Baxter International (Deerfield, Illinois) has agreed to purchase substantially all of the assets of Autros Healthcare Solutions (Toronto, Ontario), a developer of wireless, Internet-enabled patient information and medication systems linking health care professionals to decision support for medication administration. Autros will become a part of Baxter's Medication Delivery business that specializes in electronic infusion pumps and other devices for delivering intravenous medications. Financial terms were not disclosed. Autros makes the Autros Point-of-Care Patient Management System, which uses a computerized physician order entry module, an inpatient pharmacy module, a wireless nurse charting system and an electronic patient medical record for improved patient safety for medication delivery in hospitals. The companies said, assuming various approvals, the deal will close early this year.

BioSphere Medical (Rockland, Massachusetts) said it has acquired, for approximately $1 million, the remaining 15% ownership interest in Biosphere Medical SA (BMSA), which serves as the company's European headquarters and its primary manufacturing facility. BMSA recently relocated its manufacturing plant to a new facility near Charles De Gaulle Airport outside Paris. BioSphere Medical is focused on embolotherapy, the treatment of tumors and vascular malformations by occluding their blood supply.

Cardiac Science (Irvine, California) completed the acquisition of Artema Medical AB (Stockholm, Sweden), a manufacturer of patient monitors and external defibrillator devices, through the issuance of about 4 million shares of common stock to Artema shareholders. "The acquisition of Artema provides us with a number of significant benefits including the expansion of our in-hospital defibrillator product line, enhanced distribution in Europe, the Middle East and Asia," said Raymond Cohen, Cardiac Science president and CEO.

Encore Medical (Austin, Texas) signed a definitive agreement to acquire Chattanooga Group (Hixson, Tennessee), a privately held provider of orthopedic rehabilitation equipment. Chattanooga Group manufactures a wide range of rehabilitation products, including Intelect electrotherapy units, OptiFlex continuous passive motion devices, Triton and Adapta therapy tables and Hydrocollator heating and chilling units. Encore Medical has during the past year embarked on a strategic acquisition campaign to build a line of orthopedic products. Its core competency is in orthopedic implants, where it has developed a broad line of knee, hip and shoulder total joint replacements, and spinal implants. Encore said the acquisition of Chattanooga Group would provide a third platform to complement its prior offerings. Shareholders owning over 90% of the outstanding stock of Chattanooga have agreed to sell their shares to Encore. Specific terms of the transaction were not announced.

Helix Hearing Care of America (Montreal, Quebec) signed and closed a definitive purchase agreement to acquire Auxiliary Health Benefits (Denver, Colorado), doing business as National Ear Care Plan (NECP), for $3.5 million in cash.

Johnson & Johnson (J&J; New Brunswick, New Jersey) completed its previously announced acquisition of Inverness Medical Technology (Waltham, Massachusetts), excluding certain businesses. The transaction was completed after Inverness shareholders voted to approve the merger agreement with J&J. Simultaneous with the completion of the acquisition, Inverness completed the split-off of a new publicly traded company, Inverness Medical Innovations (also Waltham), that now holds Inverness' former women's health and other non-diabetes businesses. Inverness will become a wholly owned subsidiary of J&J and work with that company's LifeScan (Milpitas, California) franchise, a maker of blood glucose monitoring systems for home and hospital use. Holders of Inverness common stock will receive .5935 of a share of J&J common stock plus .2 of a share of Inverness Medical Innovations for each share of Inverness common stock.

Lumenis (Yokneam, Israel) has completed the previously announced acquisition of HGM Medical Systems (Salt Lake City, Utah), a medical laser manufacturer. Lumenis was formed last year when ESC Medical Systems and Coherent Medical Group merged. It makes laser and intense pulsed light devices used in a variety of aesthetic, ophthalmic and surgical applications.

Medical Action Industries (MAI; Hauppage, New York), a supplier of medical and surgical disposable products, has completed its previously announced acquisition of certain device lines from Medi-Flex Hospital Products (Overland Park, Kansas). MAI acquired sterile kits for the insertion of intravenous catheters and sterile procedure trays containing components necessary for the maintenance of large catheters inserted into the chest cavity. Medi-Flex will continue to market its antiseptic and delivery system product lines.

Tyco International (Pembroke, Bermuda) predicted early 2002 consummation of its purchase of C.R. Bard (Murray Hill, New Jersey). The $3.2 billion deal, announced in late May of 2001, initially had been expected to close by 4Q01, but Bard reported in mid-November that negotiations with the Federal Trade Commission would extend that closure date into 1Q02.