Alaris Medical (San Diego, California) said that its Alaris Medical Systems subsidiary completed the sale of its Instromedix unit to Card-Guard Scientific Survival (Rehovot, Israel), with proceeds from the sale to be used to repay $18 million of Alaris Medical's bank debt. Card-Guard develops telemedicine systems for a range of patient applications. Instromedix develops telecardiology systems with focus on non-invasive, portable cardiac event monitoring and pacemaker follow-up technologies.

Data Critical (Bothell, Washington), a provider of wireless and Internet-based communication equipment for health care, said it has acquired privately held Paceart, a provider of pacemaker and arrhythmia patient monitoring software. Founded in 1986, Paceart led the development of commercial, PC-based software for managing the care of cardiac patients with implanted devices. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed. Paceart reports 800 installations of its monitoring and follow-up systems in universities, hospitals, clinics and physician offices in the U.S. "With this acquisition, we have gained a unique asset with a large installed base of cardiologists, proprietary technology with significant intellectual property and the company that set the 'gold standard' in the transtelephonic and clinical follow-up systems in the cardiology field," said Jeffrey Brown, president and CEO of Data Critical. He said Data Critical will integrate its at-home consumer cardiac monitoring technology, Internet ECG, with EKG Speaks, Paceart's cardiac software product. Michael Bergelson, PhD, president and CEO of Paceart Associates, will remain president of Paceart and will become a vice president of Data Critical.

Edwards Lifesciences (Irvine, California) completed the sale of its Bentley line of cardiopulmonary perfusion products to Jostra AG (Hirrlingen, Germany), a maker of open-heart surgery products, for approximately $30 million. Michael Mussallem, Edwards chairman and CEO, said the divestiture helps the company provide better focus to its product line following its spin-off from Baxter International (Deerfield, Illinois) earlier this year. Jostra said it will produce the full line of Bentley products used to support the heart during stopped-heart cardiac surgery, while Edwards retains its Macchi line of cardiopulmonary products, as well as its manufacturing facilities in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Uden, the Netherlands. Edwards also maintains distribution rights for Bentley products in Japan and most other countries outside of the U.S. and Western Europe. Additional terms of the agreement enable Jostra to maintain Bentley's role as a preferred supplier to Edwards' worldwide perfusion service, and Edwards will provide transition support to Jostra.

Haemonetics (Braintree, Massachusetts), a maker of automated red blood cell collection systems, said it will acquire all of Transfusion Technologies (TT; Natick Massachusetts), a developer of blood separation systems using Dynamic Disk centrifuge technology. The deal will be a purchase of stock for cash, the value not disclosed. Haemonetics had acquired a 19.8% equity stake in Transfusion Technologies last November to become the exclusive distributor of TT's OrthoPAT auto transfusion system outside North America. The deal was expected to be completed by the end of September.

European stent maker Jomed NV (Beringen, Switzerland) completed its purchase of EndoSonics (Rancho Cordova, California) by using the bulk of $200 million raised through the sale of stock and overallotments. Jomed said early last month that it would purchase the U.S. firm, which makes products for visualization through intravascular systems. The offering consisted of the sale of new shares, expected to raise about $175 million, and an over-allotment option granted to the underwriters, providing another $25 million. Jomed President and CEO Tor Peters said the acquisition offers "an excellent complement" to his company's line of products. He added that Jomed will gain access to an established U.S. sales force, "helping [us] to penetrate the large U.S. market faster and more effectively."

In mid-September, the boards of Sulzer Medica Ltd. (Winterthur, Switzerland) and Sulzer Ltd. agreed to pursue a merger of the two firms, subject to approval of the shareholders, with the combination slated for completion before year's end. Sulzer Medica makes implantable medical devices and biomaterials for the cardiovascular and orthopedic markets worldwide. At the time of the announcement, Sulzer Ltd. held 74% of Sulzer Medica's shares. The merger will be implemented by a share exchange. After a 1:3 split of the Sulzer share, Sulzer Medica minority shareholders will receive 1.35 Sulzer shares for each of their Sulzer Medica shares, representing a premium of about 13% over the Sept. 15 closing price. Sulzer Medica's shares will be delisted from both the New York and Zurich Stock Exchanges, and two outside directors on the Sulzer Medica board will be nominated to seats on Sulzer's board. The president of the group, Andre Buchel, will manage the business's Cardiovascular Prostheses (heart valves and vascular grafts), Biologics, Joint and Fracture Care, Spine Care and Dental Care units. In conjunction with the proposed merger, Sulzer announced a broad change in strategic direction. The commitment to the device sector "shall ensure Sulzer Medica a strong presence in future medical technology markets," Sulzer said in a statement. The company's products include heart valves and vascular grafts, joint prostheses, spine implants and products for traumatology and oral rehabilitation.

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