Angiotech Pharmaceuticals (Vancouver, British Columbia), provider of the drug paclitaxel used to coat the Taxus drug-eluting stent from Boston Scientific (Natick, Massachusetts), has entered into an agreement to acquire Afmedica (Kalamazoo, Michigan), a private company developing perivascular technology using the drug rapamycin to treat peripheral vascular disease, coronary artery disease and end-stage renal disease. The Afmedica purchase, Angiotech said in a statement, strengthens its Vascular Wrap product development program, in which it is currently conducting clinical studies with its paclitaxel-eluting Vascular Wrap product candidate. Angiotech said the acquisition enables it to expand its research platform with rapamycin in perivascular and other selected disease indications. Angiotech said it expects to complete the acquisition in 4Q05.

Cardiac Science (Irvine, California) and Quinton Cardiology Systems (Bothell, Washington), two companies that make a variety of cardiology products, said they have completed their merger, plans which originally were revealed in March. Pursuant to the agreement and plan of merger agreed to by the boards of directors of both companies on Feb. 28 and later amended, each share of Cardiac Science Inc. common stock outstanding immediately prior to the effective time of the merger has been cancelled and represents the right to receive 0.10 share of common stock of the new Cardiac Science Corp. Each share of Quinton Cardiology Systems common stock represents the right to receive 0.77184895 share of common stock of the new corporation. Former Cardiac Science shareholders own about 11.4 million shares of the new company, which is headquartered in Bothell, or roughly 51.3%, while former Quinton shareholders own about 10.9 million shares, or 48.7%.

Novoste (Norcross, Georgia) and Best Medical International (Fairfax, Virginia) reported entering into an agreement in which Best Vascular, a newly established affiliate of Best Medical, will acquire substantially all of the assets related to Novoste’s vascular brachy-therapy (VBT) business. Privately held Best manufactures radiation products for the oncology, urology, neurology and gynecology markets. Best Vascular has been established for the purpose of focusing on the VBT business to be acquired from Novoste. Best Vascular also will assume specified liabilities associated with those assets and the continued operation of the VBT business, with such assumption representing the entire financial consideration in the deal. In addition, unless previously settled, Best Vascular will assume any liabilities arising or incurred after the closing associated with patent infringement litigation currently pending against Nov-oste, which will make a specified cash payment to Best Vascular in connection with its assumption of such liabilities. The consummation of the asset transaction is subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, including the issuance of regulatory licenses to Best Vascular necessary for the continuation of the VBT business and the closing of the previously announced merger bet-ween Novoste and ONI Medical Systems (Wilmington, Massachusetts). That deal, under which Novoste would exchange an undetermined number of common shares of its stock for all of the outstanding shares of ONI, was unveiled in May.

Recom Managed Systems (Studio City, California) reported that it has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with TZ Medical (Portland, Oregon) for the creation of an exclusive joint venture between the parties. Under the proposed joint venture, TZ will contribute its entire line of intracardiac catheters and Recom will utilize its signal-amplification and noise-reduction technologies to create a new state-of-the-art catheter line. The parties will split the profits of the joint venture equally. An intracardiac catheter is a flexible tube that is inserted through a vein in the leg and fed into the heart to withdraw samples of blood, measure pressures within the heart’s chambers or vessels, or inject contrast media. When used for diagnostic purposes, the catheter is equipped with electrodes connected to electrocardiographic monitors that allow physicians to evaluate cardiac function, including arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat. The physician can then predict the patient’s risk for future cardiac events and determine the best therapy. With current technologies, the presence of interference in the reading makes the true reaction of the heart to the diagnostic or clinical procedure difficult to measure. The proposed j-v will examine the potential for Recom’s amplifier to substantially reduce this noise in the next generation of TZ’s respected line of catheter products, allowing physicians to make more accurate diagnoses and better therapeutic choices. Recom is focused on the monitoring and detection of disease through continuous biomedical signal monitoring. TZ Medical makes pacemaker monitors and cardiac event monitors.

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