Alere agrees to $20m settlement in investor suit


Abbott‘s (NYSE:ABTAlere (NYSE:ALR) has agreed to pay $20 million to settle an investor’s suit claiming it made misleading statements about its blood diagnostics business shortly before its proposed billion-dollar merger with Abbott, according to recently released court documents.

The suit was originally filed in 2016 by Judith Godinez in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, claiming infractions under specific sections of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, according to court documents. The suit was later consolidated with other suits as a class action complaint.

In February 2017, Alere sought to dismiss the complaint, which was partially dismissed in August. The discovery process in the case began in December 2017, according to court documents, with more than 555,000 pages of documents produced by the defendant and non-parties.

On March 7, 2018, lead counsel and defendants’ counsel joined a mediation session, though a settlement was not reached, according to court documents. Both parties continued to work towards a settlement, but continued the case as one had not yet been reached.

“In light of the mediation, multiple motion hearings before the court, and additional discovery, plaintiffs were able to more accurately assess the merits and risks of continuing to prosecute the action and, in July 2018, the parties determined that they were close to reaching a settlement agreement. Accordingly, the parties postponed all noticed depositions and certain other deadlines, including further briefing on the issue of class certification, to allow the Parties to focus on settlement discussions,” court documents read.

Both parties arrived at a $20 million settlement deal, which was “memorialized in a term sheet” on August 31, 2018, filing a joint motion to stay proceedings which was granted days later, according to court documents.

The settlement was agreed upon officially last week, according to court documents.

Last March, the U.S. Dept. of Justice said that Alere agreed to pay $33.2 million to resolve allegations that it knowingly sold unreliable point-of-care diagnostic devices, causing hospitals to submit false claim to Medicare, Medicaid and other federal healthcare programs.

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Medtronic taps former JP Morgan analyst Weinstein for strategy SVP | Personnel Moves – May 7, 2018

Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) said today it tapped former J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. analyst Mike Weinstein as its strategy senior VP.

Prior to joining Medtronic, Weinstein served as a managing director for JP Morgan’s equity research healthcare team, holding positions within the unit for more than 20 years, the Fridley, Minn.-based company said.

“We are excited to welcome Mike to Medtronic. He is deeply respected within the industry and brings with him vast knowledge of our markets, technologies, and growth strategies. I look forward to his contributions to the company, including his expert guidance and insights, as well as the new perspective he will bring to our organization,” Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak said in a press release.

“Mike brings unique and deep insights of the medical device and technology space to Medtronic, developed during a distinguished career in equity research at J.P. Morgan. He will serve as an integral advisor and partner to our senior leaders, and we are thrilled to welcome him to the team,” Medtronic CFO Karen Parkhill said in a prepared statement.

Weinstein joined JP Morgan in 1992, and moved to become the senior medical technology analyst in 1996, Medtronic said. He will assume his position at Medtronic immediately.

“I see in Medtronic the opportunity to continue to create significant shareholder value, and I couldn’t be more excited to join the global leader in medical technology and contribute to its Mission. Having covered Medtronic for more than two decades now, I have full confidence in the outlook and the strategy, and our ability to unlock that value in the months and years ahead,” Weinstein said in a prepared release.

 Endologix lifts COO Onopchenko to the corner office

Endologix (NSDQ:ELGX) said last Wednesday it lifted former COO John Onopchenko to the role of chief executive officer, effective immediately.

Onopchenko served as COO since last October, the Irvine, Calif.-based company said. Prior to joining Endologix, Onopchenko acted as exec VP for Acutus Medical, and has held positions including COO at Volcano.

Onopchenko also spent 10 years at Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) leading medical device investments with J&J’s Development Corporation, and held positions with General Electric (NYSE:GE) Medical, Endologix said.

“We are very pleased to welcome John as our chief executive officer. Over the course of the past seven months in the COO role, John has shown the board first hand that he is an exceptional operator with significant manufacturing, clinical, and regulatory experience. His proven skills in scaling and improving productivity in global commercial organizations at Johnson & Johnson and GE Medical and as a medical device venture capitalist give us confidence in his ability to lead Endologix on an exciting path forward. Separately, on behalf of the board of directors, I would like to thank John McDermott for his invaluable contributions to Endologix and for making this transition as smooth as possible,” board chair Dan Lemaitre said in a prepared statement.

“I am honored to be named chief executive officer of Endologix. Since joining the company as COO, I have been deeply involved in the operations of the organization, and I’m excited about the bright future that Endologix has ahead of it. I am looking forward to further advancing the company’s innovative portfolio, enhancing its credibility and reputation with our physicians and customers, and building a culture of accountability, with the ultimate goal of delivering value to our stakeholders around the globe,” Onopchenko said in a press release.

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 Henry Schein names Connett as US medical head

Henry Schein (NSDQ:HSIC) said last week it appointed Brad Connett as its new US Medical Group president, lifting them from their previous position as US Medical commercial group prez.

“Brad has distinguished himself throughout his entire career, and he has been one of the architects of the remarkable growth that Henry Schein Medical has enjoyed in recent years. Brad’s new appointment reflects his excellence as a senior leader and his ability to drive continued growth,” board chair & CEO Stanley Bergman said in a press release.

Connett joined Henry Schein in 1997 after the company acquired Roane-Barker, the company said.

“Throughout the years, Henry Schein Medical has partnered with health care organizations to drive the development and execution of non-acute supply chain strategies. Brad’s strategic vision, deep-rooted industry knowledge, and wide network will advance our ability to deliver innovative solutions that helps our medical professionals operate efficient and profitable practices,” CCO David McKinley said in a prepared statement.

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 Patterson Dental NA prez Misiak steps away

Patterson Dental (NSDQ:PDCO) said last week its North America president is leaving his role on May 11 to pursue a new opportunity.

The company said it will engage in a search for a new dental segment leader, and during the transition the dental biz will report to Mark Walchirk.

“We are grateful to Dave for his many contributions to Patterson during his 22 years with our dental business, and I thank him for his support during my transition. On behalf of Patterson, we wish him the best in his future endeavors,” prez & CEO Mark Walchirk said in a prepared release.

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 Ex-Alere CFO Hinrichs leaves the healthcare field

Former Alere (NYSE:ALR) exec VP and CFO Jim Hinrichs has exited the healthcare industry, taking a position as CFO of plant breeding and production company Cibus.

During his time at Alere, Hinrichs initiated a performance improvement program looking to save over $150 million through integration, standardization and scale-building projects, according to a Cibus release. He also held a CFO position with CareFusion, Cibus said.

“Jim’s leadership will take Cibus to the next level as we execute sales for our robust pipeline of food and agricultural products. His impressive experience in the healthcare and biotech industries offers a well-rounded perspective and will bolster Cibus’ expanding presence in the agriculture industry,” Cibus prez & CEO Peter Beetham said in a press release.

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Abbott’s $5B acquisition of Alere set to close tomorrow

Abbott to acquire Alere

Abbott (NYSE:ABT) said today it is looking to close its $5 billion acquisition of Alere (NYSE:ALR) tomorrow, saying it has received all regulatory clearances necessary.

The Abbott Park, Ill.-based company said the acquisition will establish it as a “global leader in point of care testing,” which it sees as the fastest growing segment of the $50 billion in vitro diagnostics market.

Read the whole story at our sister site, Drug Delivery Business

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UPDATE: Abbott plans to close $5B Alere buyout next week

Abbott to acquire AlereUPDATED Sept. 29, 2017, with U.S. Justice Dept. news.

Abbott (NYSE:ABT) said today that it plans to close its once star-crossed merger with Alere (NYSE:ALR) next week, after U.S. and Canadian anti-trust regulators yesterday approved the deal subject to concessions.

Abbott agreed to divest a blood gas testing system to Siemens (NYSE:SI), which also agreed to buy two Alere facilities in Ottawa. Quidel (NSDQ:QDEL) Corp. is slated to buy Abbott’s heart function testing system business and an Alere facility in San Diego.

Abbott offered to acquire Alere in February 2016. After several snafus, the company finally agreed to purchase Alere for $5.3 billion – down from its initial $5.8 billion price tag. The deal is now slated to close Oct. 3, Abbott said.

“Creating the world’s leading point of care business will help Abbott meet the growing demand for fast, accurate and actionable information,” diagnostic products EVP Brian Blaser said in prepared remarks. “Combined with Abbott’s existing point-of-care business and its leading hand-held platform, i-Stat, we now have the broadest point of care testing portfolio to help improve care for patients in more parts of the world.”

Abbott said the Alere buyout should take its diagnostics revenues to about $7 billion annually.

Alere yesterday agreed to pay more than $13 million to settle SEC charges that it committed accounting fraud; today the Waltham, Mass.-based company said the U.S. Justice Dept. closed its probe into Alere’s dealings with third-party distributors and foreign healthcare officials without taking any action against Alere.

“We are pleased that this matter has been closed with no action taken against Alere,” the company said.

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