2015: The year's biggest Medical Device Network stories

Sorin Group and Cyberonics to form a new medical technology company, Siemens Healthcare launches a new ultrasound system, while Toshiba America Medical Systems introduces a new Ultimax-i FPD multipurpose system. Medicaldevice-network.com wraps up the key headlines from 2015.


Spanish

Spanish patient receives world's first 3D printed rib cage and sternum implant

A Spanish cancer patient received a titanium 3D printed sternum and rib implant, designed and manufactured by an Australian company.

The 54-year-old Spaniard needed his sternum and a portion of his rib cage replaced as he was suffering from a chest wall sarcoma, a type of tumour that grows in and around the rib cage.

In order to prevent the cancer from spreading, doctors had to remove the sternum and part of the patient's rib cage.

Sorin and Cyberonics to create new medical technology company

Italian medical device firm Sorin Group and US-based Cyberonics agreed to merge to create a new medical technology company with a combined equity value of $2.7bn.

The proposed transaction, which was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, will see the two medical device makers accelerate development of new products, and expand in areas such as cardiac surgery and neuromodulation.

Under the deal, the two companies will combine under a newly formed holding company, NewCo. The combined company will also be a major player in cardiac rhythm management, especially in Europe and Japan.


FDA approves Aethlon's Ebola treatment protocol

Aethlon

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted approval for Aethlon Medical's clinical protocol to treat Ebola infected individuals with its Hemopurifier in the US.

The Aethlon Hemopurifier is a bio-filtration device designed for the single-use removal of viruses and shed glycoproteins from the circulatory system of infected individuals.

Hemopurifier targets antiviral drug resistance and is a first-line countermeasure against Ebola and other viruses, which are not tackled with proven drug therapies.

Cinven to acquire French medical diagnostics provider Labco for €1.2bn

British private equity firm Cinven signed an agreement to acquire Labco from a consortium of investors for €1.2bn.

Headquartered in France, Labco conducts clinical tests and delivers results to prescribing doctors and patients, while offering assistance with the interpretation of clinical results through in-house laboratory doctors.

Founded in 2003, the group operates a network of more than 160 routine and specialist laboratories and 1,000 collection centres across seven European countries, including France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Belgium and the UK.

Siemens launches new ultrasound system for rapid imaging

Acuson

Siemens Healthcare launched a new portable and compact Acuson P500 ultrasound system, Frosk edition, which will allow rapid imaging in an emergency setting.

Designed for use in emergency settings, the portable handheld system can be easily positioned in different clinical environments and can image in less than 30 seconds.

The system can be applied for general imaging such as abdominal, small parts, renal, pelvic, vascular, 2D obstetrics and gynaecology or basic evaluation of cardiac functions, in addition to emergency medicine and acute care.


Zimmer acquires Biomet for $14bn

US-based orthopaedic device manufacturer Zimmer acquired Biomet in a cash and equity deal worth approximately $14bn.

The transaction follows the receipt of approval from US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on the condition that Zimmer will divest certain assets, such as knee implants, total elbow implants and bone cement.

Following the combination, the new entity will operate as Zimmer Biomet Holdings to offer a comprehensive and diversified portfolio of musculoskeletal solutions to customers worldwide.

NC State University scientists develop vomiting machine to study norovirus

vomiting device

Scientists at North Carolina (NC) State University developed a vomiting machine to study norovirus, which is said to affect 20 million people each year in the US.

Norovirus is a group of more than 30 related viruses that can cause vomiting and diarrhoea.

Caused by consuming contaminated foods or water, the 'noro' infections can lead to hospitalisation and sometimes death, especially in the elderly.

St Jude Medical agrees to acquire heart device maker Thoratec for $3.4bn

US-based medical device company St Jude Medical signed a definitive agreement to acquire heart device maker Thoratec for $3.4bn.

Under the agreement, St Jude Medical will purchase all outstanding shares of Thoratec for $63.5 per share.

Headquartered in California, Thoratec develops mechanical circulatory support technology to treat advanced heart failure (HF) that includes ventricular assist devices that are used for chronic and acute patient support.


Toshiba introduces new Ultimax-i FPD multipurpose system

Ultimax

Toshiba America Medical Systems, a provider of medical diagnostic imaging systems, expanded its x-ray product portfolio, with the introduction of the new Ultimax-i FPD multipurpose system.

The multipurpose system was developed to conduct complex procedures by providing routine angiography lab capabilities within an existing R&F space.

It is designed to efficiently use the space providers have to safely diagnose and treat all patients, without the need for a major renovation.

Becton Dickinson completes $12bn CareFusion acquisition

US-based medical technology firm Becton Dickinson (BD) completed a $12.2bn acquisition of biomedical equipment maker CareFusion.

First announced in October 2014, the acquisition received approval from the European Commission under EU Merger Regulation.

Under the transaction, BD paid $58 per share in cash and stock to shareholders of the US-based biomedical equipment maker.

Endomag completes enrolment in US breast cancer trial of Sentimag and Sienna+ system

Endomag

UK-based cancer healthcare firm Endomag completed patient enrolment in its pivotal multi-centre US trial of its Sentimag and Sienna+ system for the treatment of staging breast cancer.

Sienna+ is a magnetic tracer injected into the body. Sentimag is used to track its presence, locating lymph nodes as part of a sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) procedure.

Sienna+ is the first magnetically detected lymphatic mapping agent to be examined in the US under an investigational device exemption (IDE).

Fujifilm to launch new radiographic x-ray room system

FDR

Fujifilm Medical Systems USA launched its next generation automatic positioning digital radiographic x-ray room system, FDR visionary suite.

The system was unveiled at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) in Chicago from 29 November to 4 December.

FDR Visionary Suite, which was developed to improve imaging workflow and diagnostic capabilities, allows technologists to focus on a patient's position, safety and comfort.