Becton, Dickinson and Co. (BD), of Franklin Lakes, N.J., reported the formation of a strategic, public-private partnership with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of U.S. HHS. The aim is to develop new manufacturing lines for injection devices that will provide priority access to the U.S. government for hundreds of millions of syringes and needles to support current and future pandemic vaccination efforts. BARDA will invest an estimated $42 million into a $70 million capital project to further expand BD's operations and manufacturing capacity in Nebraska. The new capacity is expected to be online within 12 months.

Bia Separations doo, of Ajdovscina, Slovenia, has signed agreements with Chennai-based Genex India Bioscience Pvt. Ltd. and Singapore-based It Technologies Pte. Ltd. They will act as sole distributors of Bia Separations’ products and services across their respective regions of India, and Singapore and Malaysia.

Irvine, Calif.-based Biolase Inc. said that the Epic Hygiene dental laser meets recent guidance from the CDC that recommends not using ultrasonic scalers to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. Ultrasonic scalers create a visible water spray that can contain particle droplets of water, saliva, blood, microorganisms, and other debris, which can serve as a conduit to spread the virus.

Cleveland Clinic Florida has opened the Florida Research and Innovation Center in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Established in November 2019, the new center will aim to advance translational research, focused on immuno-oncology and infectious diseases, including COVID-19.

Daxor Corp., of New York, signed a new distribution agreement with American Medical Depot, of Miramar, Fla. As part of the agreement, the two parties are set to provide Daxor’s BVA-100 diagnostic blood test to government facilities across the U.S., driving the use of blood volume analysis (BVA) to guide precise, individualized volume management in a variety of medical conditions, including heart failure and COVID-19-related symptoms.

Westlake Village, Calif.-based Decision Diagnostics Corp., through its subsidiary Pharma Tech Solutions Inc., entered a written distribution agreement for its Genviro! Covid-19 10.5 Second Swift Kit and other products with Global Swift Sensor Distribution, which will represent the company's Genviro! and Genultimate products on a nonexclusive but first-to-market basis in India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Nepal, Bangladesh and Australia. The company also said it is evaluating two additional distribution offers from Brazil and Argentina (as a combined distributorship), as well as separate proposals for distributorships in Nigeria and the Philippines with the Nigeria distributorship closer to completion.

Paris-based Eos Imaging SA, a provider of 2D/3D orthopedic medical imaging and software solutions for 3D anatomical modeling and surgical planning, reported the first installation in Germany of its Eosedge platform at the Asklepios Clinic St. Georg in Hamburg.

Guardant Health Inc., of Redwood City, Calif., reported a strategic collaboration with Horsham, Pa.-based Janssen Biotech Inc. to pursue regulatory approval and commercialization of the Guardant360 CDx as a companion diagnostic for amivantamab, an investigational EGFR-MET bispecific antibody being studied in the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer. The agreement covers the U.S., Canada, Japan and Europe.

Incode, of San Francisco, reported the launch of Incode HealthID, a multistep digital health verification solution designed to help companies establish and enforce COVID-19 preventive measures in the workplace, from basic hygiene to clinical lab testing certification.

Ocutrx Vision Technologies LLC, of Irvine, Calif., said it will deliver the world’s first 5G augmented reality/extended reality medical-specific platform in 2021. The AR/XR device includes two headsets, the Oculenz for patient use and Orlenz for physicians and surgeons. Both will be built upon San Diego-based Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2 platform, which features the Snapdragon X55 5F Modem-RF system.

Hayward, Calif.-based Paragon Genomics Inc., a company focused on amplicon-based target enrichment solutions for next-generation sequencing (NGS) and precision medicine, has developed methods allowing for a multifold increase in the throughput of its Cleanplex SARS-CoV-2 NGS panel for COVID-19 research, testing and surveillance. A new barcoding method is being refined that will allow more than 20,000 samples to be sequenced simultaneously, up from the current maximum of 2,668 samples.

Amsterdam-based Royal Philips NV said it has been awarded a contract from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to expand the VA’s tele-critical care program. The 10-year contract enables the VA to invest up to $100 million with Philips for tele-critical care technology and services, including eICU and patient monitoring.

Tel Aviv-based Run:AI reported that it is working with the London Medical Imaging & Artificial Intelligence Centre for Value-Based Healthcare to accelerate machine learning, particularly in the fight against COVID-19.

Sensory Cloud, of Cambridge, Mass., is planning a September launch of Fend, a nasal saline that health care workers and others at risk of SARS-CoV-2 exposure can use for nasal cleansing. The deep nasal mist is generated by a hand-held mister, Nimbus. Fend is based on the Nasocalm (PUR003 and PUR006) solutions developed by Pulmatrix Inc., of Lexington, Mass., and licensed to Sensory Cloud for over-the-counter nasal delivery and worldwide commercialization.

London-based Smiths Detection Group Ltd. is partnering with Attomarker Ltd., a multiplex blood testing technology company spun out of the University of Exeter, to help produce a triple antibody testing device for COVID-19. The U.K.’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has already approved Attomarker’s Triple Antibody Test for National Health Service use.

Boston-based Sonde Health Inc. has launched Sonde One, a voice-enabled health screening tool to help employers return to work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., of Waltham, Mass., has signed a companion diagnostic (CDx) agreement with Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., a member of the Roche Group based in Tokyo, and has applied to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare to expand the use of the Oncomine Dx Target Test in Japan. The CDx will be leveraged to identify ROS1-positive non-small-cell lung cancer patients who may be eligible for treatment with Rozlytrek (entrectinib). Approval by MHLW would speed access to Chugai’s targeted therapy via a locally administered, next-generation sequencing biomarker test.

Ultraviolet Devices Inc., of Valencia, Calif., said its UVDI-360 Room Sanitizer is the first 254nm UV-C disinfecting robot to be recognized by Saint Paul, Minn.-based 3M Co. as a coronavirus decontamination method that will not damage its N95 respirators.

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