A Medical Device Daily

Neoprobe(Dublin, Ohio), a developer of oncology diagnostic and treatment products and cardiovascular surgical and diagnostic products, reported completing a license agreement for U.S. patent nos. 6,418,338 and 6,760,612 B2 issued July 9, 2002.

The patents provide Neoprobe with an extension of methodology patent protection that complements the patents covering the targeting agents used in the RIGS technology and extend the potential methodology patent protection for the RIGS technology through 2018. Terms of the license were not disclosed.

Dr. Mark Arnold, managing member of Enlyton, the licensor of the patents, said, "This license agreement will support Neoprobe in its efforts to continue developing the RIGS system. We believe that the RIGS technology may be of significant potential benefit to patients with colon and rectal cancer."

David Bupp, president and CEO of Neoprobe, said the licensing of the Enlyton patents "enhances an already strong intellectual property estate surrounding the RIGS technology. The extension of the methodology patent protection, which is applicable in the United States market, complements the composition of matter patents surrounding RIGS, the most recent of which was issued in 2004."

Neoprobe currently markets the neo2000 line of gamma detection systems used by cancer surgeons for intraoperative lymphatic mapping. Neoprobe is also in the process of commercializing the Quantix line of blood flow measurement products developed by its subsidiary, Cardiosonix (Hod Hasharon, Israel), used by cardiovascular surgeons, neurosurgeons and critical care physicians. In addition, Neoprobe holds significant interests in the development of related biomedical systems and agents including Lymphoseek and RIGScan CR.

Lymphoseek is an investigational drug being developed as a lymphatic tracing agent in conjunction with the University of California, San Diego. The RIGS system is an investigational technology that combines the company's gamma detection device technology with a proprietary disease-specific radiolabeled cancer targeting agent, and a patented surgical method to get real-time information to locate tumor deposits that may not be detectable by conventional methods.

In other dealmaking:

• Pediatrix Medical Group (Fort Lauderdale, Florida), a major provider of newborn and maternal-fetal physician services, said it completed the acquisition of a Miami-based pediatric cardiology practice providing pediatric cardiology services at several local hospitals, including Miami's Mercy Hospital and Baptist Hospital of Miami. The physicians also conduct outreach to pediatricians and hospitals throughout Miami-Dade County, including Homestead and the Upper Keys areas.

Pediatrix paid an undisclosed amount of cash for the practice and said it should be immediately accretive to earnings. So far in 2005, Pediatrix reports completing six physician group practice acquisitions.

Madeleen Mas, MD, pediatric cardiology medical director for the Miami practice, said that with completion of the purchase, Pediatrix provides pediatric cardiology physician services in several areas, including Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in Florida; Phoenix and Tucson in Arizona; Austin, Texas; and Denver.

Pediatrix physicians provide services at more than 220 NICUs, and through Obstetrix (also Fort Lauderdale) its perinatal physicians provide services in many markets where Pediatrix's neonatal physicians practice. Combined, Pediatrix and its affiliated corporations employ more than 775 physicians in 31 states and Puerto Rico. Pediatrix also is the nation's largest provider of newborn hearing screens and newborn metabolic screening.