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Originally Published MX July/August 2006



Rehabilitation and regeneration product manufacturer dj Orthopedics Inc. (San Diego) has completed its $290 million acquisition of Aircast Inc. "While we are known as a leader in knee bracing and Aircast is known as a leader in ankle bracing, the acquisition also complements and strengthens our existing franchises in fracture boots and in cold therapy products," said Les Cross, president and chief executive officer of dj Orthopedics. "We are also very excited about our new sales opportunities with Aircast's VenaFlow vascular system for the hospital-based prevention of deep vein thrombosis after surgery."

Spine Wave Inc. (Shelton, CT) announced that is has received FDA 510(k) clearance to market the StaXx XD expandable device, indicated for use as a vertebral body replacement device. The product is Spine Wave's first commercial product cleared for release in the United States. The company plans to complete a limited U.S. release this summer, with a broad market launch planned for the fall. "Surgeon response to the StaXx XD PEEK spacer, and in particular the implant's in situ expansion and distraction capabilities, has been very encouraging," said Mark LoGuidice, chairman and CEO of Spine Wave.

Home Diagnostics Inc. (Fort Lauderdale, FL) has registered for an initial public offering of up to $115 million in common stock, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company, which manufactures a full line of diabetes-monitoring products, posted net income of $5.9 million for 2005, compared with $2 million in 2004 and $7.9 million in 2003.


Gambro AB (Stockholm) has announced its intent to acquire Hemapure AB (Uppsala, Sweden), which manufactures the Hemaport vascular access device. The acquisition, in which all Hemapure employees will transfer to Gambro, will reportedly broaden Gambro's portfolio of vascular access solutions and provide new growth opportunities. "The acquisition of this new technology shows Gambro's focus and commitment in the area of vascular access--to provide the best solution for each patient category," said Jon Risfelt, president of Gambro Renal Products.

Ethicon Inc. (Somerville, NJ), a Johnson & Johnson company, has acquired Vascular Control Systems Inc. (San Juan Capistrano, CA), a privately held company that is developing devices to treat fibroids and to control bleeding in obstetric and gynecologic applications. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.


BioHelix Corp. (Beverly, MA), a spin-off from New England Biolabs Inc., has entered an exclusive licensing agreement with Harvard University for rights to commercialize a novel whole genome amplification (WGA) technology developed at the university. "Nucleic acid testing in molecular diagnostics is a rapidly growing field," said Huimin Kong, PhD, president and CEO of BioHelix. "Bio-Helix is developing a rich portfolio of technology platforms for nucleic acid analysis and molecular diagnostics, and Harvard's primase-based WGA technology fits very well into our product development pipeline."


SonoSite Inc. (Bothell, WA) and Siemens Medical Solutions (Malvern, PA), the medical unit of Siemens AG (Erlangen, Germany), have signed an agreement under which Siemens will market and distribute SonoSite's MicroMaxx and Titan systems in Germany's general imaging and point-of-care hospital markets. "We believe that working together will create and expand opportunities for both companies as well as accelerate the adoption of hand-carried ultrasound in this strategically important market," said Dieter Schwartmann, SonoSite vice president for Europe.

Zoll Medical Corp. (Chelmsford, MA), a manufacturer of resuscitation devices and related software, has completed its acquisition of Lifecor Inc. (Pittsburgh), which manufactures a wearable external defibrillator system. As a result of the transaction, Zoll has assumed Lifecor's outstanding debt of $5.8 million, plus an additional $3 million owed to Zoll and $1.5 million in certain liabilities. Earn-out payments will also be made to Lifecor based on revenue growth over a five-year period.

Cyberkinetics Neurotechnology Systems Inc. (Foxborough, MA) and Columbia University Medical Center (New York City) have entered an agreement to evaluate the utility of brain electrical activity recordings obtained using Cyberkinetics' NeuroPort neural monitoring system. The medical center will use the device to improve the understanding of certain abnormal human brain processes, and Cyberkinetics will have the option of licensing any inventions derived from the research collaboration.


Pharmaceutical developer Pharmacyclics Inc. (Sunnyvale, CA) has acquired multiple small molecule drug candidates for the treatment of cancer and other diseases from Celera Genomics (Rockville, MD), a business of Applera Corp. The transaction included a $2 million up-front payment to Celera and an agreement for potential future milestone payments to Celera of up to $144 million, as well as potential royalty payments. "This transaction enables us to realize immediate and potential long-term value as these programs continue to progress, while allowing us to focus our resources on our core business of molecular diagnostics and proteomics and genomics discovery," said Kathy Ordoñez, president of Celera Genomics.

Tm Bioscience Corp. (Toronto), a DNA-based diagnostics company, and Luminex Corp. (Austin, TX), a manufacturer of biological testing technologies, have signed a multiyear extension of their agreement that grants Tm Bioscience rights to commercialize DNA-based molecular diagnostics that operate on Luminex's xMAP technology platform. "In 2001, we selected Luminex as a platform partner, having determined that a key factor for our success would be to commercialize our tests on an instrument capable of penetrating the clinical laboratory market," said Greg Hines, president and chief executive officer of Tm Bioscience. "Now, with more than 3400 instrument placements in life sciences laboratories worldwide, including a large number of clinical laboratories, Luminex is well positioned and the market reach they have achieved is a solid foundation for the further growth of our company."

Orthopedic implant manufacturer Active Implants Corp. (AIC; Memphis) has begun a European clinical trial of an all-polymer hip implant. "Following several years of research and development, we are pleased to take this important step as a company," said Stephen Bradshaw, AIC president and chief executive officer. "Through advanced pliable materials and truly innovative design considerations, AIC expects to introduce new orthopedic implant solutions with added patient benefits." To date, the company has raised $10 million in a series A preferred stock offering.

OptiMedica Corp. (Santa Clara, CA), a developer of ophthalmic therapeutic devices, has raised $13.8 million in capital through a series A and B financing. The funding was co-led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Alloy Ventures.

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