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No. 356, May 1999

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Japanese Companies in the US


In a major expansion of its international cardiovascular device business, TERUMO CORP. agreed to buy the cardiovascular systems unit of MINNESOTA MINING & MANUFACTURING CO. Its operations, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Tustin, California, include hardware and related disposables that are used to artificially maintain and monitor blood and oxygen flow during cardiac surgery. The 3M unit had 1998 sales in excess of $100 million and employs roughly 500 people around the world. It is best known for its Sarns brand of heart-lung support equipment and the CDI brand of monitoring products, while Terumo's strengths are its Capiox oxygenators and tubing packs. In the United States, the 3M cardiovascular systems unit will be merged with Terumo's counterpart business to form TERUMO CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEMS CORP. It will operate as a subsidiary of Somerset, New Jersey-based TERUMO MEDICAL CORP., which now makes and markets such products as syringes, needles, catheters and blood bags at plants in Elkton, Maryland and Ashland, Massachusetts.

HOYA CORP., one of the foremost companies in the area of photonics, has made an equity investment in LIFESPEX CORP., a start-up that is using biophotonics to provide point-of-care diagnostic systems for the detection of cervical cancers and precancers. The Kirkland, Washington company will use the Hoya money to complete clinical trials for its Cerviscan product in the United States and Europe and to establish manufacturing capacity for early production shipments. Cerviscan, which utilizes LifeSpex's proprietary evoked tissue fluorescence technology, will allow physicians to give women with suspicious pap smears immediate and accurate results without additional tests or colposcopy exams.

The world leader in automotive emissions-testing equipment, HORIBA, LTD., has spent $3.3 million to install its most advanced system at its Ann Arbor, Michigan facility. The equipment will help HORIBA INSTRUMENTS, INC. expand its research and development activities as well as strengthen its sales pitches to motor vehicle manufacturers. Horiba, which makes emissions-testing equipment in Ann Arbor and at Horiba Instruments' headquarters in Irvine, California, already controls roughly 70 percent of the American market for this type of measuring device. It now has set its sights on an 80 percent cut in two years.

An exchange rate of ¥120=$1.00 was used in this report. aaaaa

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