CardioTech International (Wilmington, Massachusetts) reported the execution of a definitive agreement to acquire CarTika Medical (Plymouth, Minnesota) a private medical device contract manufacturer, for an undisclosed purchase price. CardioTech did not disclose the financial details of the deal or its expected closing date. CarTika has about 50 employees, two certified class 10,000 cleanrooms, and specializes in complete catheter assemblies, injection molding, pad printing and thermoformed polymer products. "With this acquisition we believe we can substantially increase our share of the medical device contract manufacturing market," said Michael Szycher, PhD, CardioTech CEO. "We project both increased cash flow from contract manufacturing revenues [and] a significant enhancement in our overall manufacturing capability." CardioTech's revenue sources include patented biomaterials, medical device contract manufacturing and devices for heart-lung bypass. It also is developing a synthetic coronary artery bypass graft that it said addresses a potential market of $1 billion annually.

Merge Technologies (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), doing businesses as Merge eFilm, a global healthcare software and services company, and AccuImage Diagnostics (South San Francisco, California), a developer of software for advanced visualization, analysis and management of medical imaging data from medical imaging modalities, have signed a definitive agreement in which Merge eFilm will acquire AccuImage Diagnostics. The all-cash transaction is valued at roughly $6 million and is expected to close in 1Q05, subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions. According to the company, the AccuImage software portfolio, used by radiologists and specialty physicians such as cardiologists, gastroenterologists, pulmonologists and orthopedic surgeons, brings value to its customers by reducing the time physicians need for reviewing and reporting cases, enhancing the interpretation of studies, and providing additional sources of revenue.

Merit Medical Systems (South Jordan, Utah), a manufacturer of disposable products used primarily in cardiology and radiology procedures, said it has signed an asset purchase agreement with privately held MedSource Packaging Concepts (Richmond, Virginia), a custom packager that serves the needs of hospitals and other healthcare providers. The agreement calls for Merit to acquire all assets and assume certain contracts, and in return, Merit will pay off certain liabilities of MedSource, totaling about $850,000 in cash. Merit also agreed to grant a warrant to purchase 100,000 shares of its common stock priced at fair market value. The packaging operations will remain in Richmond as a division of Merit and be known as Merit MedSource.

Real-Time Radiography (RTR; Pleasanton, California) has completed its merger with Exxim Computing (also Pleasanton). The combined company will continue to conduct a portion of its research and development activities in Israel. The surviving company is RTR, incorporated in Delaware. RTR is a developer of flat-panel detector panels used in digital X-ray systems sold to OEM medical imaging companies. "The merger accelerates our ability to develop and bring to market our novel flat-panel X-ray detector systems that will provide faster real-time digital imaging, with higher resolution, 50% lower radiation dosing levels, at a price that is 30% to 50% lower than currently available alternatives," said Shaul Dukeman, president and CEO of RTR. Horst Bruning PhD, formerly the majority shareholder of Exxim, becomes president of RTR's Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) division as a result of the merger. RTR also unveiled the commencement of a new financing round to further support its strategy of developing turnkey subsystem solutions for the OEM medical imaging industry. Current investors include a multinational combination of private and institutional investors. The financing round is being managed by Ambient Advisors.

W. L. Gore & Associates (Flagstaff, Arizona) said it has acquired substantially all of the assets of ArteriA Medical Science (San Francisco), a privately held manufacturer of the Parodi Anti-Emboli System (PAES and PAES II) and other related devices. The PAES employs patented flow reversal technology for use during carotid revascularization to minimize the risk of stroke as a potential complication. ArteriA developed the PAES for use during carotid angioplasty and stenting, minimally invasive alternatives to open surgery to reopen arteries delivering blood to the brain. The PAES temporarily reverses the direction of blood flow in the artery being treated to permit the capture and removal of small plaque particles released during the procedure (known as emboli) rather than allowing them to travel upstream in the direction of the patient's brain. If emboli reach the brain, they can cut off blood flow, potentially causing a stroke or even death. With the addition of the PAES, Gore said it expands its product portfolio of endovascular/interventional products into neuro-interventional clinical applications. The PAES consists of a guiding catheter with an elastomeric balloon that is inflated in the common carotid artery below the stenotic lesion being treated, and a hollow wire with an elastomeric balloon at its tip to occlude the external carotid artery. An outside connector with a filter creates an external arteriovenous fistula (by connecting sideport of the arterial and venous introducers). During active flow reversal, embolization to the brain can be avoided.

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