Alere's move to buy U.K.'s Axis-Shield rebuffed; MedMira to create rapid hep B test;

> U.S medical diagnostics firm Alere reported Wednesday it was pursuing a deal with smaller British rival Axis-Shield after its indicative £230 million ($370 million) offer for the company was rebuffed. Item

> MedMira, a Halifax Bioscience company, is linking with the U.S. Army to create a new rapid test for hepatitis B. It has won a $2.2 million contract by the U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity to develop and commercialize the test, which will provide diagnostic results in three minutes. Article

> As pressure builds to restrain health costs, small companies are offering steeply discounted orthopedic devices by forgoing expensive sales tactics. "The market forces are moving in our direction," said John Marotta, chief executive of Emerge Medical, a private devicemaker that launched last year and aims to offer deep savings. News

> Minnesota lawmakers, who represent a state where roughly 400 medical technology companies are headquartered, have added to the chorus of voices claiming that undue delays by the FDA have stifled innovation and caused a number of young companies to close up shop or move overseas. Story

> Spirus Medical, a West Bridgewater, MA, start-up that is developing a spiral endoscope to improve tests for gastrointestinal disorders, has been acquired by a Japanese buyer. Report

And Finally... Repealing the medical device tax is the most critical issue to maintaining a "climate of innovation," according to Boston Scientific CEO J. Raymond Elliott in a July 4th editorial for Star Tribune newspaper. Item