A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Viasys Healthcare (Conshohocken, Pennsylvania) earlier this week reported signing an agreement to acquire Micro Medical (Chatham, UK) for about $39 million. Additionally, Viasys will assume about $1.2 million in Micro Medical's net debt and has agreed, in certain circumstances, to make a contingent payment related to the sales of a new product and a contingent payment related to performance targets.

Micro Medical with a global presence in hand-held and desktop devices for respiratory measurements used to diagnose and monitor asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and bronchitis had 2004 revenues of about $16 million. The company's products target the physician office practice and primary care sectors.

Ed Pulwer, group president, Viasys Respiratory Care, said that the acquisition "brings us an outstanding company in one of the fastest growth segments of respiratory diagnostics. The continued rise in the incidence of asthma and COPD, and the financial burden associated with chronic respiratory disease, has resulted in medical professionals and governments calling for early diagnosis, intervention and management of these patients." He added: "I believe the combined strength of Micro Medical in spirometry, and the recognized market leadership of Viasys' brand names, Jaeger and Sensormedics, for respiratory diagnostics, will prove to be a winning combination."

Daniel Quirke, managing director of Micro Medical, called Viasys "a great fit for Micro Medical. . . . While we have been very successful in our marketing efforts in the United Kingdom, we do not believe we have tapped the growth potential in markets such as the U.S., Germany, Japan and China."

Viasys conducts business through its Respiratory Care, NeuroCare, MedSystems and Orthopedics units.

In other dealmaking activity:

Molecular Devices Corp. (MDC; Sunnyvale, California) reported that it has acquired the complete portfolio of Transfluor technology assets from Xsira Pharmaceuticals (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina) formerly Norak Biosciences for $11 million cash.

MDC said this transaction strengthens its leadership position as a provider of tools for both imaging and G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) assays.

Transfluor technology, comprising assays that operate on imaging platforms such as Molecular Devices' Discovery-1 and ImageXpress systems, offers a way to visualize key cellular events and to detect receptor activation.

Xsira, which commercialized Transfluor technology based on research conducted at Duke University (Durham, North Carolina), now will focus on its own drug discovery program using a license to Transfluor technology granted by MDC.

MDC plans to begin licensing Transfluor technology and related materials to customers in 2Q05.

Molecular Devices is a developer of high-performance, bioanalytical measurement systems that accelerate and improve drug discovery and other life sciences research.