• Continuing its push into the device realm, Angiotech Pharmaceuticals (Vancouver, British Columbia) unveiled its plans to acquire privately held American Medical Instruments Holdings (AMI; Lake Forest, Illinois), a company made up 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. Besides providing new opportunities for developing new products, Angiotech said in a statement that it diversifies its revenue bases and gives it “global manufacturing, marketing and sales capabilities.” 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.

• BD (Becton, Dickinson; Franklin Lakes, New Jersey) reported the completion of its $230 million acquisition of GeneOhm Sciences (San Diego), a pioneer in the development of molecular diagnostic testing for the rapid detection of bacterial organisms, including those known to cause healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) BD said the acquisition is a natural complement to its core strengths in microbiology and validates its commitment to expansion in molecular diagnostics. It will enable BD to move quickly into the emerging HAI field.

• Endocare (Irvine, California), a company developing minimally invasive technologies for tissue and tumor ablation, reported completing the sale of its subsidiary, Timm Medical Technologies (Minneapolis), to drug company Plethora Solutions Holdings (London). Proceeds from the sale were $9.5 million, consisting of $8.1 million in cash and a 24-month convertible promissory note of $1.4 million. Craig Davenport, CEO and chairman of Endocare, said that the spin-off of Timm – a developer of products to treat erectile dysfunction – provides it “significant” added cash and “allows us to focus on our primary strategic objective, which is to become a clear leader in minimally invasive technologies for tissue and tumor ablation through cryoablation.” Plethora has products in clinical development for the treatment of overactive bladder, benign prostatic hyperplasia, stress urinary incontinence, interstitial cystitis and premature ejaculation.

• Moog (East Aurora, New York) reported that it has agreed to acquire the assets of Curlin Medical (Huntington Beach, California), a manufacturer of infusion pumps, and the net assets of two affiliated companies for $75 million for the acquisition, $63 million in cash and $12 million in the form of a 53-week note. The transaction is expected to close late in 1Q06, subject to satisfaction of various conditions and regulatory clearance. Through its Components Group, Moog has supplied a variety of products to manufacturers of medical equipment. The company said that sales of these products have grown significantly, notably in the supply of slip rings for CT scan machines and electric motors used in sleep apnea equipment. The purchase of Curlin will expand the company’s participation in the medical market.

• 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. .

• Novadaq Technologies (Toronto) reported signing an agreement with the University of Rochester (Rochester, New York) to license a portfolio of patents in the field of intra-operative fluorescence guided imaging of nerves, including image-guided conventional and minimally invasive nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy. Financial terms were not disclosed. Novadaq said that the agreement enables it to develop and commercialize the resulting proprietary nerve imaging technologies. Novadaq’s SPY Intra-operative Imaging System enables cardiac surgeons to visually assess coronary vasculature and bypass graft functionality during the course of open-heart bypass surgery.

• Nuance Communications (Burlington, Massachusetts) has unveiled its plan to acquire Dictaphone (Stratford, Connecticut), a major provider of dictation and speech recognition solutions for healthcare, for $357 million in cash. Nuance said the planned purchase accelerates its strategy to automate manual transcription in healthcare, in what it estimates as an annual $10 billion market in the U.S., $15 billion worldwide. The acquisition expands Nuance’s product portfolio, market reach and revenue streams within this growing sector. Dictaphone will be the surviving corporation of the merger and continue as a wholly owned subsidiary of Nuance.

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