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Milestones

MILESTONES

Datascope Corp. (Montvale, NJ) has exercised its option to acquire the peripheral vascular stent business of the Sorin Group (Milan, Italy). The company reports that the acquisition follows Datascope's successful experience as exclusive distributor of the Sorin peripheral stent product line in Europe. In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008, sales are expected to rise 27% above last year to an annualized level of $6.6 million. With the acquisition, Datascope gains the opportunity to market the product line throughout the world. Antonino Laudani, MD, COO of Datascope, said, "Sales growth is strong, and there is excellent synergy with our surgical graft products, which has increased the productivity of our sales and clinical organization. Peripheral vascular stents are in line with our strategic objectives to play a main role in the vascular and endovascular market."

Nordhoff

Nucleic acid diagnostics manufacturer Gen-Probe Inc. (San Diego) has made a $334 million conditional cash bid to acquire Innogenetics (Gent, Belgium). Gen-Probe reports that the combined entity is expected to be the largest standalone molecular diagnostics company in the world, with pro forma 2008 sales in excess of $500 million. "We believe our proposed acquisition of Innogenetics would provide strategically valuable marketing and sales, distribution, and manufacturing capabilities to accelerate commercialization of Gen-Probe products in the European molecular diagnostics market, which we estimate is growing at roughly double the rate of the U.S. market," said Hank Nordhoff, Gen-Probe's chairman and chief executive officer. "In addition, the proposed acquisition would provide access to a number of complementary products, technologies, and markers that are generating revenue today or that we believe could be commercialized in the future."

Koch
Mendelsohn

Venture development organization JumpStart Inc. (Cleveland) has announced an investment commitment of $350,000 in CerviLenz Inc. (Cleveland). Led by CEO Dean Koch and Chairman Micheal Ross, MD, CerviLenz is commercializing an FDA-cleared medical device that enables obstetricians to easily measure cervical length in pregnant women, which has been established by the National Institutes of Health as an effective predictor of preterm birth risk. "Until recently, the causes of preterm birth have been poorly understood, with few existing treatment options available," said Kevin Mendelsohn, the JumpStart entrepreneur-in-residence who will be working with the company. "But the recent emergence of progesterone as a therapy to substantially reduce the risk of preterm birth has presented a significant opportunity for CerviLenz. Its medical device provides obstetricians and gynecologists a cost-effective alternative to screen women for preterm birth risk and determine whether they are suitable candidates for the therapy or to consult with a high-risk pregnancy specialist."


Fink

OmniGuide Inc. (Cambridge, MA), the developer of a flexible CO2 laser scalpel that enables new procedures in minimally invasive surgery, announced the closing of a $25 million series E private equity round. Healthcare venture capital and private equity firm Psilos Group (New York City) led the funding round, which includes previous OmniGuide investors Ray Stata, Stata Venture Partners, 3i, Argonaut Ventures, ESI, Gainesborough Investments, Jeff Swartz, and Westbury Partners. "CO2 laser light offers unique precision, safety, and cost benefits to minimally invasive surgeries. Our fibers deliver, for the first time, this medically advantageous light to areas in the body that could not have been reached previously," said Yoel Fink, president and CEO of OmniGuide. "OmniGuide's BeamPath fibers are enabling superior healthcare in more than 200 hospitals nationwide and are now available in Europe. Today's investment will help fuel Omni­Guide's expansion into additional clinical markets such as otology, spinal surgery, neurosurgery, gastro­enterology, and gynecology."

Speranzini

Royal Philips Electronics (Amsterdam) has reached an agreement to acquire Dixtal Biomédica e Tecnologia (São Paulo), a Brazilian manufacturer of in-hospital patient monitoring, anesthesia, and ventilation equipment, as well as electrocardiogram and other sensors for vital-signs measurements. Dixtal will become part of the patient monitoring business within Philips' healthcare sector. The company reports that the deal, the terms of which were not disclosed, marks another step to expand the company's presence in high-growth healthcare markets in emerging economies. The move follows the company's previously announced acquisitions of healthcare companies Shenzhen Goldway Industrial in China and VMI Sistemas Medicos in Brazil. Daurio Speranzini Jr., senior vice president of Philips Healthcare Latin America, said "Emerging markets represent a real opportunity for us to keep growing our healthcare business at Philips. If you just take Latin America, our addressable healthcare market in 2007 was estimated to be valued at approximately EUR1.2 billion, and growing at twice the rate of developed markets."

Medtronic Inc. (Minneapolis) and Restore Medical Inc. (St. Paul, MN) have signed a definitive agreement under which Medtronic will acquire Restore Medical for about $29 million. Restore Medical's FDA-cleared Pillar palatal implant system is an implantable medical device used to treat the soft-palate component of sleep breathing disorders, including mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea and snoring. "This acquisition will help deliver new growth for our ear, nose, and throat (ENT) business by providing Medtronic with a proven office-based procedure in a very fast-growing segment of the sleep market," said Bob Blankemeyer, president of the ENT business at Medtronic. "Medtronic can quickly leverage its distribution and marketing strengths to improve patient and surgeon access to this minimally invasive therapy."

Andino

Wound care therapy developer Biofisica Inc. (Atlanta) has obtained a commitment of $2.3 million in financing from investors to support its continued marketing efforts in the United Kingdom and ongoing planning initiatives in the United States. The round was led by Unilever Technology Ventures, Novartis Venture Funds, and the ATDC Seed Capital Fund, as well as a number of private investors. Biofisica manufactures Posifect, a medical device that combines moist wound-care dressing and electrical stimulation in a disposable sterile dressing that facilitates the normal healing process. The product launched last year in the United Kingdom and has been approved for marketing in Canada. The product is not yet available in the United States. "We are very pleased that our investors continue to show a tremendous vote of confidence for the progress that we're making with our business plan and the recognition that Posifect serves a critical need in the wound care market," said Rafael Andino, founder of Biofisica.

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