A Medical Device Daily

Cancer patients residing in and near Michigan are one step closer to receiving one of the most advanced forms of treatment available with a new partnership being formed between McLaren Health Care (Flint, Michigan) and ProTom International (Flower Mound, Texas).

ProTom's proton therapy system, the Radiance 330, combines advanced treatment capabilities in a lower-cost, small footprint solution. The compact accelerator design of the Radiance 330 supports active scanning beam delivery techniques with dynamic energy and intensity modulation for true 3D intensity modulated proton therapy (IMPT). This technology allows for proton beam centers to be built for about one-third the cost (currently upwards of $150 million) and on a much smaller footprint of conventionally built centers. Conventional proton beam centers span the size of a football field.

"We are very excited to bring this life-saving technology to Michigan," said McLaren Health Care president/CEO Philip Incarnati. "Proton beam therapy represents an innovation in cancer treatment, and ProTom's technology is another huge step forward in making this treatment more accessible to a greater number of people. We're proud to take a leadership role in bringing such an important advancement to patients across our state and the Midwest."

In other agreements and contracts news:

• Lake Forest Hospital (Chicago) and Northwestern Memorial HealthCare (Chicago) reported that they have signed an affiliation agreement to form an integrated healthcare system. Lake Forest Hospital will become a subsidiary of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare, the corporate parent of Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Northwestern Memorial and Lake Forest Hospital expect to close the affiliation following receipt of the necessary federal and state approvals. This process could take several months.

• Agilent Technologies (Santa Clara, California) and Applied Biosystems, part of Life Technologies (Carlsbad, California) introduced the Agilent SureSelect Target Enrichment System, which is optimized for the SOLiD System, a genomic analysis sequencing platform. As part of the agreement, the companies are co-marketing the SureSelect system, which is a research tool for efficiently re-sequencing specific regions of interest in the genome.

• Raydiance (Petaluma, California) said that its Smart Light ultrafast platform will provide the core technology for an advanced laser machining process, Noble UltraLight, to be launched by Norman Noble (Highland Heights, Ohio) The Noble UltraLight process will enable highly precise, athermal machining of bio-absorbable materials, shape memory metals and other exotic materials for the medical device industry. In deploying Raydiance Smart Light with its Noble UltraLight process, Norman Noble will have capabilities for creating exacting and reproducible features in vascular stents, drug delivery systems, catheter devices, valves, needles and other medical devices.

• Proven Diagnostics (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania), a clinical laboratory service recently launched by Geisinger Health System, and ViraCor-IBT Laboratories (Lenexa, Kansas) have entered into a collaborative agreement in which Proven Diagnostics will offer selected tests from ViraCor-IBT's menu of allergy, immunology and specialized infectious disease tests to its customers.