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Medtronic is working on lead-less pacemaker (Weekend Rounds)

Medtronic Inc. (NYSE: MDT) is quietly working on plans to develop a pacemaker that can deliver electricity to the heart without wires. Several medical device firms have been pursuing leadless cardiac devices in recent years.

Here were some of the top stories at MedCity News this week:

— Medtronic Inc. (NYSE: MDT) is quietly working on plans to develop a pacemaker that can deliver electricity to the heart without wires. Several medical device firms have been pursuing lead-less cardiac devices in recent years.

— Medtronic also has been under heavy fire in the United States for making consulting payments to doctors — money it says compensates doctors for their help in developing medical devices. But regulators and lawmakers suspect Medtronic is paying doctors to push its products on patients, whether they need them or not.

— The University of Minnesota and University Enterprise Laboratories are close to a deal that will create a medical device incubator at the laboratory facility in St. Paul.

— Boston Scientific Inc. (NYSE: BSX) is no stranger to lawsuits, usually from unhappy consumers. But an entire country? The medical device maker with substantial operations in Minnesota continues to face a lawsuit from the Republic of Iraq, whose government alleges BSX and 91 other global companies paid kickbacks to Saddam Hussein’s regime in exchange for business under the troubled United Nations Oil for Food Program.

— Farm, a company that specializes in product development for medical device firms, is opening an office at the Cleveland Clinic’s new cardiovascular technology incubator. Farm is no stranger to Ohio healthcare companies. The company has worked with two of the state’s largest — helping Invacare Corp. develop a wheelchair and Cardinal Health develop a laparoscopic surgical device.