CryoCath Technologies (Montreal, Quebec), a developer of cryotherapy products to treat cardiovascular disease, said it has reached an agreement with Endocare (Irvine, California) to acquire the exclusive and permanent global rights to SurgiFrost, a surgical probe system to ablate cardiac arrhythmias. CryoCath said it would pay Endocare upfront and milestone payments totaling $10 million as well as a nine-year descending royalty stream based on net sales of the system. Endocare will transfer all of its manufacturing assets and inventory related to the cardiac product line to CryoCath and will exclusively license to CryoCath for cardiovascular uses its technology associated with the system The SurgiFrost device uses a malleable, single-use cryosurgical probe developed to treat cardiac arrhythmias. It is used while a patient is undergoing a primary cardiac surgical procedure such as coronary artery bypass grafting or mitral valve replacement and/or repair. CryoCath originally licensed the five-year global marketing rights for SurgiFrost in September 2001 and subsequently launched the product in June 2002.

Bruker Daltonics (Billerica, Massachusetts) signed a definitive agreement to acquire Bruker AXS (Madison, Wisconsin), an affiliated firm, in a primarily stock-for-stock deal valued at $103.6 million. After the closing of the transaction, expected sometime this summer, the name of the combined firm will be changed to Bruker BioSciences. Under terms of the agreement, Bruker Daltonics will exchange 0.63 of a share for each Bruker AXS share, with holders of that stock having the option of receiving up to 25% of the payment in cash. The ratio represents a premium of 27% based on the average closing prices of each stock over the month prior to the announcement of the deal, Bruker Daltonics said. The agreement received the unanimous approval of the board of directors of each company as well as the unanimous recommendations of independent special committees of both boards. Bruker BioSciences will have Bruker Daltonics and Bruker AXS as operating subsidiaries.

Serologicals (Norcross, Georgia) reported completing its previously announced acquisition of Chemicon International (Temecula, California), a privately owned firm that supplies a variety of specialty reagents, antibodies and molecular research tools to the life sciences market. Serologicals acquired Chemicon and certain affiliated companies for $95 million in cash, less Chemicon's outstanding debt as of the closing date, bringing the total cost to about $85 million. The acquisition was financed with proceeds from a new credit facility, consisting of an $82.5 million, five-year term loan and a $35 million, four-year revolving credit facility.

Spectranetics (Colorado Springs, Colorado) said it has acquired the assets of privately held LaTIS, a Minnesota-based developer of technology that is used to treat ischemic stroke. Terms of the acquisition include a $100,000 purchase price and potential royalties on stroke-based disposable catheter sales, if approval to commercially market laser-based products to treat ischemic stroke is received from the FDA. Spectranetics makes single-use medical devices used in minimally invasive surgical procedures within the cardiovascular system in conjunction with its excimer laser system.

Synthes-Stratec (Oberdorf, Switzerland) has completed its previously announced $350 million acquisition of Spine Solutions (New York), developer of the ProDisc total artificial disc system. Spine Solutions will operate as an independent subsidiary of Synthes-Stratec. Under terms of the deal originally reported in February, Synthes-Stratec is making an initial cash payment of $175 million, with another $175 million payable up achievement of certain milestones by Spine Solutions, including FDA approval of its lumbar and cervical artificial disc products. The ProDisc system has been in investigational device exemption clinical studies since October 2001. In 26 countries outside the U.S. where the device already is available commercially, more than 2,300 lumbar discs have been implanted to date. In 1999, Viscogliosi Bros. (New York), a private banking and venture capital firm specializing in the orthopedic industry, and Aesculap, a unit of B. Braun Melsungen AG (Melsungen, Germany), established Spine Solutions to acquire and commercialize the ProDisc system worldwide.

VISX (Santa Clara, California) said it has acquired technology, including patents and other assets associated with its WaveScan product line, from 20/10 Perfect Vision Optische Gerate GmbH (Heidelberg, Germany). VISX said it paid $5.9 million for the technology, which was previously licensed to VISX under an exclusive licensing agreement that is superseded by this acquisition. Additionally, VISX has granted 20/10 Perfect Vision certain license and distribution rights. VISX makes laser vision correction systems.

Patient monitoring firm Welch Allyn (Skaneateles Falls, New York) and MRL (Medical Research Laboratories; Buffalo Grove, Illinois), a manufacturer of therapeutic and monitoring cardiovascular devices, have concluded a merger in which Welch Allyn has acquired all outstanding shares of MRL stock. The value of the purchase was not disclosed. Peter Soderberg, president and CEO of Welch Allyn, said that the acquisition complements his company's expansion into the patient monitoring and diagnostic cardiology markets. MRL makes high-end defibrillators, multi-parameter monitors and automated external defibrillators.