Animas (West Chester, Pennsylvania) reported entering into a definitive agreement to acquire substantially all of the intellectual property rights, fixed assets, agreements, inventory and tangible personal property of Cygnus (Redwood City, California) for $10 million in cash. Upon completion of the buyout, Cygnus will end its operations and dissolve under applicable law. Cygnus has been the manufacturer of the GlucoWatch and GlucoWatch Biographer products, watch-like devices worn like a watch and performing continuous glucose monitoring. Animas will take ownership of more than 237 patents in the fields of continuous glucose sensing, extraction of interstitial fluid by reverse electro-iontophoresis and electrochemical sensors. Animas is a maker of insulin infusion pumps and related products.

Biophan Technologies (Rochester, New York), a developer of systems to improve the MRI compatibility of medical devices, has agreed to acquire Amris (Castrop-Rauxel/Gelsenkirchen, Germany), a developer of MRI-safe and image-compatible solutions and biomedical devices. Biophan also will acquire the exclusive license to Amris' 15 issued and pending patents covering imaging of devices such as stents and other vascular implants. Financial terms were not released. The acquisition and related licensing deal will bring Biophan's patent portfolio to 107 U.S. patents, licenses or applications, in addition to 12 pending European patents, it said. Upon deal closing, Amris will be renamed Biophan Europe, and Michael Friebe, PhD, will continue as president and join the Biophan board.

Boston Scientific (Natick, Massachusetts) has agreed to acquire Advanced Stent Technologies (AST; Pleasanton, California). Since its launch in 1997, AST has been developing stent and stent delivery systems designed to address the anatomical needs of coronary artery disease in bifurcated vessels. A significant percentage of coronary artery disease, as much as 30%, occurs when a single vessel branches or bifurcates into two vessels. Bifurcations have been difficult to treat with conventional stents since those stents are designed to support a single cylinder, not a cylinder with an offshoot in the middle. When combined with Boston Scientific's Taxus paclitaxel-eluting stent, the Petal device also will deliver drugs to the bifurcated vessel.

The Cooper Companies (Lake Forest, California) reported the close of its merger with Ocular Sciences (Concord, California) in a cash-and-stock transaction, first unveiled last July, reportedly worth $1.2 billion. Cooper paid about $600 million in cash and issued about 10.7 million shares of its common stock to Ocular Sciences' stockholders and option holders. The closing came following the report of the Federal Trade Commission's termination of its merger review under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act. Stockholders of the two companies approved the transaction Nov. 16. Ocular common shares represent the right to receive the merger consideration of 0.3879 of a share of Cooper common stock and $22 in cash. With completion of the deal, Cooper said that CooperVision "becomes the world's third-largest contact lens company."

Genzyme (Cambridge, Massachusetts) reported completing the transaction to buy back from Wyeth (Madison, New Jersey) the sales and marketing rights to Synvisc (hylan G-F 20) in the U.S. and five European countries (Germany, Poland, Greece, Portugal and the Czech Republic). Genzyme paid Wyeth $99 million in cash, and it will pay an additional $22 million to Wyeth during 1Q05 upon the final transition of the franchise. Genzyme also will make a series of milestone payments to Wyeth based on the volume of Synvisc sales. Synvisc is a viscosupplementation product for the treatment of pain due to osteoarthritis of the knee in the U.S. and Canada, and one of the top products in this category in Europe.

Nanogen (San Diego) and Epoch Biosciences (Bothell, Washington) reported completing their merger to create what they termed "an advanced diagnostics company with the ability to address customer needs spanning the research, clinical reference laboratory and point-of-care markets." First unveiled in September, the all-stock deal was then valued at $58 million. About 13.6 million shares of Nanogen stock were issued to complete the merger. The molecular diagnostic products of the combined company range from single, real-time tests to complex molecular tests performed on Nanogen's microarray systems.

Uroplasty (Minneapolis) and CystoMedix (Andover, Massachusetts) have signed an agreement to merge CystoMedix into a newly formed subsidiary of Uroplasty. The deal is expected to consist of shares of Uroplasty's common stock and cash, but the total value is undisclosed. The merger is expected to be completed by March 31. CystoMedix's Urgent PC product, using neuromodulation technology to treat urge incontinence, is FDA-approved and CE-marked.

VitalWorks (Ridgefield, Connecticut), a developer of radiology and diagnostic image and information systems, completed the sale of its Medical Division (Birmingham, Alabama/Minneapolis) to Cerner (Kansas City, Missouri) for $100 million in cash. In addition, VitalWorks reported that it has changed its name to Amicas, with its Nasdaq trading symbol becoming AMCS. Its headquarters are now based in Boston. With divestiture of the medical division, the company said that it plans an intensified focus on the radiology market.

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