Arrhythmia Research Technology (ART; Fitchburg, Massachusetts) said its wholly owned subsidiary, Micron Products, has completed the purchase of substantially all of the operating assets of privately held New England Molders (NEMI; Shrewsbury, Massachusetts). Micron is one of the world's largest manufacturers of silver/silver chloride and conductive resin sensors used in disposable ECG, EKG and EEG monitoring and diagnostic electrodes. Micron paid NEMI total consideration of $1.5 million, including $1.1 million in cash and $400,000 in ART common stock or cash at ART's option. In addition to the expected synergies in engineering, manufacturing and administration, the fact that medical products are close to 50% of NEMI's approximately $2 million in sales should create significant opportunities in sales and marketing, Micron said. Micron produces silver-plated and conductive resin sensors as a component part of disposable ECG electrodes, as well as signal-averaging electrocardiographic software used in the detection and treatment of arrhythmias.

Guidant (Indianapolis, Indiana) reported it has completed the $6 million purchase of the remaining stake in a company developing fully bioabsorbable drug-eluting stent platforms. The acquired company was originally founded by SyneCor (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina), a medical technology generator of new life sciences company. The stents in development are designed to be fully absorbed by vascular tissue following the restoration of blood flow in patients with coronary artery disease. The initial 51% stake was acquired for $10 million in the first quarter of 2003. Guidant also will make payments based on achieving regulatory milestones.

In conjunction with Optical Sensors' (Minneapolis, Minnesota) name change to Vasamed, the company said it has acquired a proprietary impedance cardiography (ICG) technology for non-invasive cardiac output (NICO) monitoring. Paulita LaPlante, president and chief executive officer, said, "In keeping with our mission to build a line of office-based diagnostic products that incorporate our wholly owned intellectual property in blood flow and tissue perfusion, we are pleased to add NICO based on impedance cardiography. This product is one of very few FDA-cleared systems that measure ICG." LaPlante said the next few months will be spent refining user interface software and modifying certain performance features and hardware before introducing a product to market, adding, "we now control the principal components of the hemodynamic health platform we set out to create following the introduction of tissue carbon dioxide monitoring in 2000." LaPlante said the Vasamed name "underscores our express mission to provide non-invasive diagnostic tools for a variety of conditions, all of which involve blood flow and perfusion. It better reflects the suite of products that we currently have and will be introducing for hemodynamic monitoring." Products developed by Vasamed include the CapnoProbe sensor system for the measurement of sublingual CO2.

UTI (Collegeville, Pennsylvania) reported that it has agreed to acquire MedSource Technologies (Minneapolis, Minnesota), saying that the purchase will make it one of the largest contract manufacturing, design and engineering companies serving the medical technology market. At close of the acquisition, MedSource common stockholders will receive $7.10 a share in cash, with the value of the transaction set at about $230 million, including assumed debt. The price per share represents a premium of 20% over the 30-day per-share trading average for MedSource. The deal is expected to be completed this summer and is subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals. The agreement has been unanimously approved by MedSource's board. Privately held UTI, whose lead equity sponsor is KRG Capital Partners, has received an equity financing commitment from DLJ Merchant Banking Partners and debt commitments from a financial institution to support the transaction. Both UTI and MedSource serve the medical device and med-tech markets with medical device contract manufacturing and fabrication of device components, sub assemblies and finished goods. In addition, both companies provide engineering, design, prototyping and a variety of other product development services.

Zoll Medical (Chelmsford, Massachusetts), a manufacturer of non-invasive cardiac resuscitation devices, has entered into an exclusive license agreement with Lifecor (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania). Under this license agreement, Zoll has acquired all marketing and distribution rights to Lifecor's technology for in-hospital use in exchange for $5 million in cash and a return of the $3.5 million equity investment that Zoll previously maintained in Lifecor. Zoll also is providing a working capital line of credit secured by Lifecor's accounts receivable and other assets. The licensed technology includes Lifecor's Life-Padz System, a next-generation, in-hospital wearable cardioverter defibrillator awaiting clearance from the FDA. Under the agreement, the company is obligated to produce products for Zoll, which also gains access to, and will continue to use, the Lifecor and LifeVest brands in the hospital market. In addition, Zoll obtained an option, exercisable through October 2005, to purchase the remainder of Lifecor's assets, including its out-of-hospital business. If the option is exercised, Zoll will assume the company's debt, not to exceed $6.5 million, and will make earnout payments to Lifecor shareholders, based upon future revenue growth. All elements of the agreement are subject to Lifecor shareholder approval.