A Medical Device Daily

MIV Therapeutics (MIVT; Vancouver, British Columbia), a developer of biocompatible coatings and advanced drug delivery systems for cardiovascular stents and other implantable medical devices, reported that it has entered into a collaborative agreement with Sahajanand Medical Technologies (SMT; Surat, India), a manufacturer of stents and drug-eluting stents.

The company said the strategic collaboration supersedes its previously disclosed letter of intent to acquire Sahajanand in a stock-based transaction (Medical Device Daily, March 15, 2005).

Under the terms of the agreement, MIVT and Sahajanand will collaborate to develop products based on the two companies' advanced technologies and solutions for the worldwide vascular stent marketplace.

The partnership may involve what the company said are a "number of potential business and technology initiatives" to commercialize MIVT's line of biocompatible coatings, which are designed to improve the performance and safety of stents, drug-eluting stents and other implantable medical devices.

Since the newly reported collaboration will not require the company to issue the approximately 53 million new shares that would have been used in an acquisition of Sahajanand, MIVT said significant shareholder dilution would be avoided.

"We believe this newly announced collaborative approach will best serve MIVT and its shareholders," said Alan Lindsay, CEO of MIVT. "It will give MIVT access to Sahajanand's value as a strategic partner, as well as their global market presence, without requiring the high expense and shareholder dilution of an acquisition."

He added: "In light of MIVT's better-than-anticipated growth in market capitalization and our scientific development during the last year, and following thorough due diligence with respect to the proposed acquisition of Sahajanand, both managements have concluded that this restructured strategic partnership, rather than acquisition, is the most advantageous path."

Lindsay said that in the year since the initial agreement to explore the acquisition of Sahajanand, "MIVT has progressed and evolved substantially as a company, both in terms of our technology and in the growth of shareholder value. In light of this progress, management decided that this strategy will provide us with the highest degree of flexibility in executing our research and development programs and our strategic business initiatives."

Dhirajlal Kotadia, founder and CEO of Sahajanand, said the agreement was designed to provide valuable mutual benefits to both companies by creating synergies between their "cutting-edge" technologies and products. "I believe this partnership will enable us to develop important solutions for the worldwide cardiovascular marketplace for stents and advanced drug-eluting stents," he said.

MIVT is developing a next-generation line of advanced biocompatible coatings for passive and drug-eluting applications on cardiovascular stents and a broad range of other implantable medical devices. The company's ultra-thin coating formulation is designed to protect surrounding tissue from potentially harmful interactions with bare metallic stents. The company's ultra-thin coating platform is derived from an organic material called hydroxyapatite (HAp) which has demonstrated excellent safety and biocompatibility in in vivo animal studies.

Hydroxyapatite is a bioactive porous material that makes up the bone mineral and matrix of teeth and is widely used today as a bone substitute material and for coatings on implantable fixation devices in orthopedic, dental and other applications.

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