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Acuson completes Ecton purchase

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Acuson has completed its acquisition of Ecton, developer of a miniaturized echocardiography technology (SCAN 9/29/99). Mountain View, CA-based Acuson purchased Ecton of Plymouth Meeting, PA, for 1.4 million shares, currently worth about $17

Acuson has completed its acquisition of Ecton, developer of a miniaturized echocardiography technology (SCAN 9/29/99). Mountain View, CA-based Acuson purchased Ecton of Plymouth Meeting, PA, for 1.4 million shares, currently worth about $17 million, plus $4 million in cash. Ecton shareholders may also be entitled to an addition $17 million, depending on Ecton’s operating results through 2004.

Ecton now becomes the Small Systems division of Acuson and will remain in Plymouth Meeting, with president Michael Cannon stepping into the role of general manager. The Ecton group will continue to focus on the development and commercialization of its Cypress echocardiography system, a low-cost, compact, portable product that Acuson hopes will expand its presence in the low- and mid-range cardiovascular ultrasound market. Cypress already has Food and Drug Administration marketing clearance and will initially sell for $40,000 to $60,000, with the first shipments expected in the second half of this year.

In other news, Acuson received 510(k) clearance from the FDA to market its AcuNav diagnostic ultrasound catheter (SCAN 9/29/99). AcuNav is a miniaturized catheter designed to enable physicians to visualize images from inside the heart during diagnostic and therapeutic procedures without having to open the chest wall.

Acuson has a licensing agreement with the Mayo Clinic for AcuNav, which has been in development since 1991; the company and the clinic both hold a series of patents on the technology. Acuson expects to begin shipping AcuNav this quarter.

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