A Medical Device Daily

Animas (West Chester, Pennsylvania) reported completing its purchase of certain assets from Cygnus (Redwood City, California) for $10 million in cash, following approval of the deal by Cygnus' stockholders. The purchase was first disclosed late last year (Medical Device Daily, Dec. 20, 2004).

As part of this asset purchase, Animas acquired substantially all of Cygnus' intellectual property rights; product development and production equipment; regulatory package; supplier, manufacturing and license agreements; and inventory. Animas also assumed ownership of more than 235 U.S. and foreign patents in the fields of continuous glucose sensing, electrochemical sensors and extraction of interstitial fluid by reverse electro-iontophoresis.

Animas noted it did not assume any of Cygnus' liabilities other than "customary obligations under assumed contracts."

Cygnus manufactured the GlucoWatch Biographer, "the first and still only commercially available continuous glucose monitor that provides the patient with real-time blood glucose readings and alarms for hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia," Animas said in a statement. The FDA approved the product in 2001 as an adjunct to traditional fingerstick home blood glucose testing (MDD, March 26, 2001).

The GlucoWatch Biographer uses reverse electro-iontophoresis to extract glucose molecules, a process that is less invasive than other approaches to continuous glucose monitoring presently under development.

"Today, with the consummation of the purchase of certain assets from Cygnus, Animas has broadened its technology base and intellectual property portfolio considerably in the field of glucose sensing," said Kathy Crothall, president and CEO of Animas. "Cygnus' electrochemical sensor technology is highly developed, demonstrated by its extraordinarily high sensitivity and the number of sensors produced. We applaud the fine work done by Cygnus scientists and engineers over the past decade to develop this technology."

She added: "Like any first-generation technology, the product suffers from some significant shortcomings. We believe many of these issues can be addressed and are evaluating the commercial feasibility of these improvements."

Longer term, Crothall said Animas is looking to substitute reverse electro-iontophoresis extraction with micro-needle extraction, using the micro-needle technology that it recently licensed from Debiotech (Lausanne, Switzerland). "We believe that this approach offers the possibility of a future generation sensor with improved accuracy and less skin irritation than Cygnus' present technology," she said. "The technologies we have acquired from Cygnus and Debiotech nicely complement our insulin pump technology and long-term implantable sensor development."

With the closing, Cygnus paid off certain of its debts and obligations. Animas noted that it has not acquired any rights or obligations related to an arbitration initiated by Cygnus in 2004 against Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical (Raritan, New Jersey), a unit of Johnson & Johnson (New Brunswick, New Jersey).

Animas, focused on developing technologies for diabetes care, manufactures insulin pumps and related products.

Steris (Mentor, Ohio) reported completing its acquisition of FH Surgical (FHS), a privately held maker of surgical tables with manufacturing facilities in Orleans, France. Steris acquired FHS for EUR 8.8 million (about $11.6 million) in cash and assumed liabilities.

FHS offers a variety of surgical tables for different hospital needs, sold primarily in Europe, and Steris said the purchase would add a new technology platform in surgical tables for North America. In addition, it will expand its channel into Europe for surgical and critical care products.

For the year ending March 31, 2005, Steris said that FHS is expected to have revenues of EUR 8.1 million ($10.7 million). The transaction is anticipated to be neutral to earnings in FY06 and add about 5 cents in diluted EPS in FY07.

Steris said FHS would be integrated into its Healthcare segment. Steris is a provider of surgical and critical care products, including operating room tables and surgical lighting systems.

In other dealmaking activity:

In an extraordinary shareholder meeting earlier this week, Ian Humphrey-Smith, a shareholder of Lion biosci-ence (Cambridge, Massachusetts/Heidelberg, Germany) informed the company of a likely take-over purchase offer for Lion. Humphrey-Smith indicated that he was acting on behalf of a group of investors, namely FM Fund Management and Zapis Capital Group.

Lion bioscience said that "in case of a binding and specific takeover" offer, it would review such an offer "seriously."