Boston Scientific (BSX; Natick, Massachusetts) has entered into a series of agreements with SUB-Q (San Clemente, California), a privately held company that makes vascular sealing devices. BSX said it has made an equity investment in SUB-Q, that it has obtained exclusive worldwide rights to distribute SUB-Q's QuickSeal vascular sealing device, and that it has secured an exclusive option to acquire SUB-Q. The agreements mark Boston Scientific's entry into the vascular sealing device market, which is expected to reach $350 million in 2002 and is projected to exceed $500 million as the number of interventional procedures increases, the company said. SUB-Q last month received premarket approval from the FDA to market the QuickSeal device. BSX plans to begin distributing the product this month. SUB-Q's QuickSeal technology uses a foam sponge to seal the arterial puncture. This sponge is designed to be absorbed by the body and leave virtually no trace within a matter of weeks after the procedure. SUB-Q recently completed a clinical trial of 398 patients in the U.S. in which the QuickSeal device was compared to manual compression. The QuickSeal device was able to seal arterial punctures much faster than manual compression and had a similar complication rate.

Cardiac Science (Irvine, California), a manufacturer of automated public access defibrillators (AEDs), said it has been selected to outfit the city of Maastricht, the Netherlands, with its new Powerheart AEDs as part of the Netherlands' first municipal public access defibrillation program. In conjunction with this initiative, the Dutch government has amended national legislation, allowing AEDs to be operated by lay people in an emergency. The Maastricht program, a collaboration of the Public Health Institute, Maastricht University and the Maastricht University Hospital, has set out to deploy AEDs in all public places in the region where at least one sudden cardiac arrest per year has occurred. The goal is to increase survival rates of victims of sudden cardiac arrest in the region from the current level of 7% to 25%.

CardioTech International (Woburn, Massachusetts) has concluded a technology transfer and license agreement with Credent Vascular Technologies (Wrexham, UK). Total consideration to be paid by Credent to CardioTech for the purchase of the transferred rights to ChronoFlex RC is a minimum of $500,000 and may be as high as $1 million, payable in installments linked to certain performance requirements. CardioTech irrevocably granted an exclusive, worldwide license of its intellectual property rights relating to ChronoFlex RC, enabling Credent to exclusively synthesize ChronoFlex RC biodurable polycarbonate-urethane. Credent will use ChronoFlex RC in the manufacture of its vascular access and peripheral vascular grafts and potentially in future development products. Credent has licensed back to CardioTech the right to use ChronoFlex RC for the manufacture and marketing of coronary artery bypass grafts. Credent is working in conjunction with the Royal Free & University College Medical School (London). The company specializes in the development of highly differentiated compliant small diameter vascular grafts. CardioTech manufactures polyurethane-based vascular graft devices for the treatment of late-stage cardiovascular disease, medical-grade polyurethanes for use in implantable medical devices and other applications, and disposable medical devices on an OEM basis.

Hemosol (Toronto, Ontario) has agreed to increase its public offering to $22.05 million. The underwriters will purchase 4.9 million units of company securities at a price of $4.50 per unit, with each unit consisting of one Hemosol common share, plus one-half of one common share purchase warrant, with each purchase warrant exercisable into one common share at a price of $5.50 per common share for a period of one year. The company said net proceeds of the offering will be used to fund ongoing clinical trials and for working capital purposes. The company said it had entered into a "bought deal" agreement with a syndicate of underwriters who agreed to purchase 3.35 million units at the $4.50-a-unit price, plus an overallotment option to buy an addition 1.12 million units. Hemosol is negotiating amendments to its $35 million senior credit facility as a result of the extensions of the timelines for regulatory approvals of its Hemolink product. Hemosol has a several products in development, including Hemolink, a therapeutic designed to improve oxygen delivery to the circulatory system.

Vascular Architects (San Jose, California) has entered into an exclusive agreement with NOvoVascular (also San Jose) to develop a drug delivery stent for the treatment of peripheral vascular disease. The drug, a nitric oxide generator, will be delivered using Vascular Architects' aSpire Covered Stent and Controlled Expansion Delivery System. Bruce Barclay, president and CEO of Vascular Architects, said, "While the focus for other companies developing drug delivery stents has been on treating coronary artery disease, we believe a tremendous opportunity exists for drug delivery stents to treat peripheral vascular disease as well. This agreement will allow us to develop additional products that give physicians another option to treat these difficult lesions." The stent system is being clinically evaluated in the U.S. under two investigational device exemptions for the treatment of iliac and SFA occlusions and of dysfunctional arterio-venous access grafts.

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