Nuance bids for software firm

Documenting clinical findings with the help of PowerScribe speech recognition (SR) software may soon be a reality if Nuance acquires Vocada, as expected. Nuance announced the proposed deal Oct. 18, noting that an agreement to acquire Vocada had been signed. No further details were provided. This is Nuance's second corporate move of this type in three weeks. On Oct. 2, the company, known for its Dictaphone PowerScribe SR products, announced the acquisition of Commissure, whose products link radiology orders and findings (DI SCAN 10/4/07, Nuance deal maker explains Commissure acquisition).
Vocada's product, Veriphy, promises to further extend the clinical value of PowerScribe by alerting referring physicians to the availability of findings and verifying the delivery of results. Veriphy also can be used in pathology and cardiology applications, along with radiology.

Hologic, Cytyc arrange to merge

More than 90% of the shares represented at a special meeting of Hologic stockholders Oct. 18 were voted in favor of the merger between women's health specialists Hologic and Cytyc. These votes, in the context of an overall 70% approval by holders of outstanding Hologic shares, turned the proposed merger into a done deal. The merger is expected to close early next week. Under the terms of the agreement signed May 20, 2007, Cytyc stockholders will receive 0.52 of a share of Hologic common stock and $16.50 in cash for each share of Cytyc common stock, for a total consideration of approximately $6.2 billion. The two companies' product lines are highly complementary. Hologic focuses primarily on the diagnosis of breast cancer, while Cytyc concentrates on the diagnosis of cervical cancer. In addition, Cytyc's product line covers applications such as preterm birth screening, permanent contraception, and radiation treatment of early-stage breast cancer, and Hologic's includes tests for osteoporosis.

Helium plant takes shape

Air Products and Matheson Tri-Gas are hatching plans to jointly build and operate a liquid helium production plant near Big Piney, WY. The plant, expected to begin operation in 2009, will initially produce 200 million standard cubic feet of helium per year. Widely used as a cryogenic in MR scanners, helium is in tight supply. Upon completion, the plant will be the 10th liquid helium plant operating in the U.S. and the first new facility in the nation since 2000.