A Medical Device Daily

Varian (Palo Alto, California) reported expanding what it terms its “information-rich detection“ (IRD) portfolio by acquiring Fourier Transform mass spectrometry (FTMS) technology through its purchase of IonSpec (Lake Forest; California) for about $16 million in cash, including the pay-down of assumed debt.

Varian will make additional payments if FTMS products reach specified financial targets over a three-year period.

The acquisition would increase its participation in the study of proteins, nucleic acids and drug metabolites, Varian said. FTMS instruments are used in laboratories worldwide to discover the function and structural characterization of proteins and other biomolecules in various biological systems, providing knowledge of how cells work and how diseases evolve.

“FTMS is increasingly important because it offers the most accurate mass determination and the highest possible resolution of any type of MS instrument available today,“ Varian said in a statement.

“We are particularly excited about acquiring this technology because it will accelerate Varian's [IRD] product drive into life sciences research around the world,“ said Garry Rogerson, Varian president and CEO. “Additionally, FTMS technology complements our already strong range of nuclear magnetic resonance [NMR] products.“

The company's IRD portfolio includes NMR and MRI, MS and Fourier Transform-infrared (FT-IR) systems, acquired from Digilab (see below).

Digilab (Canton, Massachusetts), a developer of molecular spectroscopy systems and solutions, reported acquiring BioVisioN (Hanover, Germany), a developer of Peptidomics, an analytical peptide profiling and discovery technology for the development of substances and methods used to diagnose and treat diseases. Digilab said the acquisition accelerates its global reach into life science research and bio-analytical services.

“The acquisition of BioVisioN is one of several initiatives designed to assure our customers and partners that Digilab remains committed to its global vision to be 'Spectroscopy's leading light,'“ said Sidney Braginsky, CEO and chairman of Digilab.

The acquisition comes nearly a year and a half after Digilab sold its FTIR molecular spectroscopy assets to Varian for $14 million (Medical Device Daily, Sept. 16, 2004). Since then, the company says it has focused on re-entering the market with pre-analytical sample prep, bioinformatics and detection/analysis tools designed for research and diagnostics molecular spectroscopy applications, tools that will connect the company to disease management-focused in vitro diagnostics products at the point of care.

“We plan to integrate proprietary Digilab tools into research processes and, ultimately, disease management systems that establish new standards of care,“ said David Giddings, president and COO.

A developer of molecular spectroscopy systems, Digilab develops applications for the life sciences research and in vitro diagnostics. It reports that its work for the U.S. government in 1969 led to the development of the first commercial FTIR spectrometer. BioVisioN – calling itself the “Peptidomics“ company – develops bioinformatics tools used to qualify, quantify and sequence diagnostic and therapeutic biomarkers used to support pharmacogenomics approaches to personalized medicine. Its Differ-ential Peptide Display (DPD) bioinformatics software is used to facilitate peptide biomarker diagnostic and therapeutic discovery. In 1997, it spun off the Institut fur Peptidforschung (Hanover), a public institute for peptide research.

In other dealmaking news:

• EnXnet (Tulsa, Oklahoma) said that with BAHF (Plano, Texas), it will form a new company to combine and commercialize several intellectual properties focused on improved patient safety.

Each company will contribute pertinent technologies to the new company for applications in the medical industry. BAHF will be responsible for funding the new company, with EnXnet retaining a 25% equity interest in this venture.

Fresenius Medical Care North America (Lexington, Massachusetts) reported that in connection with the previously announced tender offer and consent solicitation by Florence Acquisition, an indirect subsidiary of Fres-enius Medical Care AG & Co., for the $159,685,000 of 9% senior subordinated notes, due 2011, of Renal Care Group (Nashville, Tennessee), Florence is further extending the tender offer expiration to 5 p.m., EST, March 14. Purchase of the notes is being made in connection with the pending acquisition of Renal Care Group and its subsidiaries by FMC, that deal first unveiled last May (Medical Device Daily, May, 5, 2005).

The consideration to be paid for the notes would have been $1,101.90 per $1,000 principal amount of the notes, calculated on the basis of the yield to maturity on the 4.25% U.S. Treasury note, due Oct. 31, 2007, as of 10 a.m. EST on the price determination date of Feb. 10.

As a result of the extension, the consideration will be calculated using a new price determination date of Feb. 28, the 10th business day preceding the scheduled expiration date, recalculated as of 10 a.m. EST on Feb. 28.

As of 5 p.m. EST on Feb. 24, 99.87% of the outstanding aggregate principal amount of the notes had been tendered, Fresenius reported.

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