Camtronics Medical Systems (Hartland, Wisconsin), a subsidiary of Analogic (Peabody, Massachusetts), said it has completed the acquisition of ADAC's (Milpitas, California) Cardiology Systems Group, which is part of ADAC's Health Care Information Systems(HCIS) subsidiary. Camtronics will integrate ADAC's CorCAAT system, an advanced hemodynamic and database management system for catheterization labs, into its Vericis Integrated Cardiovascular Repository. The CorCAAT system was demonstrated in the Camtronics exhibit at last month's American Heart Association scientific sessions. Camtronics President Gene Bergholz said acquisition of the CorCAAT technology "represents an important milestone in our implementation of the Digital Integrated Cardiovascular Record. Camtronics is very fortunate to gain the clinical experience and technology leadership the ADAC team brings to our organization."

Cardiogene AG (Erkrath, Germany) and Intracardia (Cincinnati, Ohio) last month said they will merge to create a biopharmaceutical company pursuing multiple product opportunities in heart disease and cell transplantation. Cardiogene is changing its name to Cardion AG to reflect a broadened product portfolio, and the combined firm will be headquartered inErkrath, Germany, with U.S. operations to be in Boston, Massachusetts. Cardion will combine Cardiogene's core local gene therapy platform into Intracardia's strengths in stem cell differentiation and graft enhancement. Its products will includeNOStentin, a local non-viral gene therapy for the prevention of restenosis; andCardioprotectin, a stem cell-based approach for regeneration of heart tissue in myocardial infarction. The company will create non-viral, gene-based products to reprogram damaged tissue in situ for the treatment of cardiovascular disorders, using a "plug-and-play" gene delivery system comprising a liposomal formulation and catheter technology.

DNA Sciences (Mountain View, California) reported acquiring the rights to 152 variants in five separate genes associated with cardiac arrhythmias from the University of Utah (Salt Lake City, Utah) and Yale University (New Haven, Connecticut). These genes have been implicated in a number of significant health conditions such as adverse drug responses leading to death, as well as sudden cardiac death. DNA Sciences holds exclusive rights to 113 of these variants for all uses and exclusive rights to 39 variants for diagnostic and pharmacogenetic use. The company said it plans to further study these genes and variants to develop clinical management tests and genetic tools that guide clinical development of drugs which interact with these genes. DNA Sciences will be responsible for developing and commercializing clinical management tests to permit physicians to identify patients at high risk for the Long QT syndrome, a potentially fatal disorder associated with erratic heartbeats, and said it expects to complete new studies on the Long QT genes within the next 12 months.

Esperion Therapeutics (Ann Arbor, Michigan) completed its acquisition of Talaria Therapeutics (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), gaining cardiovascular treatment technology and a resolution to litigation. All outstanding shares of Talaria were exchanged for 813,000 shares of Esperion common stock – valued at $12.5 million – and Esperion will make milestone and royalty payments on net sales of large unilamellar vesicles(LUVs), Talaria's lead technology platform, contingent upon commercialization. Talaria shareholders will have about 3% of the merged company. Esperion also will report a one-time, non-cash charge in 3Q00 of about $4 million related to the write-off of in-process research and development ofTalaria. Talaria's LUV program currently has candidates in Phase I testing. Esperion CFO Timothy Mayleben said "The primary motivation [for the deal] stemmed from the litigation that was brought against us in March. We looked at it and saw what the issues were and saw an opportunity to build a stronger patent portfolio around the LUV technology." He said the combination of the two companies' work gives Esperion a head start on research efforts. "They had some nice Phase I data, and combined with the patent estate, getting that Phase I data allows us to go straight into a Phase II trial. That made it an easy decision.". He added that he expects a Phase II trial of the LUV cholesterol-reduction therapy to begin within three months. The acquisition also clears litigation brought by Talaria against Inex Pharmaceuticals (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) in March, which also named Esperion in allegations of misrepresentation. Talaria alleged in the suit that Inex andEsperion, along with the University of British Columbia (also Vancouver), engaged in misrepresentation in an effort to obtain patent rights to the use of large unilamellar liposomes to treat atherosclerosis and related conditions. The acquisition, along with an amendment to an existing license agreement between Esperion andInex, resolved the litigation. Esperion's technology platform focuses on research in high-density lipoprotein(HDL) therapy. The company uses HDL in its role to facilitate the reverse lipid transport pathway, which removes excess cholesterol from arteries and other tissues. Esperion also is developing AIM, apolipoprotein A-IMilano, in a Phase Ib/IIa study for restenosis and acute coronary disease, including angina.