Exactech announces gov't investigation is resolved; Cook Medical promotes Nowell;

> Exactech, (Nasdaq: EXAC), a developer and producer of bone and joint restoration products for hip, knee, shoulder, spine and biologic materials, has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey and a civil settlement agreement with the U.S. These agreements resolve the investigation commenced by the USAO in December 2007 into the Company's consulting arrangements with orthopaedic surgeons relating to its hip and knee products in the U.S. Exactech release

> Phil Nowell, who has served as global leader of Cook Medical's rapidly growing Aortic Intervention business unit since February 2008, has been promoted to VP of that division. The promotion is effective immediately. Cook Medical release

> Medical-device makers, already battling slumping markets and sliding product prices, are losing their grip on a key tool for driving sales--influence over doctors. This is due to hospitals acquiring doctors' practices, which puts physicians closer to hospital administrators who want to control costs for pricey devices like implantable defibrillators and replacement hips. Device makers have long benefited from self-employed doctors who influence hospitals' purchasing decisions but without an incentive to care about costs. Article

> Smith & Nephew gained as much as 7.4 percent in London trading after analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said the U.K. medical device maker is an attractive acquisition target. News

> Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX) has welcomed the publication of an analysis from its ALTITUDE Clinical Science program in the current issue of Circulation that showed patients followed by the LATITUDE Patient Management system experienced a 50 percent relative reduction in the risk of death compared to patients followed in-clinic only. Boston Scientific release

> One Lambda, a manufacturer and supplier of products and technology for the HLA transplant community, and Luminex Corporation have agreed to a long-term renewal of their 10-year strategic partnership aimed at developing platforms and technologies for human leukocyte antigen (HLA). One Lambda release

> Wright Medical Group (NASDAQ: WMGI) has announced the limited release of the PRO-TOE VO hammertoe fixation system. This new product introduction is an important solution for patients requiring fusion of the lesser toes for hammertoe deformities. Wright Medical release

> To better understand the connection between atrial fibrillation and stroke, Northwestern Medicine physician researchers from cardiology and neurology have teamed up to monitor people diagnosed with a cryptogenic strokes for intermittent atrial fibrillation as part of a study called CRYSTAL AF (Study of Continuous Cardiac Monitoring to Assess Atrial Fibrillation after Cryptogenic Stroke). Northwestern Memorial Hospital release

> NanoString Technologies has obtained a license to develop a genetic analysis device that will help determine the severity of breast cancer. The device will use technology from Bioclassifier that identifies 50 genes known as PAM50 that are related to breast cancer. Report

> San Ramon, CA-based Estech has finished $8.5 million in equity financing, the latest in $28 million in financing in the last two years. The company has developed a minimally invasive cardiac ablation cathether that has been used in 2,500 procedures. Estech release

> Thermo Fisher Scientific has purchased Lomb Scientific for an undisclosed sum. Lomb sells consumables, medical instruments and chemicals in Australia and New Zealand. Article

> Opto Circuits has purchased 76 percent of Cardiac Science Corporation's common stock shares in a tender offer that expired Nov. 30, and will continue with a short-term merger of the company. Opto release

> Australia's Sunshine Heart, which focuses on moderate to severe heart failure, has completed AU$9.5 million in financing via a rights issue to existing shareholders. In September, the company raised AU$3.7 million via similar means. Sunshine Heart release

> EKF Diagnostics Holdings has purchased Argutus Medical, an Irish medical testing company, for £2.18 million. EKF was interested in Argutus' organ injury diagnostic kits, primarily those detecting kidney damage. EKF release

And Finally... In what's being hailed as a major scientific breakthrough, an Indian-origin researcher-led team claims to have created the world's first implantable "artificial kidney", no larger than a coffee cup. Shuvo Roy and colleagues at University of California have developed the artificial kidney which they say not only filters toxins out of bloodstream, but also uses human kidney cells to perform other vital functions like regulating blood pressure and producing vitamin D. Story