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