Acquisitions, agents mark tumultuous month
St. Jude Medical, belying the economic downturn gripping global credit markets, nimbly swept up Radi Medical and MediGuide in transactions this past month valued at nearly $600 million.
MediGuide, based in Haifa, Israel, develops the Medical Positioning System, which uses proprietary technology for real-time tracking of sub-millimeter size sensors used in minimally invasive intra-body navigation. The Uppsala, Sweden-based Radi Medical develops “shovel-ready” interventional cardiovascular medical devices that should augment St. Jude’s line of similar products to the tune of $80 million in annual sales, according to the St. Paul, Minn.-based company.
Also on the acquisition front, the Rancho Cordova, Calif.-based intravascular ultrasound developer Volcano took a stake in optical coherence tomography (OCT) development with its $21.5 million buy in of Axsun Technologies, a privately held developer and manufacturer of lasers and optical engines for OCT imaging.
Cardiac imaging contrast agents experienced highs and lows this past month. On the plus side, the FDA, at long last, granted Epix Pharmaceuticals marketing clearance for its blood pool MR angiography agent, Vasovist. The agent is used to evaluate aortoiliac occlusive disease in adults with known or suspected peripheral vascular disease.
On the negative side, Acusphere’s Imagify, a cardiovascular drug for the detection of coronary artery disease, was rejected again by the FDA. On the heels of the denial, Richard Walovitch, PhD, Acusphere’s senior vice president of clinical research, resigned to pursue another opportunity.
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