Continuing its drive to provide heart-support devices across a broad continuum of care, Abiomed (Danvers, Massachusetts) said it agreed to acquire Impella CardioSystems (Aachen, Germany), manufacturer of the Recover System line of heart pumps used to stave off cardiogenic shock following heart attack or myocardial infarction. Abiomed will acquire Impella for about 4.04 million shares of its common stock and around $1.8 million in cash. It also may make additional contingent payments to Impella shareholders based on stock price performance, unit sales and FDA approval milestones, which could range up to about $29 million. Acquisition of Impella also will take Abiomed into the cath lab, offering a large potential market upside. Impella manufactures “the world’s smallest, minimally invasive, high-performance micro blood pumps with integrated motors and sensors for use in interventional cardiology and heart surgery,” Abiomed said. These devices are used in the cath lab and are inserted percutaneously, much like a standard balloon pump procedure, to help restore blood flow. Impella has CE marks for each of its devices and markets them throughout Europe. An IDE application has been made to the FDA for the 5 liter-flow version of the pump, and Abiomed is preparing an IDE application for the 2.5 liter pump.

• Agfa-Gevaert (Mortsel, Belgium) reported that it has agreed to acquire all of the shares of Heartlab (Westerly, Rhode Island), a supplier of image and information networks for cardiology. The purchase price will be $132.5 million in cash at closing, subject to regulatory approval. Agfa estimates that cardiovascular conditions account for one-quarter of all U.S. hospital admissions. Agfa and Heartlab have been collaborating since December 2003, within a distribution agreement for Agfa’s Impax for Cardiology solution. The joint solution allows for the integration of radiology and cardiology, the two most image-intensive departments within hospitals, incorporating the clinical technology and diagnostic tools of Heartlab with Heartlab’s Encompass network to enable rapid access to imaging exam and report information. Encompass networks are installed in more than 250 cardiovascular care centers. Robert Petrocelli, Heartlab CEO and co-founder, will manage Agfa’s Cardiology business.

• Boston Scientific (Natick, Massachusetts) reported that it has exercised its option to acquire Cryo-Vascular Systems (Los Gatos, California). Terms were not disclosed. Boston Scientific distributes Cryo-Vascular’s angioplasty device, the PolarCath Dilatation System, to treat atherosclerotic disease of the legs and other peripheral arteries. The PolarCath system uses liquid nitrous oxide to provide precise cooling of the diseased artery during balloon angioplasty, a procedure known as CryoPlasty. The system is designed to revascularize the artery and reduce post-procedure restenosis. The repeat procedure rate for patients treated with current balloon angioplasty and stent technology of the femoral-popliteal arteries is reported to be as high as 30% to 40%.

The acquisition of Guidant (Indianapolis) by Johnson & Johnson (New Brunswick, New Jersey) took another step forward recently with the approval of the merger by Guidant shareholders. Guidant said that its shareholders “overwhelmingly approved” the $24.5 million deal, unveiled in mid-December. Guidant said in a statement that terms of the agreement provide for a collar that could value the acquisition price at either more or less than the announced price of $76 a share. The announced price reflects $30.40 in cash and $45.60 in J&J common stock per share, provided the volume weighted average trading price of J&J common stock is between $55.45 and $67.09 during the 15-day trading period ending three days prior to the transaction closing. Outside this range, each Guidant share exchanged will be converted into a fixed number of shares of J&J common stock equal to .8224 shares or .6797 shares, plus $30.40 in cash. The agreement remains subject to European and U.S. regulatory reviews and other customary conditions.

• Medeorex (New York) said it has signed a term sheet to acquire privately held CardioGenics (Toronto). The transaction is scheduled to close by June 24. The acquisition will be completed through a merger between CardioGenics and a to-be-formed wholly owned Ontario subsidiary of Medeorex, in which that company will issue shares of its common stock to the shareholders of CardioGenics. Following the merger, the current shareholders of CardioGenics will hold 75% of the outstanding shares of Medeorex and current Medeorex shareholders will retain 25% of the outstanding shares of Medeorex. After completion of the transaction, CardioGenics will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Medeorex. Deal completion of the transaction is subject to board of directors and shareholders approval of both companies.

Brachytherapy products specialist Theragenics (Buford, Georgia) reported that it plans to acquire CP Medical (Portland, Oregon), a maker of sutures, cardiac pacing cables, brachytherapy needles/spacers and related medical products sold in the professional surgical and veterinary fields. Theragenics will pay about $19.15 million in cash, using cash on hand, it said, and issue more than 1.88 million shares of stock valued at around $6.25 million, for a total consideration of some $25.4 million.