Angiotech Pharmaceuticals

(ANPI)

, best known for making coatings for medical devices like stents, continued its push into the orthopedics and spinal surgery market with a pair of investments totaling $38 million.

Angiotech Thursday announced that it will be making a $25 million investment in

Orthovita

(VITA)

, a specialty orthopedics company. The two companies signed a sales and distribution agreement to share the North American rights of Angiotech's Costasis, and will be working together to reposition it for use in spine and orthopedics surgery under the brand name Vitagel.

"Our investment in Orthovita and the distribution agreement for Vitagel represent significant steps in establishing Angiotech's presence in the high-growth areas of orthopedics and spine surgery," said Thomas Bailey, vice president of business development at Angiotech. "Under the distribution agreement, Angiotech and Orthovita will share equally in the operating profits generated from sales of Vitagel."

In reaction, shares of Angiotech rose 48 cents, or 2.3%, to $20.95, while Orthovita rose 20 cents, or 4.2%, to $4.94.

Angiotech also announced that it was fully acquiring

NeuColl

, a privately-held orthobiologics company, for $13 million. In January, Angiotech purchased Cohesion Technologies and as part of the deal inherited an equity stake in NeuColl, which makes collagen-based products for orthopedic and spinal applications.

The move helps beef up the company's emerging orthopedics franchise, with Angiotech gaining two of NeuColl's products, Collagraft and Neugraft, which use a collagen-based composite to help doctors perform bone grafts. NeuColl will become a fully-owned subsidiary of Cohesion after the deal closes, expected sometime in the third quarter.

"With NeuColl we are acquiring a robust product line, a strong distribution partner, and intellectual property that will allow us to immediately develop novel therapies in orthopedics and spine," said Jeanne Bertonis, chief business officer at Angiotech.