Medical Device Daily Washington Editor

Inverness Medical Innovations (Waltham, Massachusetts) said it would purchase the Determine/DainaScreen assets from Abbott Diagnostics (Abbott Park, Illinois) for $56.5 million.

Determine/DainaScreen rapid diagnostic testing provide qualitative results for detecting several diseases, including hepatitis, HIV and syphilis. Assets that are part of the purchase include manufacturing equipment and certain transferred and licensed intellectual property related to the products, Inverness said.

The business represented by Determine/DainaScreen generated revenues of about $23 million in 2004.

“This acquisition allows [us] to enhance its professional diagnostics product line with the addition of the premiere rapid HIV test worldwide,” said Ron Zwanziger, president and CEO of Inverness. “It also provides Inverness with a viable platform on which we can solidify our commitment to the Japanese market.”

DainaScreen tests are primarily sold in Japan, a spokes-person for Abbott told Medical Device Daily.

Abbott will continue to distribute the Determine products, which are marketed outside of the U.S., for up to 32 months and will receive a sales commission on net sales.

Under a long-term supply arrangement, Inverness will sell the tests to Abbott, allowing the company to continue to distribute the Determine HIV 1/2 rapid test – at no profit to Abbott – through the Abbott Access to HIV Care program in 69 countries, including all of Africa.

Abbott also will continue to donate Determine HIV tests purchased from Inverness to programs that address mother-to-child transmission of HIV in the same countries, it said.

Inverness said it is exploring new opportunities for its proprietary electrochemical and other technologies in a variety of professional diagnostic and consumer applications, including immunodiagnostics, with a focus on women’s health, cardiology and infectious disease.

The company manufactures consumer pregnancy and fertility/ovulation tests and rapid point-of-care diagnostics.

Advanced Medical Optics (AMO; Santa Ana, California) reported completing its acquisition of VISX (Santa Clara, California).

Stockholders from both companies approved the cash-and-stock transaction last week. Under the terms of the merger agreement, VISX shareholders receive 0.552 shares of AMO stock and $3.50 in cash for every share of VISX common stock they own. A total figure for the deal value was not released.

AMO’s stockholders now own about 58.5% of the combined company, VISX stockholders about 41.5%. AMO expects to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol EYE, effective June 8.

“We view refractive surgery as an extremely important growth opportunity in ophthalmic devices,” said Jim Mazzo, AMO’s president and CEO. “The acquisition of VISX transforms AMO into the world’s leading refractive surgical company and demonstrates our commitment to this fast-growing market.”

VISX’s brands, such as the STAR S4 Laser System, WaveScan Wavefront system and CustomVue custom ablation technology, will become part of AMO’s line of products. These products, along with AMO’s refractive portfolio that includes Verisyse, ReZoom, Array, and Tecnis intraocular lenses and the Amadeus II microkeratome, provides the largest portfolio of refractive products in the industry, the company said.

“VISX is a company we have long admired,” Mazzo added.

Liz Davila, former chairman and CEO of VISX, has joined AMO’s board of directors, while former VISX President and COO Doug Post joins AMO as president of its Americas region.

In other dealmaking activity, TeamStaff (Somerset, New Jersey), a provider of healthcare staffing and specialty payroll services, said it has agreed to acquire RS Staffing (Monroe, Georgia), a medical staffing provider, with a purchase price of $8 million – $3.25 million in cash, $3 million in a two-year note and $1.75 million in TeamStaff stock.

In addition, a one-year earn-out of up to $2 million will be based upon the achievement of specified performance targets.

RS Staffing specializes in providing medical (83%) and office administration/technical professionals through contracts with both the General Services Administration and Department of Veterans Affairs. TeamStaff President and CEO T. Kent Smith said, “RS Staffing secures us a leadership position in providing both nursing and allied staffing to the government sector. RS has significant vendor management relationships with multi-year contracts, which builds a recurring revenue stream.”

TeamStaff Rx provides medical allied health professionals and nurses on a temporary or permanent basis and offers programs and services designed to assist medical facilities in managing their temporary staffing costs.

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