US FTC clears Medtronic’s acquisition of Covidien

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approved global medical technology firm Medtronic‘s proposed acquisition of Irish medical products manufacturer Covidien.

As part of the deal, Medtronic agreed to divest the drug-coated balloon catheter business of Covidien, in order to settle FTC concerns over the anticompetitive potential of the $42.9bn acquisition of Covidien.

The FTC’s proposed settlement will see Medtronic sell the drug-coated balloon catheter business to US-based medical device firm Spectranetics.

Thermo Fisher completes $13.6bn Life Tech acquisition


Thermo Fisher Scientific completed its acquisition of Life Technologies, a life sciences company, for approximately $13.6bn and the assumption of $1.5bn in net debt.

Completion of this deal comes after the US Federal Trade Commission cleared the deal with the condition that Thermo Fisher sell certain assets related to siRNA reagents, cell culture media, and cell culture sera to GE Healthcare for $1.06bn.

The company anticipates this acquisition will create enhanced scale and depth of capabilities for customers working in research, specialty diagnostics and applied markets.


Zimmer to acquire Biomet in $13.35bn deal


Orthopaedic device maker Zimmer signed a definitive agreement to acquire Biomet in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $13.35bn, including the assumption of net debt.

Subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, the deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015.

It is expected to form an orthopaedics entity in the $45bn musculoskeletal industry with a broad portfolio of products, technologies and services.

The combination will enhance enterprise diversification with broader franchises in the knee, hip, surgical, spine and dental categories, as well as in the faster-growing sports medicine, extremities and trauma categories.

Carlyle Group to buy Johnson & Johnson’s diagnostic unit for $4.15bn


The Carlyle Group agreed to buy Johnson & Johnson’s Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics (OCD) business for $4.15bn.

The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is slated to close in the middle of 2014.

With this acquisition, Carlyle plans to tap into emerging and established markets and make accelerated investments in research and product development.

Provider of solutions for screening, diagnosing, monitoring and confirming diseases, OCD, is headquartered in Raritan, New Jersey, with manufacturing operations in Rochester, New York, Pompano Beach, Florida and Pencoed, Wales.

Endo agrees to acquire Auxilium for $2.6bn

Ireland’s Endo International entered a definitive agreement with Auxilium Pharmaceuticals to acquire all of its outstanding shares of common stock for $2.6bn.

The company will make the purchase at the rate of $33.25 per share in a cash and stock transaction, which was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies.

Auxilium stockholders will conduct an election mechanism to elect cash and stock, all-stock or all-cash consideration.

Cerner agrees to acquire Siemens’ health IT business for $1.3bn

US-based healthcare IT company Cerner signed a definitive agreement to buy Germany-based Siemens Health Services for $1.3bn.

The acquisition will combine investments in R&D, knowledgeable resources and complementary client bases.

Under the deal, the two companies plan to form a strategic alliance around medical devices, imaging and healthcare technology.

The new alliance has a three-year initial term and each company will contribute $50m to fund projects.

Royal Philips agrees to buy Volcano for $1bn

Dutch firm Royal Philips signed a $1bn (€800m) agreement to acquire Volcano, a US-based provider of catheter-based imaging and measurement solutions for cardiovascular applications.

In accordance with the agreement, Philips will conduct a tender offer to acquire all issued and outstanding shares of Volcano for $18.00 per share.

Volcano offers catheter-based imaging and measurements for minimally invasive diagnostics and treatment of coronary artery and peripheral vascular diseases.

Abbott acquires medical device firm Topera for $250m

US-based healthcare firm Abbott completed the acquisition of medical device company Topera for $250m.

Topera develops electrophysiology technologies to improve the diagnosis and treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF), one of the most common heart rhythm disorders worldwide.

With this acquisition, Abbott enters the $3bn catheter-based electrophysiology market that has grown annually at double-digit rates.

Baxter to split into medtech and pharma companies by mid-2015

US-based Baxter International revealed its plans to split itself into two separate and independent entities, one focusing on medical products and the other developing and marketing innovative biopharmaceuticals.

Baxter has positioned both businesses to be successful, profitable and sustainable independent companies and believes it can tap more value and growth potential by splitting into two entities instead of in a larger, multifaceted organisation.

The move will create two, well-capitalised independent companies with strong balance sheets, investment grade profiles, and disciplined approaches to capital allocation.

Thermo Fisher, GSK and Pfizer partner for new NGS oncology test

Thermo Fisher Scientific entered into partnership with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Pfizer to develop a universal next-generation sequencing (NGS) oncology test for solid tumours, which can be used as a companion diagnostic for multiple drug programmes.

The new test will be developed using the company’s Ion Personal Genome Machine (PGM) Dx Platform, Ion AmpliSeq technology, and content from the Oncomine Cancer Research Panel.

After successful development and validation of the test, the company plans to submit this test for premarket approval to US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other global regulatory authorities.

First migraine prevention device gets FDA approval

Belgium-based Cefaly Technology obtained US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its device for preventative treatment of migraine headaches.

It is claimed to be the first medical device to receive marketing approval in the US for the treatment of migraine headaches and it is also the first transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) device specifically authorised for use prior to the onset of pain.

Manufactured by STX-Med in Herstal, Liege, Belgium, Cefaly is a small, portable, battery-powered plastic headband worn across the forehead with a self-adhesive electrode.

UK researchers explore new strategies to treat spinal injuries

Engineers at the UK’s University of Portsmouth researched new ways to treat patients affected by vertebral fractures.

Aiming to improve surgical outcomes and patient care, research will evaluate the efficacy of new bioactive materials, which will help form new bone in the treated vertebra over time compared with traditional products currently in use.

As part of the research, engineers are also are trying to understand how the spine treated with the new biomaterials will behave in post-operative scenarios.