Angiotech Pharmaceuticals (Vancouver, British Columbia) reported that the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act (HSR) has expired pertaining to the proposed grant of an exclusive license to Boston Scientific (Natick, Massachusetts) with respect to the use of paclitaxel and other agents on medical devices in the coronary vascular field of use. The applicable HSR waiting period expired on Oct. 28 without any action by either the Federal Trade Commission or the Department of Justice to extend that period. Consequently, Angiotech is now free to provide an exclusive license to Boston Scientific in the coronary vascular field of use. Formal notice was given to Boston Sci on Sept. 24, and the company had 60 days to elect to acquire those rights. Boston Scientific sells Taxus coronary stents that are coated with Angiotech's paclitaxel drug. The expiration of the waiting period triggers a previously disclosed $25 million payment to Cook (Bloomington, Indiana), the co-licensee for use of paclitaxel in the coronary vascular field.

Cardiac Science (Irvine, California), a maker of automated external defibrillators (AEDs), said it has entered into a distribution arrangement with Hagemeyer North America (HNA; Charleston, South Carolina). Under the agreement, Cardiac Science Powerheart AEDs and AED/CPR training and program management services will be marketed by Hagemeyer's sales force to its industrial and safety supplies customers throughout the United States. A subsidiary of Netherlands-based Hagemeyer NV, HNA is a business-to-business distributor and solutions provider focusing on industrial, safety and electrical products. It serves local markets throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico and has more than 100,000 customers.

CryoCath Technologies (Montreal), which calls itself the global leader in cryotherapy products to treat cardiovascular disease, said it has agreed to terms on a partnership that grants ATS Medical (Minneapolis) co-promotion rights in the U.S. as well as exclusive distribution rights in the rest of the world including Europe and in Asia (excluding areas where CryoCath has existing distribution agreements), for CryoCath's surgical cryotherapy products to ablate cardiac arrhythmias. "We are very impressed with ATS Medical's ability to grow its business. It represents the only company to gain market share this past year in the competitive mechanical heart valve field in the U.S., and their exclusive focus on cardiac surgery bodes well for expanding the market access for our surgical ablation products," said Steve Arless, president and CEO of CryoCath. "The addition of more than 30 experienced sales representatives with established relationships in more than 300 hospitals in the U.S. alone, plus their strong infrastructure and presence in both Europe and Asia, will bolster our commercial efforts to increase our surgical ablation footprint," he said. "In Europe, the CryoCath sales force will now concentrate on growing the EP business and prepare the way for the biggest launch in our history with Arctic Circler Balloon, anticipated in the spring of next year."

Fischer Imaging (Denver) said it has signed an agreement with Virtual Imaging (Delray Beach, Florida) to supply components to be incorporated into a digital X-ray system designed for trauma and general radiographic use. Fischer will sell U-arm assemblies, as currently used in Fischer's VersaRad-D digital X-ray system, that Virtual Imaging will integrate with the existing family of Canon (Lake Success, New York) digital radiography components to form a digital X-ray system to be made available through its network of distributors in the U.S.

In Vivo Medical Diagnostics (IVMD; Inverness, Scotland) said that the company is supporting Inverness Medical Innovations (Waltham, Massachusetts), a manufacturer and marketer of rapid diagnostic products for the professional and consumer markets, in its development of a Prothrombin Time monitor for use in U.S. clinical trials. The monitor is the first in a series of applications that measures the content and characteristics of blood through the use of the Hall Effect, a well-known physics phenomenon that can be used to measure the change in magnetic fields at a molecular level. In Vivo Medical Diagnostics is collaborating with Inverness Medical through a development contract with a licensing agreement including royalties upon commercialization. Prothrombin time is a measure of the clotting ability of blood and is used by patients undergoing warfarin/coumadin anticoagulation therapy after a heart attack or stroke to ensure that drug levels are maintained at optimum levels.

Wilson Greatbatch Technologies (WGT; Clarence, New York) reported signing an agreement with St. Jude Medical (St. Paul, Minnesota) to extend the terms of their current supplier partnering agreement through the end of 2008. The current agreement, which includes a commitment by St. Jude to WGT for the supply of a range of components including batteries, filtered feedthroughs, molded components and enclosures, went into effect on Jan. 1 and was scheduled to expire at the end of 2006. The current agreement was amended to include St. Jude's commitment to WGT's expanding portfolio of battery technologies for use in future St. Jude cardiac rhythm management (CRM) product lines. WGT said that St. Jude is the first CRM company to include its QHR high rate, QMR medium rate and nano battery technologies in its product development schedule. WGT makes components used in implantable medical devices and other technical applications.

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