Zimmer insists device tax won't hurt so much after all; Med tech M&A predicted for 2013;

 @FierceMedDev: New studies find St. Jude's heart plug no better than drugs at preventing repeat strokes. News | Follow @FierceMedDev

 @MarkHFierce: Philips and Elekta are beefing up a joint program focused on blending a linear accelerator with MRI. Release | Follow @MarkHFierce

 @DamianFierce: Bayer has called off the sale of its glucose meter business, according to a German newspaper. Report | Follow @DamianFierce

> Zimmer ($ZMH) told investors the impact of the 2.3% medical device tax won't be as drastic as first thought. More

> A group of investors predicts that a lot more med tech/medical devices related acquisitions will take place in 2013. Story

> C8 MediSensors got a CE mark for its Optical Glucose Monitor System, a non-invasive continuous glucose monitor. More

> Orthofix cut its 2012 expectations after posting a 38.7% drop in profits in Q3. Results

> South Dakota is trying to lure more medical device makers to the state. Story

> The data on bioabsorbable stents is backing up the argument that they're a viable and safer alternative to drug-eluting stents, MedPage Today reports. Story

> Kaiser Permanente is using GPS to track the location of medical devices and equipment at its Northern California hospitals, according to the Sacramento Business Journal. (sub. req.) Story

Biotech News

 @FierceBiotech: High blood pressure medicine boosts memories of Alzheimer's-stricken mice. Article | Follow @FierceBiotech

 @RyanMFierce: Novo is confident in heart safety of degludec, Reuters reports. Gotta make the case to Nov. 8 FDA panel, though. More | Follow @RyanMFierce

> Novartis girds to protect Gleevec-led franchise as new cancer rivals advance. Article

> ViaCyte, Bluebird score $19.4M in CA stem cell funds for game-changing therapies. News

> FDA homes in on cardio risks of Novo Nordisk's key diabetes therapy. More

Pharma News

@FiercePharma: Boehringer Ingelheim settles marketing case for just $95M. Story | Follow @FiercePharma

> Merck's hustle helps offset Singulair's declines. Report

> Novo's new insulin Tresiba to face tough questions from FDA panel. More

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Smith & Nephew has signed up to acquire Integra LifeSciences’ orthopedics business focused on the growing upper and lower extremity markets.

The company describes the continuous glucose monitor as the world’s smallest and thinnest diabetes sensor, with a disc about the size of two pennies.