A Medical Device Daily

China Medical Technologies (Beijing), a device company that develops, advanced in vitro diagnostic products, reported that its board approved a share repurchase program on Sept. 17.

The board has authorized the company to repurchase up to $30 million worth of its outstanding American Depositary Shares (ADSs) for a period of one year, commencing on Oct. 1, 2009.

Under the terms of the program, repurchases may be made from time to time on the open market at prevailing market prices or in block trades. The timing and extent of any repurchase will depend upon market conditions, the trading price of ADSs and other factors, and subject to the restrictions relating to volume, price and timing under applicable laws and regulations.

The company said it expects to implement this share repurchase program in a manner consistent with market conditions and the interest of the shareholders. The company's board will review this share repurchase program periodically, and may authorize adjustment of its terms and size accordingly. The program may be suspended or discontinued at any time. It plans to fund repurchases made under this program from its available cash balance.

The record date for the company's ADS holders for the declared cash dividend 55 cents per ADS is Sept. 30, 2009.

PPD opens lab facility in Singapore

PPD (Wilmington, North Carolina) reported it has opened its global central lab facility in Singapore, strengthening its ability, it said, to provide biopharmaceutical clients an extensive range of customized laboratory services in Southeast Asia, a high-growth region for clinical research.

"Expanding our global central lab services into Singapore demonstrates our commitment to deliver high quality specimens and laboratory results for our clients in a growing biopharmaceutical market," said Steve Lobel, vice president, global laboratory operations, PPD. "We can expedite delivery of lab data through reduced transportation and shipping time at better logistics costs for our clients."

PPD also has an office in Singapore where for more than 10 years it has provided a range of clinical development services, including clinical trial management and monitoring, patient recruitment, site identification and regulatory affairs.

The laboratory instrumentation and standards in Singapore are identical to platforms located at PPD's global central labs in Brussels, Belgium; Highland Heights, Kentucky; and Beijing. Assays are extensively cross validated among all PPD locations to produce combinable data. The Singapore lab interfaces directly with ConneXion, the company's proprietary single global database, to ensure consistent management and real-time reporting. Clients can view and analyze laboratory results from all lab locations using PPd Clicks, a secure web site launched last year.

PPD is a global contract research organization providing discovery, development and post-approval services as well as compound partnering programs. Its clients and partners include pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, academic and government organizations.

Varian's RapidArc available in Australia

Brisbane, Australia Cancer patients in Australia have gained access to advanced RapidArc radiotherapy treatments from Varian Medical Systems (Palo Alto, California) with its introduction by the leading radiation oncology provider in Queensland. Premion (Brisbane, Australia), which operates five cancer centers in Queensland, has treated more than a dozen prostate cancer patients to date with this fast, precise and efficient technique at its Chermside treatment center in Brisbane.

James MacKean, MD, Premion's lead radiation oncologist for the RapidArc program, says, "With RapidArc, improved conformality and daily treatment set-up accuracy is combined with dynamic rotational arc treatments, keeping unwanted radiation doses away from nearby structures such as the rectum and bladder. Treatment times are reduced, which improves the overall patient experience."

Premion, which treats cancer patients using ten linear accelerators at its five sites, says its RapidArc program at Chermside will expand to include the treatment of brain, head & neck and lung tumors in the near future.

RapidArc is designed to deliver a precise and efficient treatment in single or multiple arcs of the treatment machine around the patient and makes it possible to deliver image-guided intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) two to eight times faster than is possible with conventional IMRT. Faster treatments allow for greater precision, since there is less chance of patient or tumor movement during treatment delivery and, with less time on the treatment couch, also allow for greater patient comfort. Conventional IMRT treatments are slower and more difficult for radiotherapy radiographers because they target tumors using a complex sequence of fixed beams from multiple angles.