Baxter International (Deerfield, Illinois) completed its acquisition of Althin Medical AB (Ronneby, Sweden), a maker of hemodialysis products, for approximately $130 million. Baxter said the acquisition will expand its overall position in hemodialysis by adding to its product portfolio in the sector and increasing manufacturing capacity for dialysis products. Althin generated 1999 sales of approximately $120 million, operates in more than 70 countries and employs approximately 730. Baxter also said it had been advised by North American Vaccine (NAV; Columbia, Maryland) that it will not satisfy certain conditions due by April 1, which are part of the agreement for closing their proposed merger. NAV said it will not obtain regulatory approval in time from British health authorities for NeisVac-C vaccine and it will not complete the manufacture of a two-month supply of doses of NeisVac-C vaccine for delivery. Baxter has proposed that the parties modify the share exchange agreement.

Immune Response (Carlsbad, California) completed its acquisition of Opticon Medical (Dublin, Ohio) and will operate the company as a subsidiary. Immune's officers and directors resigned following election of the Opticon directors to the board of Immune Response, and the present management of Opticon was installed as the corporate officers of Immune. The company's offices are being consolidated into Opticon's facility in Dublin. The new Opticon Medical subsidiary will focus on developing devices for use in urology and continence care.

Laser Power (San Diego, California) completed the sale of the assets of its contract research operation, which developed projection display and 1550nm microlaser technologies, to Photera Technologies, a newly-formed subsidiary of Schwartz Electro-Optics. Dick Sharman, Laser Power CEO, said that with sale of the contract research organization, the company had completed its restructuring.

Laserscope (San Jose, California) said it will sell its German subsidiary, NWL Laser Technologie GmbH, to Wavelight Laser Technologie AG, pending Wavelight shareholder approval, expected by the end of 1Q00. The sale will have an effective date of Jan. 1, 2000. NWL will continue to distribute Laserscope's products in all countries covered by NWL's current distribution channels. The transaction is expected to net approximately $4 million to Laserscope but is not expected to generate a material gain or loss when reported in 1Q00. Eric Retuer, Laserscope president and CEO, said the spin-off represents divestiture of the company's non-core activity of making industrial marking lasers, but retains the existing distribution of its medical products in Germany and Eastern Europe.

Pathobiotek Diagnostics (Houston, Texas) a maker of products for diagnosing multiple sclerosis and other immune disorders, said it will merge with Investra Enterprises, a Florida corporation, with Investra then to become a Pathobioteck subsidiary.

Contract research organization Phoenix International Life Sciences (Montreal, Canada) sold its Preclinical Services unit (formerly Chrysalis Preclinical Services; Scranton, Pennsylvania) to Calvert Holdings of North Carolina, a privately held preclinical services provider. Ian Lennox, CEO of Phoenix, said the spin-off was a strategy to streamline and consolidate the firm, and that it "will continue to offer ... toxicology and metabolism services through our facilities in Montreal and Lyon, France."

SeraCare (Los Angeles, California) sold its Consolidated Technologies operations to a subsidiary of Sybron Laboratory Products (SLP; Milwaukee, Wisconsin), a subsidiary of Sybron International, for $17.4 million in cash. The spin-off is part of a restructuring effort that would reduce company debt and increase focus on its core strength "as a provider of plasma-based biological products to the biotech industry," according to a company statement. Consolidated Technologies makes quality control materials, intermediate biological products, in vitro diagnostic products, and proficiency testing specimens for the in vitro diagnostic industry.

Swissray Germany (Wiesbaden, Germany), a subsidiary of Swissray International (New York), sold its conventional business division to WSB Medizintechnische Beratung-, Service- und Vertriebsgesellschaft GmbH (Starnberg, Germany). In addition, Swissray Germany will change its name to Swissray GmbH, digital X-ray technology, Wiesbaden, and will focus its sales and marketing efforts in the field of direct digital radiography. Terms were not disclosed.

Synsorb Biotech (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) has signed an agreement to sell its subsidiary, INH Technologies (also Calgary), to MDS through its MDS Sciex division, for an undisclosed amount of cash. Additionally, a separate agreement between the companies provides for future milestone and royalty payments. Based on technology developed at the University of Alberta, INH develops equipment and systems used in the high throughput screening of potential drug compounds. MDS Sciex is a provider of mass spectrometry and quadruple time-of-flight technology to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry.

Trinity Biotech plc (Dublin, Ireland) has acquired MarDx Diagnostics (Carlsbad, California), a privately held company, for $4 million. MarDx makes test kits for the diagnosis of Lyme disease and other Western Blot test kits. The MarDx test was the first Lyme Western Blot assay to receive FDA clearance.

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