Axcan Pharma (Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada) has signed an agreement to acquire from QLT PhotoTherapeutics (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) the worldwide rights to Photofrin, the first drug to be approved as a treatment of certain cancers via photodynamic therapy, that is, activation of a drug via light or laser. QLT will purchase shares in Axcan and QLT will sell, license or sub-license to Axcan all its rights to Photofrin in exchange for shares and cash. QLT will pay C$19.25 million for 1.28 million shares of Axcan common stock, and QLT will sell, license, or sub-license to Axcan all its rights, title, and interest in Photofrin, including the sale of QLT's European subsidiary, which owns the European registrations for the drug. Axcan will pay QLT C$39.25 million, comprised of CDN $21.75 million in cash at closing, and C$13.5 million in the form of non-voting, non-transferable preferred stock that includes a 5% annual cumulative dividend payable at Axcan's option. Axcan also could pay up to C$20 million in milestone payments.

Continuum (Springfield, Pennsylvania) has acquired Health Calls, a telephone-based health intervention program, from ACHP (New Brunswick, New Jersey; Washington). Continuum's approach to employee health includes preventive and compliance-related services, health promotion and fitness services, and workers' compensation and disability management. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Dexterity Surgical (San Antonio, Texas) said it will acquire all the incontinence assets of MedWorks (Louisville Kentucky). Terms of the purchase were not disclosed. MedWorks develops technology focused on the treatment of female urinary incontinence through a minimally invasive surgical procedure. The Trans Vaginal Suturing System targets an estimated 200,000 urinary incontinence surgical procedures performed in the U.S. each year.

Henter-Joyce, a provider of screen-reader software technology to blind and visually impaired computer users, has merged with Freedom Scientific, a developer of assistive technology products for the visually impaired, speech and hearing impaired, and learning-disabled. Blazie Engineering, a U.S. maker of hardware products for the blind, also was merged into Freedom Scientific. Two private equity firms, Patricof & Co. Ventures and Summit Partners, have funded Freedom Scientific.

Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LabCorp; Burlington, North Carolina) said it has entered into a definitive agreement with Pathology Medical Laboratories (PML; San Diego, California) to acquire PML's laboratory testing business. The transaction was expected to be finalized about June 1, and is contingent on the satisfaction of certain conditions. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Neoforma.com (Santa Clara, California), a medical products B2B e-commerce marketplace, said it is considering termination of its merger agreements with Eclipsys (Delray Beach, Florida) and HEALTHvision (Irving, Texas). The company also said it is discussing with VHA and University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC) potential modifications to the structure and terms of its existing stock and warrant transactions with those companies. Neoforma.com has an outsourcing agreement with Novation, the supply company of VHA and UHC, to be the exclusive provider of certain e-commerce services to be offered to the health care organizations participating in Novation's purchasing programs. Any termination of the merger agreements and modification of the VHA and UHC stock and warrant transactions would require the consent of all parties, NeoForma.com said in a statement. Neoforma.com also has completed its previously announced acquisition of EquipMD (Atlanta, Georgia), a B2B procurement company serving the physician market. Neoforma.com has acquired all outstanding capital stock and options of EquipMD for approximately 5.45 million shares of Neoforma.com common stock. EquipMD will remain headquartered in Atlanta.

Paradigm Medical Industries (Salt Lake City, Utah) said it will acquire OBF Labs (Malmsbury, United Kingdom). Terms were not disclosed. OBF Labs makes and sells a device for the measurement of oxygenated blood flow to the eye. The device previously received FDA approval for glaucoma screening and also has the potential for identifying possible stroke victims. Paradigm makes surgical and diagnostic eye care equipment.

Surgical Laser Technologies (SLT; Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania) has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Surgical Innovations and Services (SIS; Tuscaloosa, Alabama), a provider of contract laser and other surgical services to hospitals and surgery centers in the southeastern United States. Under the agreement, SIS shareholders will receive 350,000 shares of SLT common stock and $300,000 in cash. Closing was expected to occur by the end of May. SLT makes lasers and disposable laser delivery systems that can be used in virtually all general and specialty surgical procedures.

Torex plc (United Kingdom) said it will purchase Shared Medical Systems' (SMS; Malvern, Pennsylvania) subsidiaries in the UK, the Netherlands, and Ireland in a transaction valued at approximately $25 million. Additionally, SMS and Torex will enter into an agreement which will grant Torex a three-year exclusive right to license and sell SMS products in the three countries.

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