Boston Scientific received a major setback in its lawsuit against rival Johnson...
November 1st, 2007
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The share price of American Medical Systems Holdings Inc. (Minnetonka, MN) took a pounding yesterday over concerns about problems with integrating Laserscope, a company it bought last year, reports the Star Tribune of Minneapolis. After the firm announced it is cutting its 2007 sales and profit forecasts, Wall Street analysts downgraded its stock, and the price promptly fell by 29%, the largest one-day drop in company history. The main problem appears to be a failure to properly integrate Laserscope's sales force into American Medical Systems. If your sales force isn't functional, you're simply not going to get the revenues and profits you want. This should be a lesson to all firms that are considering an acquisition that might be biting off more than it can chew.
October 31st, 2007
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The New York Times today has an read more >>
October 30th, 2007
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Private equity firm Warburg Pincus has completed its $3.7 billion buyout of ophthalmics giant Bausch & Lomb, reports the Associated Press. Eye-care rival Advanced Medical Optics had made a $4.2 billion offer, but pulled it in August after accusing Bausch & Lomb of putting up insurmountable hurdles to approval. Like Boston Scientific with Guidant, however, Warburg Pincus acquires problems as well as prestige with the Bausch & Lomb deal. B&L is still feeling the fallout from a May 2006 contact-lens-solution recall, and it has been named as a defendant in about 550 product-liability lawsuits. At least the firm won't be pressured by Wall Street analysts and shareholders as it tries to work through the problems.
October 29th, 2007
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A study published in the October issue of Brain used MRI technology to measure structural changes that occur in the brain following injury. More specifically, the researchers used diffusion tension imaging to observe the integrity of the brain's white matter. They were able to link structural changes in this area to cognitive deficits related to thinking, memory, and attention. The technology could prove to be a useful tool in assessing injuries that occur in athletes as well as in the battlefield.
October 26th, 2007
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MD&DI has named Integra LifeSciences Corp. (Plainsboro, NJ) and Intuitive Surgical Inc. (Sunnyvale, CA) as its 2007 Medical Manufacturers of the Year. Profiles of both companies appear in MD&DI's November 2007 issue. Integra, which makes regenerative-medicine and neurosurgical products, and Intuitive, which makes robotic-assisted surgery systems, were honored for developing extraordinarily innovative technologies and building successful businesses around them.
October 25th, 2007
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Angstrom Medica, Inc. (Woburn, MA), which claims to have been the first firm to get a nanotechnology medical device approved by FDA, has been acquired by Pioneer Surgical Technology (PST; Marquette, MI), according to a release posted on devicelink.com. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Angstrom will become a subsidiary of PST, and part of its orthobiologics division. Angstrom's NanOss uses nanotechnology to enable products that are highly osteoconductive and can remodel over time into human bone. NanOss, like human bone, is made of hydroxyapatite crystals. By controlling the material at the nanocrystalline level the resulting compound can have the strength of established polymer surgical implants.
October 25th, 2007
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Earlier this month, Covidien granted the University of Missouri-Columbia's School of Medicine $750,000 to come up with safer hernia-surgery procedures that could result in easier recovery for patients. The funds will help develop a materials characterization laboratory, where researchers will study materials typically implanted during procedures to repair abdominal hernias. Surgeons currently use a 50-year-old procedure in which propylene mesh is inserted to patch the hernia. Propylene is preferred because it is linked to low occurrences of infection and other complications, but it does not remain stable once implanted. So researchers at the university's Biodesign and Innovation Program will study why the mesh changes size, shape, and even color once implanted, and how to prevent that. Changes associated with other materials will also be investigated.
October 24th, 2007
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As legislation that could determine how CMS is allowed to use "comparative effectiveness research" is being debated, AdvaMed has come out with a series of principles that it would like to see the government adhere to. At their core is that such data, while it can be useful, should not take the place of doctor-patient counseling, and should not in and of itself be used to eliminate treatment options. The full list of principles can be found here. At a press teleconference this afternoon, AdvaMed President Stephen Ubl said the organization has three key points: 1. Comparative effectiveness data can have value, but individual judgements for individual decisions must remain. 2. Any decision-making process that incorporates comparative effectiveness...
October 24th, 2007
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A CMS official told those at TCT 2007 that the agency is unlikely to scale back coverage for drug-eluting stents, even in the wake of safety concerns, the Wall Street Journal reports. In February, CMS said it was considering restricting coverage for off-label uses of the products. But judging from comments by Marcel Salive, director of medical and surgical services in the agency's coverage and analysis group, that's probably not going to happen. Of course, not a whole lot of study of off-label patients has been done. In a few years, when more data is available, we'll see if the agency changes its mind.
October 24th, 2007
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