CalbaTech (Irvine, California), which is focused on acquiring, incubating and developing early stage life science companies, reported that it has acquired intellectual property relating to the delivery of stem cells to diseased or dead areas of the heart. Jason Van Tassel, MD, of Orange, California, is the inventor of the technology which, through the use of an application to an endoscope, stem cells can be delivered to areas of the heart that have either died or are diseased. "An endoscope is one of the most non-invasive ways to operate on the heart," Van Tassel said, "and I believe that stem cells can be delivered to infarcted cardiac tissue to stimulate regeneration of that tissue. I believe that this device will allow for effective delivery of stem cells where they can be the most useful and provide the most regeneration." James DeOlden, chief executive officer of CalbaTech, said, "We believe that with a very modest investment, CalbaTech should be able to license this technology and, upon doing so, quickly generate revenue from this device."
Camtronics Medical Systems (Hartland, Wisconsin), a subsidiary of Analogic (Peabody, Massachusetts) and a developer of cardiovascular information management and hemodynamic monitoring, said it will purchase the hemodynamic monitoring product line of Quinton Cardiology Systems (Bothell, Washington), as part of a series of agreements between the two companies. Camtronics will assume responsibility for all new U.S. sales of hemodynamic monitoring products, while Quinton will continue to provide services to its existing customers during a six-month transition period. Quinton also will continue to sell its hemodynamic monitoring product outside the U.S. for six months, after which Quinton plans to distribute Camtronics' hemodynamic system through its international dealer network. Quinton will receive $1.75 million in the first year, with further contingent payments of up to $1.5 million, based on sales of Camtronics products to previous Quinton customers over a four-year period. Camtronics' Vericis Cardiovascular Information System provides single-point access to the cardiovascular patient record, including both inpatient and outpatient data. Quinton Cardiology manufactures cardiology systems used in diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation, under the Quinton and Burdick brand names.
Cardiac Science (Irvine, California), a manufacturer of automated public access defibrillators (AEDs), reported acquiring substantially all the assets of Complient (Cleveland, Ohio), a privately held provider of AED and CPR training and program management. Cardiac Science issued Complient 10.25 million shares of its common stock, subject to certain restrictions. Complient says it is the first organization "to offer a comprehensive training program that includes the management and coordination of all aspects of AED deployment," including site surveys, medical direction, web-based software for record-keeping and AED/CPR training with 150 certified trainers on staff covering all 50 states nationwide. Raymond Cohen, chairman and chief executive officer of Cardiac Science, said, "Strategically, Complient fits perfectly with Cardiac Science and the offering is a logical extension of our core business." He said that the Complient staff would be reduced by one-third, with integration completed by year-end. Cardiac Science first established a relationship with Complient in February 2002 with the signing of a co-marketing agreement. That relationship then was expanded to include a workplace defibrillation program, consisting of AED training, medical direction, customer support and Internet-based software services.
E-Z-EM (Lake Success, New York), a manufacturer of contrast agents for gastrointestinal radiology, said it is considering a spin-off and initial public offering of its subsidiary, AngioDynamics (Queensbury, New York). The company reported signing a letter of engagement with an unnamed investment banking firm regarding the possible spin-off and public offering. EE-Z-EM said it anticipates the transaction taking place in the first half of 2004. AngioDynamics makes devices for interventional radiology, which uses traditional and new imaging procedures to perform minimally invasive diagnostic and therapeutic surgical procedures.
Guidant (Santa Clara, California) reported an agreement with Starion Instruments (Saratoga, California) to license tissue-welding technology for use in its next-generation cardiac surgery products to advance endoscopic vessel harvesting procedures. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The Starion tissue-welding technology will be used initially in Guidant's Vasoview Endoscopic Vessel Harvesting System, which it says is used in more than 75% of endoscopic vessel harvesting procedures. Harvested vessels from the leg or the arm are used to bypass blocked coronary arteries in the more than 650,000 coronary artery bypass surgeries performed annually. Endoscopic vessel harvesting allows harvesting of the saphenous vein in the leg or radial artery in the arm through a small incision, rather than through the long incisions used in traditional or "open" harvesting procedures. Tissue welding is an alternative method for cutting and sealing smaller side branches of the main harvested vessel and is designed to simultaneously cut and seal vessel branches utilizing less energy than other methods, minimizing potential trauma to the vessel. Patients who undergo endoscopic vessel harvesting may recover more quickly than those who undergo traditional vessel harvesting, and they are at lower risk for postoperative infections, according to Guidant.