A Medical Device Daily Staff Report

HTG (Tucson, Arizona), provider of the quantitative Nuclease Protection Assay (qNPA), has signed a contract with Arizona State University (ASU; Phoenix) to provide gene expression assay and development services as part of a multi-institutional research program. As the core gene expression technology in the program, HTG's qNPA technology will be used to build tests that rapidly measure an individual's level of exposure to radiation in the event of a radiological or nuclear incident.

ASU will lead the $40.8 million program and oversee the research program management, coordination and integration.

The five-year contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) emphasizes the development of prototypes that would enable testing of thousands of individuals a day, permitting more rapid and effective triage of large numbers of patients than is currently possible. HTG's contribution to the effort represents about $12 million of total program value for the company.

"Our work with ASU in this research program will further establish HTG's qNPA technology as a robust diagnostic platform. We are thrilled to be part of this multi-institutional program and believe our multiplex gene expression platform is ideally suited for this important application," said TJ Johnson, president/CEO, HTG.

"We have assembled a dream team of institutions and companies to catalyze our team's research and discovery efforts, and translate the advances into a field-deployable technology," said Carl Yamashiro, PhD, the principal investigator at ASU's Biodesign Institute who will direct the effort. "The beauty of this system is its versatility. Not only will we be developing a system for the effective response to a nuclear or radiologic event that could affect a large population but the high-throughout platform can also be used to advance genomics testing and other routine laboratory procedures measuring gene expression levels."

In other agreements and contracts news:

• Reverse Medical (Irvine, California) has entered into a strategic partnership agreement with Getz Bros. & Company (Singapore) for distribution of Reverse Medical devices throughout the Pacific Rim.

Reverse Medical President/CEO Jeffrey Valko said, "The depth and strength of the Getz network throughout Asia will greatly assist Reverse Medical in developing a leadership role in revascularizing patients experiencing acute ischemic stroke. We are actively developing similar partnerships for European distribution as well."

Getz President Ray Simkins added, "We are truly impressed by the innovation of Reverse Medical and the speed with which they've achieved product development, regulatory approvals, compelling evidence of human use and commercial readiness. Getz believes the worldwide market for medical devices to revascularize patients experiencing acute ischemic stroke remains vastly under-penetrated, with significant opportunity for advanced technology adoption and growth."

The company plans to generate sales from several Pacific Rim regions by end 2010.

• A-Life Medical (San Diego) said that A-Life Hospital, its subsidiary, has entered into an agreement with OhioHealth (Columbus) hospital system, effective March 15.

A-Life Hospital will provide facility outpatient-based computer-assisted coding (CAC) services to OhioHealth, with the intention to evaluate possible expansion into inpatient and professional coding services as well. OhioHealth will now deploy A-Life's CAC technology across five of their facilities.

• Premier Purchasing Partners (Charlotte, North Carolina) reported that new agreements for physical inventory services have been awarded to Capital Inventory (Woodstock, Georgia), GR Inventory (Holbrook, New York), Hospital Inventories Specialists (Tampa), Manage Resource Group (Brunswick, Ohio) and RGIS (Auburn Hills, Michigan).

Effective May 1, the agreements are available to acute care and continuum of care members of the Premier healthcare alliance.

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