Advanced Neuromodulation Systems (ANS; Dallas, Texas) reported that it has acquired certain assets of Comedical (Seattle, Washington), its exclusive distributor of pain management products for the northwestern U.S. Three of Comedical's direct sales people and three commissioned sales agents will join ANS' sales force in the same roles. ANS manufactures implantable systems used to manage chronic intractable pain and other disorders of the central nervous system.

Diomed Holdings (Andover, Massachusetts) has entered into definitive agreements to acquire exclusive rights to U.S. patent No. 6,398,777 and foreign counterparts covering the endovenous laser treatment of varicose veins from the five inventors of the procedure. Diomed is completing its consolidation of the exclusive rights to the patent through two separate but coordinated transactions. Diomed is purchasing patent rights from Robert Min, MD, one of the inventors, with whom the company currently holds a non-exclusive technology license and an exclusive marketing and promotional agreement. The company is simultaneously effecting an exclusive patent license with the remaining four inventors, led by Luis Navarro, MD, through their business, Endolaser Associates. Details of the transactions were not disclosed.

Guidant's (Indianapolis, Indiana) Vascular Intervention (Santa Clara, California) division has acquired the right to use certain bioabsorbable polymer technologies developed by MediVas (San Diego, California). The agreement provides Guidant with an exclusive worldwide license to those products, related pre-clinical and clinical data, and intellectual property for use with drugs in the "rolimus" family, as well as a non-exclusive license for use with certain other therapeutic agents. Everolimus is Guidant's lead drug in its drug-eluting stent program. MediVas will receive an up-front cash payment of $35 million, which will be recorded as in-process research and development in Guidant's third quarter, and may receive additional payments based on the achievement of development milestones. MediVas may also receive royalties on Guidant's sales of licensed products using the technology.

Hillenbrand Industries (Batesville, Indiana) signed a definitive agreement to acquire Advanced Respiratory (St. Paul, Minnesota), a privately held manufacturer and distributor of non-invasive airway clearance products and systems known as The Vest airway clearance system. The purchase price will be $83 million, subject to certain adjustments, with additional payments that could reach $20 million, based on Advanced Respiratory's achieving certain revenue growth targets, Hillenbrand said. The deal is expected to close this month, Hillenbrand said. With closing of the acquisition, Advanced Respiratory's operations will become part of Hillenbrand's healthcare subsidiary, Hill-Rom, and part of its newly formed Clinical Division, which focuses on providing non-invasive products to the acute, long-term and home healthcare environment.

Maxxim Medical (Oldsmar, Florida), which filed for bankruptcy protection in February, said it has signed an agreement for the sale of substantially all of its assets and business to Lightyear Capital (New York), a private equity investment firm that manages more than $2 billion in assets. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Maxxim Medical is a maker of specialty medical products such as custom procedure trays, medical and surgical gloves, radiology, and critical care products for hospitals, surgery centers and alternate-care facilities. The purchase agreement for Maxxim's assets and those of several related subsidiaries is subject to approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware as well as compliance with the bankruptcy code and certain other conditions. The sale is also subject to the consent of the secured lenders under Maxxim's debtor-in-possession financing facility. Maxxim said the sale closing should occur by the end of this month.

MedicalCV (Inner Grove Heights, Minnesota), a cardiothoracic surgery device manufacturer, said it has signed an agreement to acquire a technology platform for the treatment of atrial fibrillation from LightWave Ablation Systems (Mooresville, North Carolina), a private research-based company focused on new devices for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Medtronic (Minneapolis, Minnesota) said its spinal business, Medtronic Sofamor Danek (Memphis, Tennessee), has reached agreements with Wyeth (Madison, New Jersey) and Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (Tokyo) to acquire the remaining worldwide exclusive rights to promote recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein (rhBMP-2), a genetically engineered version of a naturally occurring human protein that forms new bone. Under the new Wyeth agreement, Medtronic expanded its rights for rhBMP-2 to include the U.S., Canada, Australia, Latin America and other countries, for spine, orthopedic and trauma indications. Financial terms were not disclosed. These new agreements provide Medtronic with worldwide commercial license rights for rhBMP-2 for all spine, orthopedic and trauma indications. Medtronic reported recently that Yamanouchi had agreed to grant to Medtronic the exclusive license for rhBMP-2 for orthopedic surgery in Japan and Asia. An orthopedic/trauma indication for this rhBMP-2 technology in the U.S. is being reviewed by the FDA.

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