LeMaitre Vascular (Burlington, Massachusetts) reported acquiring Endomed (Phoenix), a maker of endovascular stent grafts for the minimally invasive treatment of thoracic and abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA). The acquisition was funded by debt provided by Brown Brothers Harriman. Endomed products enable surgeons to treat AAAs through a small incision in the leg rather than through invasive open surgery of the thorax or abdomen. The company's products are CE-marked and have been sold in Europe and other international markets since 2002. Endomed said it is one of only "a limited number" of companies with a CE-marked stent graft for the treatment of disease in the thoracic aorta. Endomed's aorto-uni-iliac stent graft is in a Phase I clinical trial in the U.S. Its products are protected by a "comprehensive" portfolio of U.S. and foreign patents, Endomed said. Endomed was founded and is majority-owned by Edward Diethrich, MD, founder of the Arizona Heart Institute and chief of cardiovascular surgery at the Arizona Heart Hospital. LeMaitre, founded in 1983, makes vascular surgery devices, with manufacturing facilities in Burlington; St. Petersburg, Florida; Brymbo, UK; and Frankfurt, Germany.

Neich Medical (Hong Kong) reported that it has acquired Orbus Medical Technologies (Fort Lauder-dale, Florida). Both companies specialize in cardiovascular therapies. The acquisition is the outcome of a long, synergistic relationship, the companies said. Neich Medical previously was Orbus' distributor for the Asia-Pacific region and manufactures the delivery system for Orbus' R stent, while Orbus is leading Neich's research and development efforts for drug-eluting stents and other advanced technologies. Going forward, the combined company will be known as Orbus Neich. Key Orbus personnel will be joining Neich's management team. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Orbus Neich will have a global reach, with sales offices in eight countries, manufacturing operations in the Netherlands and China, and R&D facilities in the U.S. and Germany.

St. Jude Medical (St. Paul, Minnesota) reported that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the business of Velocimed (Maple Grove, Minnesota), a privately owned company that develops and manufactures specialty interventional cardiology devices. St. Jude will acquire Velocimed for a cash purchase price of $82.5 million, less an estimated $8.5 million of cash at Velo-cimed upon closing, plus additional contingent payments tied to revenues in excess of minimum future targets, and a milestone payment upon FDA approval of the company's Premere patent foramen ovale (PFO) closure system. The first additional contingent payment contemplated under the agreement would be paid in March 2007. St. Jude said it anticipates that the acquisition will close in 2Q05. In connection with this transaction, the company will record a special charge for in-process R&D. Velocimed was founded in 2001 to develop specialty interventional cardiology and neurology devices. Velocimed has developed three product platforms: the Premere PFO closure system; the Proxis proximal embolic protection device; and the Venture guidewire control catheter for accessing difficult anatomy and crossing chronic total occlusions in interventional catheterization procedures. The company's investors include Warburg Pincus, the Vertical Group and RiverVest Venture Partners. The Premere PFO closure system already is approved in Europe. Efforts to initiate a U.S. clinical study of the system under an investigational device exemption are under way.