March's top stories: BD’s $12bn CareFusion deal, Boston buys $1.6bn Endo unit

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


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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.

BD shareholders currently own 92% of the combined company and CareFusion shareholders will own the remaining 8%.

In the second half of the fiscal year 2015, CareFusion will be included in a new BD Medical segment structure.

Boston agrees to acquire AMS' urology portfolio from Endo for $1.6bn

Boston Scientific entered an agreement with Endo International to acquire American Medical Systems' (AMS) male urology medical device businesses for $1.6bn.

Under the deal, Boston will acquire the urology portfolio, including men's health and prostate health businesses, which will be integrated into its urology and women's health segment after the transaction closes.

The deal includes the AMS product portfolio for treating urologic conditions such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), male stress urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction.

Aethlon Medical reports completion of first patient Hemopurifier trial protocol

hemopurifier

US-based therapeutic devices developer Aethlon Medical announced the first patient enrolled in its clinical feasibility trial completed the full Hemopurifier treatment protocol, without any device-related adverse events.

The trial is being conducted at DaVita Med Center Dialysis under an investigational device exemption (IDE) approved by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

In the trial, ten chronic dialysis patients infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) will receive a six treatment protocol of Hemopurifier therapy.

Merck Serono and Illumina to develop universal NGS-based oncology diagnostic

merck

Merck Serono entered a strategic collaboration with Illumina to expand the development of a universal next-generation sequencing (NGS) based oncology diagnostic for clinical trials of targeted cancer therapies.

As part of the deal, the two firms will jointly work to develop assays that detect and simultaneously measure multiple genetic variants in a single tumour sample in a clinical trial setting.

According to Merck, Illumina's successful regulatory track record was a major consideration in the collaboration as next-generation sequencing platforms cleared by a regulatory agency could accelerate development of an assay and facilitate registration of a companion diagnostic.

Thermo Fisher launches new CE-IVD Oncomine solid tumour fusion transcript kit

Thermo Fisher Scientific launched a new CE-IVD Oncomine Solid Tumour Fusion Transcript kit, designed to provide multiplexed sequencing of formalin-fixed and paraffin embedded (FFPE) tumour samples.

Developed for in-vitro diagnostic use in the EU, the kit for next-generation sequencing (NGS) allows the detection of rearrangements involving the ALK, ROS-1, RET and NTRK1 genes from as little as 10ng of RNA.

The target content is focused more on lung cancer and is also applicable for other solid tumours, and it was verified with clinical researchers from the OncoNetwork Consortium present in ten different countries, who have experience in implementing NGS technologies in clinical laboratories.

Astellas Foundation awards grant for study on brain activation in bladder disorder patients

The Astellas European Foundation awarded a grant of $150,000 to a project led by Dr MS Rahnama'i from Maastricht University Medical Centre, The Netherlands.

The project is titled as 'An Imaging Biomarker for Bladder Activity Disorders: Functional Magnetic Resonance 7 Tesla Imaging (fMRI) in combination with urodynamics to study the effect of bladder sensory stimulation on brain activity in patients with a bladder activity disorder, including the effect of antimuscarinic and beta mimetic agents'.

The study, which will be conducted by seven Tesla fMRI brain scans during simultaneous urodynamic studies, is designed to find out the effect of currently applied medication for bladder dysfunction disorders on relevant brain areas involved in bladder sensation.

Public Health England gets IMI grant for new 'in the field' Ebola test

ebola viron

The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), through its Ebola+ programme, awarded a £1m grant to Public Health England (PHE) scientists, who are heading a consortium involved in the development of 'in the field' Ebola test.

The grant was awarded to PHE Research, Microbiology Services head professor Miles Carroll.

The IMI fund will be used to co-ordinate a consortium, called MOFÍNA, of European public and private sector scientists to develop and validate a new test for Ebola.

The new Ebola test is expected to allow medical workers diagnose patients on site.

Zimmer launches XtraFix external fixation system

US-based medical device firm Zimmer Holdings launched a new external fixation system, XtraFix, for the treatment of trauma patients.

XtraFix is a modular system that is available in small 6mm and large 11mm systems. Designed to provide surgeons advances in design technology and materials, it allows them to avoid steps, as well as bars and clamps from the external fixation process.

Zimmer Trauma president Nate Folkert said: "Each component of the XtraFix system incorporates only the most useful features from the many different systems currently on the market and combines them into one time-saving and highly efficient device."

"It enables surgeons to build rigid external constructs using fewer components in less time."