A Medical Device Daily

Millimed (Helsingborg, Sweden) said Thursday that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Blue Medical Devices (Helmond, the Netherlands), a manufacturer of cardiovascular devices.

Blue Medical makes diamond-coated coronary stents and catheter systems for angioplasty procedures. It has recently entered into human clinical trials with Melatonin-eluting stents, the company's second drug-eluting stent product.

A maker of therapeutic devices for cardiovascular and neurovascular applications using nitric oxide (NO) technology, Millimed said the acquisition will provide it with a “successful platform“ of cardiovascular devices and enable it to accelerate research and development of its proprietary Nano Spinning Nitric Oxide program.

“This acquisition represents another positive step in our quest to be a worldwide leader in interventional therapy,“ said Joakim Eriksson, CEO and president of the Swedish company.

Saying he “couldn't be happier with the synergies between the two companies,“ Eriksson said their philosophy and business goals “complement each other tremendously.“

Eriksson said Blue Medical's latest product additions “are exactly what Millimed needs to establish a platform for our NO-eluting program.“

Blue Medical President and CEO Ronald Horvers expressed equal optimism about the planned combination of the two firms. “This opportunity is truly phenomenal for both companies and ultimately, the patients we serve. The complementary management and technology experiences deepens the combined company's ability to further reduce the time-to-market response.“

He added: “The synergies of our joint companies will enable new developments to reach the market years earlier than if we would have endeavored these quests alone.“

Horvers will remain with the combined organization, becoming business unit manager in Millimed and remaining president of Blue Medical Devices.

Eriksson said Blue Medical's facility in Helmond will serve as the company's cardiology manufacturing arm, with “several aspects“ of Millimed's existing cardiovascular business to be moved to the Netherlands in order to permit the present manufacturing/R&D facilities in Roskilde, Denmark, to focus on the firm's core technologies and future developments.

The acquisition already has received the approval of the boards of directors of both companies and is expected to be completed yet this month, pending certain closing conditions being met.

NICE backs coil embolization

Boston Scientific (Natick, Massachusetts) said the Interventional Procedures Advisory Committee (IPAC) of the UK's National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has confirmed the safety and efficacy of coil embolization for the treatment of ruptured and unruptured brain aneurysms.

Also called an intracranial or cerebral aneurysm, a brain aneurysm is an abnormal weakening of an artery in the brain that causes a ballooning of the vessel wall. Ruptured aneurysms cause strokes by leaking oxygenated blood into the areas around the brain.

Boston Scientific manufactures the GDC and Matrix Detachable Coil systems for the treatment of brain aneurysms.

Coil embolization treatment, also referred to as endovascular coiling, involves insertion of a catheter into the femoral artery in the patient's leg and navigating it through the vascular system, into the brain and into the aneurysm. Tiny platinum coils are threaded through the catheter and deployed into the aneurysm, blocking blood flow into the aneurysm and preventing rupture.

Unlike surgical clipping, the traditional surgical treatment for such aneurysms, endovascular coiling does not require open surgery. In it, physicians use fluoroscopic imaging to visualize the patient's vascular system and treat the disease from inside the blood vessel. Studies have indicated that endovascular coiling results in lower risk of negative outcomes, shorter hospital stays and shorter recovery times compared with open surgery.

A study published in the British medical journal, The Lancet, in 2002 revealed that there was a 23% relative risk reduction or 7% absolute risk reduction in death and disability at the end of one year in patients receiving coiling compared to clipping, according to Boston Scientific.

“Coil embolization offers patients with a ruptured aneurysm a safer and less-invasive treatment with an improved chance of recovery for a condition that could easily be fatal,“ said Anil Gholkar, MD, consultant neuroradiologist at the Regional Neurosciences Center in Newcastle- upon-Tyne, England. “The coiling procedure is highly effective in stopping blood flow through an aneurysm, preventing early rupture. The . . . procedure is a useful example of how less-invasive technologies are working to the benefit of patients in the UK.“

Danish CRO acquired by LAB

LAB International (Laval, Quebec) has acquired all shares of Scantox Biologisk Laboratorium (Denmark), which it called “the leading Scandinavian non-clinical contract research organization [CRO],“ for a total cash consideration of Dk 28 million or about C$6.1 million.

LAB is an integrated drug development company with a focus on inhalation delivery. It said that some 90% of the purchase price would be paid on closing, with the remaining portion payable by March 31, 2006, subject to post- closing adjustments.

“This acquisition will help us to more than double our current revenues in 2005 and expand our product offering to our existing clients,“ said Dr. Halvor Jaeger, CEO of LAB Research. “With the addition of Scantox, our services business will be large enough to position us closer to being self-reliant in funding our internal drug-development programs.“

LAB Research now has contract research facilities in Denmark, Hungary, the U.S. and Canada, with a total cap-acity approaching 300,000 square feet. It has about 375 employees.

Founded in 1977, Scantox has 135 employees at its 75,000-square-foot facilities in Denmark.

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