A Medical Device Daily

Schering (Berlin) reported that its French subsidiary, Schering S.A.S., would transfer the radiopharmaceutical business of CIS bio international to a consortium formed by the Belgian companies Ion Beam Applications and the Institut National des Radioelements. An agreement was signed by the parties on Wednesday.

As part of the transaction, the consortium acquires Schering's current radiopharmaceutical business, while Schering will continue to focus on diagnostic fields of MRI, computed tomography, and optical as well as molecular imaging.

Closing of the transaction is expected in the first half of 2006.

About 750 employees in different countries will continue employment under the ownership of the consortium.

This divestment is part of Schering's FOCUS initiative and will contribute to further improve the company's profitability, it said.

The transaction will have a negative one-time effect of about EUR 50 million on Schering's operating profit for fiscal 2006.

“We are highly committed to drive innovation in the field of diagnostic imaging,“ said Karin Dorrepaal, member of the executive board of Schering responsible for its Diagnostic Imaging business. “We realign our strategy in the area of diagnostic imaging to focus on innovative growth opportunities and to increase our operating performance in this area at the same time.“

CornerStone Medical Services MidWest (Akron, Ohio), a supplier of respiratory and medical equipment, reported that it has acquired the operating assets of Legacy Medical Equipment (LME; Troy, Ohio). The addition of Legacy increases CornerStone's existing patient customer base in Ohio by about 25%, bringing the total to more than 2,000 people.

The purchase was made as part of CornerStone's plan for strategic growth throughout Ohio and the Midwest.

“Our purchase of LME was completed following a careful examination of its operating assets and the impact it would have on the evolution of our company,“ said CornerStone President Tom Sayre. “Our business plan when we began operations in December 2004 was consistent expansion of our presence both in Ohio and the region to improve overall efficiencies for the benefit of our customers.“

Cornerstone said it has no plans to eliminate any jobs or cease operations at any of the offices acquired as part of the purchase.

Legacy's owners, Robert Lybarger and Douglas Amheiser, will join Cornerstone as regional director and branch manager, respectively. They both will be responsible for business development in western Ohio and the region.

CornerStone Medical Services MidWest is a joint venture between Summa Enterprise Group, the for-profit arm of Summa Health System (both Akron, Ohio), and Amerimed (Cincinnati), a Tri-Health Hospital System subsidiary.

In other dealmaking news:

OncoVista (San Antonio) said it has acquired a controlling interest in AdnaGen (Langenhagen, Germany), a company that focuses on the development of tumor diagnostics.

AdnaGen has developed and is marketing tests for the early detection and analysis of circulating tumor cells (CTCs). AdnaGen is currently marketing tests in Europe for breast and colon cancer. Efforts are under way to obtain FDA approval to market these tests in the U.S.

“AdnaGen's technology for rapid and sensitive detection of CTCs and analysis of the prognostic markers they express is unique,“ said Alexander Weis, PhD, president and CEO of OncoVista. “Integration of this technology into clinical trials will greatly improve our ability to select patients who will respond to targeted therapy and to provide clinicians with rapid feedback concerning the effectiveness of therapy.“

OncoVista is a privately held biopharmaceutical company developing drugs for the treatment of cancer and related life-threatening diseases.

• Community Health Systems (CHS; Nashville, Tennessee) reported the execution of a definitive agreement to acquire two hospitals from the Baptist Health System (Birmingham, Alabama). Those were Baptist Medical Center-Dekalb (Ft. Payne, Alabama) and Baptist Medical Center-Cherokee (Centre, Alabama).

The Dekalb hospital is licensed for 134 beds and the Cherokee hospital is licensed for 60 beds. Each hospital is less than 100 miles northeast of Birmingham and both are the sole providers of healthcare in their respective communities.

CHS is an operator of general acute-care hospitals in non-urban communities throughout the country. Through its subsidiaries, it currently owns, leases or operates 71 hospitals in 21 states.

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