ArthroCare (Sunnyvale, California), a multi-business medical device company, has completed the purchase of Medical Device Alliance and its wholly owned subsidiary, Parallax Medical (Scotts Valley, California), which makes products for bone access, percutaneous injection of bone cement and bone augmentation in the spine. ArthroCare acquired Parallax for $28 million in cash and future milestone payments. Physicians use Parallax products during a variety of orthopedic procedures, including treatments for vertebral compression fractures caused by osteoporosis or spinal tumors. ArthroCare's Coblation system uses low-temperature radiofrequency energy to precisely dissolve rather than burn soft tissue, minimizing damage to healthy tissue.

BioVeris (Gaithersburg, Maryland) has become an independent public company with the closing of the purchase of Igen International (also Gaithersburg) by Roche Holding (Basel, Switzerland). The purchase of Igen by Roche was reported complete in February and Igen's stock has ceased trading on the Nasdaq. The $1.4 billion deal came about last July, the result of Igen's termination of all Roche products containing its Origen electrochemiluminescence technology after winning a lengthy court battle. BioVeris has assumed Igen's biodefense, life science and industrial product lines, as well as opportunities in the clinical diagnostic and healthcare fields, and it owns Igen's intellectual property, including the electrochemiluminescence technology for the detection and measurement of biological and chemical substances.

CooperSurgical, the women's healthcare unit of The Cooper Companies (Lake Forest, California), has acquired the business of Milex Products (Chicago, Illinois), a manufacturer of obstetric and gynecologic products and customized print services, for $26 million in cash.

GE Healthcare (Waukesha, Wisconsin) reported that it has acquired the surgical navigation technology and intellectual property for spine, ear, nose and throat (ENT) and neurosurgery, from CBYON (Palo Alto, California). The purchase includes exclusive IP licensing rights from Stanford University (Stanford, California). Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The InstaTrak system includes software applications for navigation, patented EM tracking technologies and images obtained from a magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography or X-ray exam that build a 3-D model of the patient's anatomy.

Guidant (Indianapolis, Indiana) has completed its acquisition of AFx (Fremont, California), a portfolio company of Alta Partners. AFx will receive an up-front cash payment of $45 million and various predetermined milestone payments. AFx, focused on microwave surgical cardiac ablation, has developed a technology enabling surgeons to apply microwave energy to the surface of the heart. AFx has developed the FLEX 2, FLEX 4 and FLEX 10 Microwave Ablation Probes, sterile, single-use, hand-held surgical devices used exclusively with the AFx Microwave Generator.

Dialysis services provider National Nephrology Associates (NNA; Nashville, Tennessee) signed an agreement to be acquired by Renal Care Group (also Nashville) in a deal valued at $345 million. The sale price will consist of a cash payment of about $167 million to NNA's equity holders and the assumption of its outstanding debt, including $160 million in 9% senior subordinated notes, due 2011, and other indebtedness, including capital leases. The transaction is set for completion on or before March 31.

Refocus Group (Dallas, Texas), a medical device company engaged in the research and development of treatments for eye disorders, has signed an agreement with CIBA Vision (Duluth, Georgia), the eye care unit of Novartis AG (Basel, Switzerland), to reacquire the sales and marketing rights to its PresView Scleral Implant and Surgical Spacing Procedure. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The medical device and surgical procedure is for the treatment of presbyopia, ocular hypertension and primary open-angle glaucoma. Under an earlier agreement with CIBA Vision, Refocus was to receive a percentage royalty from CIBA on net sales of its technology. In August 2003, CIBA Vision said it would explore strategic alternatives for its surgical unit and later said it had decided to exit the ophthalmic surgical business.

Smith & Nephew (S&N; London) reported that its Endoscopy division (Andover, Massachusetts) has acquired Reed Medical Designs (Warsaw, Indiana), a provider of audio-visual (AV) technology to hospitals and other healthcare institutions. Financial terms were not disclosed. Reed Medical has been a partner in S&N Endoscopy's Digital Operating Room offering, providing AV design, custom configuration and installation services for numerous customers.

Vital Images (Minneapolis, Minnesota), a medical imaging software company, has completed the acquisition of HInnovation (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) that was reported in January. HInnovation is a provider of software solutions that allow physicians to use PCs or notebook computers to access 2-D, 3-D and 4-D medical imaging applications securely over the Internet. The transaction includes a $12 million initial payment to HInnovation, consisting of $6 million in stock and $6 million in cash, and $6 million in contingent milestone payments comprised of $3 million in stock and $3 million in cash.