A Medical Device Daily

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.

Dr. Arun Menawat, president and CEO of Novadaq, said, "The research team at the University of Rochester Med-ical Center has been studying Novadaq's fluorescence imaging technology as a unique approach to visualize nerves . . . We are confident that the combination of this technology with our existing and commercially proven SPY System in cardiac surgery, will provide us an opportunity to lead the way in medical imaging for urologic and other operating room procedures."

Novadaq's fluorescence imaging technology, used to visualize arteries during cardiac surgery, is designed to reduce nerve damage and other side effects, such as erectile dysfunction, following prostatectomy.

Professor Edward Messing, MD, chairman of the department of urology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry, said, "The use of the same fluorescent agent as with the current SPY System for cardiac surgery applications has allowed us to quickly and easily visualize nerves in the laboratory."

Novadaq's ophthalmic product, the Optix System, for the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration, uses the same core imaging technology used in the SPY System. The Optix System is being evaluated in clinical trials.

In other dealmaking activity:

• FEI (Hillsboro, Oregon) reported that it has terminated discussions with Carl Zeiss SMT (Cambridge, UK), a unit of Carl Zeiss AG (Oberkochen, Germany), regarding the potential acquisition of FEI by Carl Zeiss SMT. The discussions were initiated by Carl Zeiss, FEI said.

Vahe Sarkissian, president, CEO and chairman of FEI, said, "Our potential as a leader in tools for nanotechnology is very large, and we are concentrating on taking advantage of that potential, generating positive shareholder returns in the process."

FEI's Tools for Nanotech, featuring focused ion- and electron-beam technologies, deliver 3-D characterization, analysis and modification capabilities with resolution down to the sub-Angstrom level.

• Pediatrix Medical Group (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) reported completing the purchase of Neonatology Associates (Atlanta), a neonatal and pediatric subspecialty physician group practice. Pediatrix said it paid cash for the purchase, but specific terms were not disclosed.

Pediatrix said that the acquired practice is expected to be immediately accretive to its earnings per share.

Combined historical patient volume for Neonatology Associates includes more than 58,000 annual neonatal intensive care unit patient days at four hospitals in the Atlanta metropolitan area. The physicians provide services in other hospital departments, generating annual volume of 17,000 newborn nursery patient days, 7,000 pediatric intensive care unit patient days and 2,000 patient days at a specialized technologically dependent intensive care unit.

Neonatology Associates was formed in 1978 and opened the NICU at Atlanta's Northside Hospital, and the practice then expanded to other hospitals in the Atlanta area.

Pediatrix is a leading provider of newborn, maternal-fetal and pediatric physician subspecialty services.

The Federal Trade Commission reported receiving a petition from DaVita (Torrance, California) requesting approval of a proposed divestiture related to its recent acquisition of Gambro Healthcare (Stockholm, Sweden).

Under the consent order, issued to resolve competitive problems in the renal dialysis industry raised by the acquisition, DaVita is required to sell its four "owned real property assets to an FTC-approved buyer" and also was required to divest 69 renal dialysis clinics, which it did in earlier transactions. DaVita asked approval to divest the four owned real property assets to two real estate management companies, the Armstrong Group and Oman-Gibson Associates.

In a related filing, DaVita has filed a motion requesting that the commission extend by 60 days the deadline for the required real estate divestitures.

• AMS Homecare (Vancouver, British Columbia) said it would acquire all of the shares of Golden Wireless (Bellingham, Washington), a company developing asset management technology for healthcare, with carry-over to other commercial and residential applications, such as home healthcare equipment data monitoring.

The Golden Wireless system incorporates an emerging wireless technology called Zigbee.

"The opportunity to harness this new technology for applications in healthcare will enable the company to offer more products for the healthcare industry. With the closing of the acquisition and the subsequent development of the products we hope to enter into new markets in the future," said Mharj Gill, CEO of AMS.

Patrick Golden, Golden Wireless founder, will stay with the company to oversee the technical development and strategy.

AMS Homecare is a purveyor of mobility equipment, disposable medical products and monitoring technology.

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