ArthroCare (Sunnyvale, California), a company focused on minimally invasive surgical products, said last month that it has agreed to acquire Opus Medical (San Juan Capistrano, California), a maker of soft tissue orthopedic repair systems. ArthroCare will acquire all of the capital stock of Opus Medical for $30 million in cash and $60 million of ArthroCare stock, payable at the close. The agreement also calls for an additional delayed payment of $40 million – in January 2006, in cash or stock – and a contingent payment based on Opus' 2005 net sales, payable in cash or stock at ArthroCare's election. Michael Baker, president and CEO of ArthroCare, said Opus' AutoCuff technology is "an excellent fit with our coblation technology, whose largest single indication is, in fact, rotator cuff repair." He said that the acquisition will "accelerate execution of our existing sports medicine strategic plan by at least two years and will further accelerate the growth of our sports medicine business and company as a whole" by offering a complete rotator cuff repair system. The AutoCuff System has been used in more than 20,000 rotator cuff repair surgeries to date, Opus said. ArthroCare said it sees the AutoCuff as having additional applications beyond rotator cuff surgery, such as other shoulder procedures, knee surgeries and endoscopic surgical procedures. The company said it would finance the acquisition, expected to close before year-end, with cash-on-hand and an increase to its existing credit facility.

Automated blood processing systems developer Haemonetics (Braintree, Massachusetts) reported that it has acquired all of the blood conservation technology assets of Harvest Technologies (Plymouth, Massachusetts), a developer of products intended to accelerate healing naturally, for roughly $4 million. Haemonetics said it paid cash for the assets, inventory and intellectual property associated with Harvest's Bloodless Surgery Station product line. The Bloodless Surgery Station is an integrated product for blood conservation and surgical blood salvage. It consists of several products that can be unbundled and marketed as stand-alone products. These products include the SmartSuction, the SmartCell and an autotransfusion blood bag with integral transfusion filter. Haemonetics said it would leverage these technologies to expand its surgical blood salvage product line and to enter the broader surgical patient management market. It said it would integrate manufacturing and marketing of these products into its operations over the remainder of the fiscal year.

Invacare (Elyria, Ohio) has completed its previously disclosed acquisition of WP Domus. Invacare had signed an agreement in August to purchase Domus for EUR 190 million ($230 million) at recent exchange rates, subject to normal closing adjustments. Domus designs and manufactures several complementary product lines to Invacare's existing lines, including power add-on products, bath lifts and walking aids. Domus currently has three divisions – Alber (Albstadt, Germany), Aquatec (Isny, Germany) and Dolomite (Anderstorp, Sweden) – which are branded separately and are expected to be operated independently under each of the units' current management teams.

MediCor (Las Vegas), a company focused in the areas of aesthetic, plastic and reconstructive surgery and dermatology, has acquired privately held Dermedics, a Mexican distributor of aesthetic, plastic and reconstructive surgery devices. Mexico is among the largest breast implant markets worldwide. The deal follows MediCor's recent acquisition of Laboratoires Eurosilicone (Apt, France), the world's third-largest manufacturer of breast implants. According to MediCor CEO Theodore Maloney, "The acquisition of Dermedics, which will be renamed MediCor Latin America, provides us with an existing infrastructure and a well-established sales, marketing and distribution channel for the Eurosilicone product line in Mexico, as well as Central and South America."

Medtronic (Minneapolis) reported acquiring the assets of Coalescent Surgical (Sunnyvale, California), a developer of technologies designed to connect vessels safely without sutures. Financial terms were not disclosed. Coalescent Surgical's U-Clip Anastomotic Device enables creation of quality anastomoses during surgery without tying knots or managing sutures. The device's primary use is in coronary artery bypass surgery, with ongoing development adapting this technology for use in other cardiac, peripheral vascular, transplant, general and plastic surgery procedures. In addition to the U-Clip device, Medtronic will add the Spyder Proximal Anastomotic Device, designed to enable the surgeon to automatically deploy a series of U-Clip devices when attaching the bypass graft to the aorta. The Spyder device is intended to reduce or eliminate embolic complications associated with clamping the aorta.

Diagnostics firm Nanogen (San Diego) and Epoch Biosciences (Bothell, Washington), which is focused on genomic analysis, are merging in an all-stock deal valued at about $58 million. The transaction is expected to close in "the December time frame," said Howard Birndorf, Nanogen's chairman and CEO. Nanogen has agreed to offer $2 each for about 29 million outstanding Epoch shares, a 30% premium over the average closing price for the 20 trading days ending Sept. 1. Nanogen plans to fold Epoch's administration, marketing and sales into operations in San Diego, and leave the firm's R&D capabilities and reagent manufacturing operations in Bothell.

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