A Medical Device Daily

Orthofix (Boston) reported that it has signed a license and product development agreement with Stout Medical Group (Perkasie, Pennsylvania) for the development and marketing of a new expandable vertebral body replacement (VBR) and corpectomy device.

The initial term of the agreement is for 15 years, and gives Orthofix exclusive global licensing rights to the new device, which is expected to be introduced during the second half of 2010. According to a recent market research report the U.S. market for VBR devices is currently estimated to be nearly $77 million, with the expandable device segment growing the fastest at nearly 12%.

The new device will be designed for use in corpectomy procedures during which one or more vertebral bodies are removed in connection with the removal of a tumor or due to a trauma to the spine. Expandable corpectomy devices provide in situ expansion, eliminate the need to cut the device to a specific size, and provide the surgeon with options for less invasive incisions.

In other agreements/contracts:

• MicroDose Therapeutx (Monmouth Junction, New Jersey) said that Merck & Co (Whitehouse Station, New Jersey) through an affiliate has exercised an option to extend its license to the MicroDose Dry Powder Inhaler (DPI) technology to an additional investigational compound. This option originates from the previously reported collaboration agreement between the two companies and triggers the payment of an undisclosed exercise fee to MicroDose.

Under the terms of the collaboration agreement, Merck funds costs of development and commercialization of products that employ MicroDose's DPI technology for the administration of Merck compounds. MicroDose is eligible to receive milestone payments and royalties on revenues from all products developed under the agreement.

• Allscripts (Chicago) a developer of software, services, information, and connectivity solutions for physicians and hospitals, and Medfusion (Cary, North Carolina) a developer of in patient-to-provider online communication solutions, reported a strategic agreement to provide the top-ranked Medfusion patient portal for Allscripts Electronic Health Record (EHR) and Practice Management clients nationwide.

The new Allscripts online patient communications solution, or patient portal, will enable physician practices to save time, lower costs and increase revenue while providing services that are increasingly popular with patients. In place of paper forms and phone calls, the solution, which will be called Allscripts Patient Portal, enables patients to make appointment requests, renew prescriptions, view test results and conduct other common tasks on-line, including HIPAA-compliant secure messaging with their care team.

Allscripts Patient Portal will be integrated with Allscripts Electronic Health Record and Practice Management solutions. Patients now will have one sign-on to reach a complete source for any of their clinical or administrative needs. And physician practices will have a state-of-the-art portal that saves time, money, and increases revenue while providing valuable services that patients increasingly want and need.

MEDNETWorld.com (MEDNET; Minneapolis), a specialist in Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN; Columbus, Ohio) connectivity and clinical applications, in partnership with The Rubicon Group (Atlanta) eHealth Ohio (Westerville, Ohio), Bostech (Garland, Texas) and TechColumbus Platform Lab (Columbus, Ohio) have implemented The Ohio Health Point-of-Care (HPOC) Service enabling interoperable electronic exchange of clinical data for healthcare providers. This HIE partnership provides clinicians and physicians with unprecedented electronic access to detailed medical health records for each patient.

Public Health organizations will also benefit from The Ohio HPOC Service by having more detailed, real time data to combat bioterrorism and natural health threats. Payers will benefit from The Ohio HPOC Service offering through improved economic efficiencies based on fewer errors, improved patient outcomes, increased consumer health self-accountability, and reduction of duplicate claims processing efforts.

• QuadraMed (Reston, Virginia) said that the National Institute of Health selected QuadraMed AcuityPlus productivity, benchmarking and outcomes system to optimize its nursing resources enterprise-wide.

NIH's 234-bed clinical research hospital purchased the AcuityPlus platform, which includes inpatient, ambulatory and mental health methodologies, outcomes module, and import and export features, to help ensure interoperability with existing ADT and staff scheduling systems. The solution suite provides data analysis and monitoring to determine efficient staffing and budget projection and management, as well as a reporting module for true acuity-adjusted benchmarking.

NIH Clinical Center had been a QuadraMed MPI and HIM consulting client from 2005 through 2007.

• Lifecore Biomedical, (Chaska, Minnesotta) reported that it has entered into a distribution agreement to market Hyalose (Austin, Texas) line of hyaluronan research tools – Oligo-HA, NanoHA, Select HA, Biotinylated Select HA, and Hyalose Ladders.

Hyalose's technology uses enzymatic digestion and controlled enzymatic synthesis that enables an exact determination of the hyaluronan output such as hyaluronan oligosaccharides or very narrowly distributed low to high molecular weight polymers. This processing also enables the placement of other glycosaminoglycan sugars at precisely defined positions in the polymer chain.