June’s top news stories

5 July 2018 (Last Updated August 7th, 2018 09:07)

Industrial growth company Fortive made a binding offer to buy J&J subsidiary Ethicon’s Advanced Sterilization Products (ASP) business for $2.8bn, and Researchers from Cleveland Clinic in Ohio unveiled a new diagnostic test that can identify ten different cancer types in a blood sample, before the appearance of symptoms. Medicaldevice-network.com wraps up key headlines from June 2018.

June’s top news stories
Building of J&J’s Medical Products division. Credit: Raysonho / Wikimedia Commons.

J&J receives $2.8bn offer for Advanced Sterilization Products

Industrial growth company Fortive made a binding offer to buy Johnson & Johnson (J&J) subsidiary Ethicon’s Advanced Sterilization Products (ASP) business for a total consideration of $2.8bn.

The offer involves $2.7bn cash proceeds and the remaining in retained net receivables. Its acceptance period is 120 days from the date of the offer.

ASP provides capital, consumables and software solutions for low-temperature terminal sterilisation and high-level disinfection of reusable surgical instruments in order to prevent hospital-acquired infections.


US researchers unveil ‘holy grail’ blood test for cancer

Researchers from Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, US, unveiled a new diagnostic test that can identify ten different cancer types in a blood sample, even before the appearance of disease symptoms.

The non-invasive test works by detecting fragments of DNA that are released by tumour cells into the blood.

Led by Dr Eric Klein from the clinic’s Taussig Cancer Institute, the research team conducted a clinical study in a total of more than 1,600 subjects to evaluate the blood test.


MIT team creates wireless system to power implanted devices

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) collaborated with local Brigham and Women’s Hospital to create a system that can wirelessly power and communicate with medical devices inside the body.

The new In-Vivo Networking (IVN) system employs radio frequency waves to power implanted devices. This is expected to eliminate the need for a battery, in turn reducing the device size.

For their study, the team used a prototype similar in size to a rice grain but are hopeful that its size could be further decreased.


New implantable device can directly deliver medicines to heart

An international team of researchers developed a minimally invasive medical device called Therepi that can be placed directly on diseased heart tissue to continuously deliver required drugs, proteins or stem cells.

The team was led by Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway, among others.

The new implantable tool can be sutured onto tissue and is designed to allow localised, refillable and targeted therapy for the heart.


UK researchers to trial saliva test for prostate cancer risk

London’s Institute of Cancer Research is planning a UK clinical trial for a DNA test designed to identify men at high risk of prostate cancer.

The saliva test is based on 63 new DNA genetic variations discovered by researchers during a study of more than 140,000 men. These variations were found to be linked with increased risk of cancer.

To develop the new test, the scientists combined these single-letter genetic variants with up to 100 others that were previously associated with the disease.


Thermo Fisher Scientific to buy Gatan for $925m

Diagnostic products maker Thermo Fisher Scientific signed a definitive agreement to acquire software developer Roper Technologies’ wholly owned subsidiary Gatan for about $925m.

Gatan manufactures instrumentation and software for improving and extending the operation and performance of electron microscopes.

The instruments offered by Gatan can be used during various analytical process steps such as specimen preparation, manipulation, analysis, and imaging.


Zika detection test taps smartphone technology

Investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) in the US, are developing a new way to rapidly and accurately diagnose Zika virus using mobile health technologies that could potentially be used in resource-limited settings.

The researchers believe the tool could also provide home testing for couples who are trying to conceive, particularly in locations that have a high risk of infection. They have described the new technology in the journal ACS Nano.

BWH principal investigator and corresponding author Dr Hadi Shafiee said: “Zika diagnostics represent an urgent need in many parts of the world. Our goal is to address this unmet clinical need using cell phone-based technology.


Sirtex agrees to $1.4bn acquisition by China’s CDH

Australian firm Sirtex Medical agreed to a binding scheme implementation deed for A$1.9bn ($1.43bn) acquisition proposal from Chinese company CDH Genetech and its strategic partner China Grand Pharmaceutical and Healthcare (CGP).

The proposal was originally made last month for purchase by CDH Genetech alone. It has now been amended so that CDH and CGP will jointly carry out the transaction covering 100% of Sirtex’s shares.

Sirtex entered another agreement in January this year, under which US-based Varian Medical Systems intended to buy the firm for approximately A$1.58bn ($1.28bn) or A$28 ($21.08) per share.


Robotic system can analyse eye movements to detect Parkinson’s

Researchers at Spain’s Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) and start-up AURA Innotive Robotics developed a robotic system called OSCANN Desk, designed to accurately analyse eye movements for detecting neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

The fast yet non-invasive technology leverages imaging processing and machine learning to deliver objective brain functioning data, which is expected to aid in early diagnosis and customised treatments.

OSCANN Desk can be used in a healthcare centre, where personnel will perform certain calibration and clinical tests that take around one minute each.


Bio-Techne to buy Exosome Diagnostics for up to $575m

US-based clinical diagnostics company Bio-Techne signed an agreement to acquire local firm Exosome Diagnostics for a total consideration of approximately $575m.

Under the terms of the deal, Bio-Techne will pay $250m in cash, followed by up to $325m of contingent consideration upon reaching select milestones in the future.

The strategic acquisition, which is scheduled to close in July or August this year, is expected to complement Bio-Techne’s molecular pathology business Advanced Cellular Diagnostics (ACD).