Medtronic, Minneapolis, is acquiring Spinal Dynamics Corp, Seattle, the developer of an artificial cervical disc, in a deal worth approximately $269.5 million. Medtronic has held a minority interest in the privately held company since February 2001. Spinal Dynamics recently began clinical trials of an implanted prosthesis designed to replace and mimic the flexibility and shock-absorbing characteristics of cervical discs. The device could potentially supplant many cervical spine fusion procedures, officials said. Spinal Dynamics also is developing a replacement disc for the lower spine. Subject to regulatory approval, the agreement is expected to close by year-end. -- by Cinda Becker
Medtronic to buy maker of artificial cervical disc
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