A Medical Device Daily

Peak Surgical (Palo Alto, California) and Medtronic (Minneapolis) reported an agreement that grants the Surgical Technologies business at Medtronic exclusive rights for global distribution and marketing of the Peak PlasmaBlade TnA (Tonsil and Adenoid) tissue dissection device for the ear, nose, and throat (ENT) market.

The agreement provides Medtronic with exclusive global distribution rights for the Peak PlasmaBlade TnA tissue dissection device for the ENT market. Additionally, Peak will have access to a line of credit that can be used for general working capital purposes.

The Peak PlasmaBlade TnA is indicated for cutting and coagulation of soft tissue during otolaryngology (ENT) surgery, including removal of the tonsils and adenoids. It is part of the PEAK PlasmaBlade family of disposable, low-temperature surgical cutting and coagulation devices that offer the exacting control of a scalpel and the bleeding control of traditional electrosurgery without the extensive collateral damage to surrounding tissue.

In other agreements/contracts news:

• SRI International (Menlo Park, California) an independent nonprofit research and development organization, announced today that it has been awarded a $6.3 million contract by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH; Washington) to conduct preclinical safety studies of promising novel ligands that will be used for brain imaging research and clinical applications. Ligands are types of molecules that can be used to perform brain imaging through PET, single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), and MRI.

The preclinical studies will help determine the safety, optimal dosage, and form for delivery of imaging agents and medications for the treatment of mental disorders. Toxicology and safety data generated from this program may be used to support investigational new drug (IND) applications to the FDA

• VeriChip (Delray Beach, Florida) reported that it has selected Raytheon Microelectronics Espa a (Malaga, Spain) for the production of the company's radio frequency identification (RFID) implantable microchips, including its existing VeriChip microchip for patient identification, its new 8 mm microchip for use in Medical Components (Medcomp; Harleysville, Pennsylvania) vascular access medical devices, and its glucose-sensing RFID microchip.

In December 2008, VeriChip purchased all intellectual property related to its implantable RFID business line from Digital Angel (St. Paul, Minnesota) and canceled its manufacturing relationship.

• Emergency Medicine Physicians (EMP; North Canton, Ohio) reported six new contracts with medical facilities located in North Carolina. Five of these facilities are part of Carolinas HealthCare System (CHS; Charlotte). In addition, the agreement will cover emergency services at CHS's new health pavilion, CMC-Steele Creek, which is set to open in November. Also included in the new arrangement is Iredell Memorial Hospital (Statesville, North Carolina). Together, these hospitals treat an estimated 220,000 emergency patients per year, bringing the total number of patients served by EMP to an estimated 1.4 million. The new additions expand EMP's reach to include 38 locations in nine states.

• Emergency Ultrasound Consultants (Wilmington, Delaware), reported a strategic partnership with The Sullivan Group (TSG), a provider of patient safety, risk management and performance improvement solutions for healthcare professionals.

• Premier Purchasing Partners (Charlotte) reported that Philips Medical Systems of (Bothell, Washington) has been added to its non-invasive cardiology equipment portfolio, joining Cardiac Science Corporation, (Bothell, Washington), and GE Medical Systems Information Technologies (Wauwatosa, Wisconsin).

Effective Sept. 1, the agreement is available to acute care and continuum of care members of Premier.

• MedQuist (Mt. Laurel, New Jersey), a provider of technology-enabled clinical documentation services, reported that it has been awarded a transcription services agreement by HealthTrust Purchasing Group (HPG; Brentwood, Tennessee). As a result of the award, all of the more than 1,400 hospitals and healthcare organizations participating in HPG's network will be able to purchase MedQuist's full array of integrated transcription and speech recognition technology and services.

The company will utilize its robust DocQment Enterprise Platform with embedded speech recognition and a global workforce to manage the scale and complexity of such a large network of hospitals. MedQuist's suite of solutions provides options to HPG's hospitals, clinics, and physician practices to help them deliver timely quality documentation and accelerate the achievement of clinical and operational excellence goals.

In addition, the contract offers incentives to HPG's integrated delivery networks to aggregate transcription volume among their peer institutions. This combined volume can produce significant financial benefits as well as the operational benefits resulting from standardization.