now would focus on its sepsis and infectious disease tests. Spectral retains intellectual property and revenues related to its single-chain Troponin I calibrator, as well as other reagents. This retained reagent business accounts for about C$3 million in annual revenue. Spectral’s major retained product lines include the Endotoxin Activity Assay, which the company bills as “the first FDA-approved diagnostic test for sepsis.” Sepsis kills about 750,000 people in the U.S. each year and accounts for more than $17 billion in annual healthcare costs. Spectral also retains its West Nile Virus Assay, as the flagship product in its infectious disease-testing portfolio. The assay received approval from Health Canada in late 2005. Spectral is currently pursuing regulatory approval for the U.S. market for the coming summer season. West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne pathogen that represents a major emerging public health threat in North America and has been responsible for nearly 1,000 deaths.

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