A Medical Device Daily

Integra LifeSciences Holdings (Plainsboro, New Jersey) reported that it has acquired the Newdeal (Lyon, France) group of companies, makers of specialty implants and instruments for foot and ankle surgery, for EUR 39.5 million (about $53 million) in cash, subject to certain adjustments.

Newdeal's senior management team, with more than 50 years of cumulative experience in the orthopedics device industry, has joined the leadership team at Integra. The company name will remain unchanged.

It develops a wide range of products for the forefoot, the mid-foot and the hind foot, including the Bold Screw, Hallu-Fix plate system and the Hintegra total ankle prosthesis. The current products address a worldwide market valued at about $500 million.

The French firm sells its products through a direct sales force in France, Belgium and the Netherlands, and through distributors in more than 30 countries, including the U.S. and Canada.

Newdeal's target physicians include orthopedic surgeons specializing in injuries of the foot, ankle and extremities, as well as podiatric surgeons.

Stuart Essig, Integra's president and CEO, said the deal “will supplement our direct sales force in Europe and increase revenues outside the U.S.“

He added that his company expects to benefit from synergies between Newdeal's reconstructive foot and ankle fixation products and Integra's regenerative products, such as the Integra Dermal Regeneration Template, and the Integra bi-layer and single-layer matrix wound dressings, NeuraGen and NeuraWrap, which are used in the treatment of chronic and traumatic wounds of the foot and ankle.

“We will work to integrate Newdeal into Integra so that the combined business can maximize these revenue synergies,“ Essig said.

Newdeal outsources all of the manufacturing, packaging and sterilization of its products. The company, which has 38 employees, has a pipeline of products under development for the continued expansion of its product offerings.

Eric Fourcault, president and CEO of Newdeal, said, “We look forward to expanding our business within Integra, and combining our experience in specialty orthopedic implants with Integra's portfolio of tissue-engineered products. Together we will be able to offer a broad package of solutions to orthopedic, reconstructive and podiatric surgeons.“

UK puts £2.5M into CF gene therapy

The UK Department of Health has approved two proposals to share £2.5 million in funding for further research into gene therapy for cystic fibrosis.

The Institute of Child Health and the UK Cystic Fibrosis Gene Therapy Consortium have been awarded contracts following an open call for proposals for research in this area.

The two research teams will work on different but complementary strategies in their proposals and have agreed to work together to maximize the likely benefits for the National Health Service (NHS), the Department of Health said.

The funding commitment was made in the Genetics White Paper, “Our Inheritance, Our Future: Realizing the potential of genetics in the NHS.“

Health Minister Lord Warner said, “The Genetics White Paper set out our vision that the NHS should take maximum advantage of new genetic knowledge and technologies. Supporting this innovative research will help make sure that cystic fibrosis patients benefit as quickly as possible from gene therapy advances.“

He added: “This work represents a major step in our endeavor to relieve the suffering and ultimately find a cure for this terrible disease.“

Cystic fibrosis is the most common inheritable disorder in the UK, and affects more than 7,500 children and adults. The life expectancy for children born with the disease is just 30 years.

Dr. Adam Jaffe, respiratory consultant at Great Ormond Street Hospital, said, “This support will bring the first-ever gene therapy trial in children with CF one step closer.“

Bayer adds Roche Consumer Health business

Bayer AG (Leverkusen, Germany) reported Tuesday that it has closed on its acquisition of Roche Consumer Health (Kaiseraugst, Switzerland), with that business becoming part of the Bayer HealthCare Consumer Care Division.

The transaction, which was announced last July, includes the five Roche Consumer Health production sites in Grenzach, Germany; Gaillard, France; Pilar, Argentinia; Casablanca, Morocco; and Jakarta, Indonesia.

Bayer said completion of the deal, which had a price tag of CHF 3.6 billion, ranks it among the top three global over-the-counter (OTC) consumer health organizations. “Our vision is to become the best consumer health and wellness company — an ambitious, but realistic aspiration,“ said Gary Balkema, president of Bayer Consumer Care.

The combined Bayer-Roche consumer business includes such brands as Aspirin, Aleve, Rennie, Alka-Seltzer, Bepanthen, Canesten, Supradyn and One-A-Day, which Balkema said provide “a strong foundation for growth in the major OTC segments.“

Bayer HealthCare Consumer Care is now present in more than 120 countries, with the acquisition making the division a leader in Europe, extending its top position in Latin America and reinforcing the company's business in the U.S. and Asia-Pacific markets.

Balkema said the acquisition would offer further growth opportunities. “We will be a partner of choice for future OTC opportunities such as Rx/OTC switches, licensing and joint ventures,“ he said.

Bayer HealthCare had sales of about EUR 8.9 billion in 2003. The unit of Bayer AG combines the global activities of the Animal Health, Biological Products, Consumer Care, Diagnostics Professional Testing Systems and Diagnostics Self-Testing Systems and Pharmaceuticals divisions. It has some 34,600 employees worldwide.

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