• Biotronik (Berlin, Germany), a company that makes wireless remote monitoring technology for patients with cardiac devices, has partnered with Belgian biotechnology company Cardio3 BioSciences in its C-Cure stem cell clinical trial. The trial is designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Cardio3 BioSciences' second-generation stem cell therapy in patients with heart failure. The first patient was treated in March. Patients who participate in the trial will receive an implantable cardioverter defibrillator with Home Monitoring. C-Cure is a second generation cell therapy for the treatment of heart failure that involves taking a patient's own stem cells from bone marrow and through a proprietary culturing technology generating differentiated 'cardiopoietic' cells which can regenerate damaged heart muscle. In the two-phase, multi-center trial, 240 patients suffering from ischemic cardiomyopathy at 35 sites in eleven countries will be treated with C-Cure. The primary endpoint is a change in left-ventricular ejection fraction at six months post treatment.

The EndoVascular Forum (EVF; Boston), an Informed Clinical Sciences company, and its partner, Complex Interventional Cardiovascular Therapy (CICT), reported a collaboration using EVF's CardioVascularCS.Org operating division to extend the influence of Electronic Medical Care Advancement for complex clinical skills development in cardiovascular medicine. The partnership underscores the EVF's commitment to developing a new generation of tools for physicians to learn from peer experiences and to improve clinical treatment decisions and practices, the company said. The companies noted that "it is now commonly accepted that the Internet is powering a new era of electronic medical care, science, and clinical development in which the massive integration of experiences and observations in and of themselves form a complementary, accelerated path to knowledge generation and dissemination."

• Lantheus Medical Imaging (North Billerica, Massachusetts) said it has signed an agreement with NTP Radioisotopes, a subsidiary of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (both Pretoria, South Africa), to manufacture and supply Lantheus with an ongoing volume of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99), a key isotope used in medical imaging procedures. According to the company, global shortfalls of Mo-99 have recently impacted the availability of critical diagnostic imaging procedures, causing concern within the medical imaging industry. Lantheus is set to receive a specified supply of Mo-99 at regular intervals from NTP, enhancing the company's ability to meet and/or exceed customer demand, it said. NTP has, in turn, partnered with Belgian radiochemical producer IRE to co-supply the Lantheus requirement and thereby maximize security of ongoing regular supplies of Mo-99 to Lantheus. "Partnering with NTP Radioisotopes as a reliable supplier of Mo-99 will provide us with expanded access within a limited supply chain. This partnership will bring our complementary skillsets and commitment to quality and reliability together to ensure patients have uninterrupted, timely access to needed medical imaging procedures that can diagnose life-threatening conditions such as heart disease and cancer," said Don Kiepert, president/CEO of Lantheus.

• Oxford Biosensors (Yarnton, Oxford), has been put up for sale following the appointment of Andrew Pear and Ian Cadlock of Tenon Recovery as joint administrators. The company says it has developed unique technology for point-of-care electro chemical testing for lipids and other analytes, for use in the cholesterol, diabetes and renal function diagnostic testing markets. Its lead product is a lipid diagnostic panel, which is designed for monitoring patients' cardiac risk and the impact of therapy, leading to an improvement in clinical outcomes. This product is now being finalized for FDA approval and launch, according to the company.

• SeqWright (Houston) reported a collaboration with Roche Applied Science (Basel, Switzerland) and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. The research focuses on a major study to help identify possible genetic variants associated with dilated cardiomyopathy, a disease of heart muscle. In this collaboration SeqWright used NimbleGen Sequence Capture Human Exome Arrays to enrich over 180,000 exons from DNA samples from individuals affected with dilated cardiomyopathy. Using the Genome Sequencer FLX, a technology of 454 Life Sciences, SeqWright is sequencing the enriched exons to detect genetic variants within these samples, including single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and insertions and deletions.

• Volcano Corp. (San Diego), a developer of products for the diagnosis and treatment of coronary and peripheral artery disease, reported an exclusive worldwide distribution agreement to initiate the formal launch of the Xtract thrombus aspiration catheter, manufactured by Lumen Biomedical (Plymouth, Minnesota). The Xtract thrombus aspiration catheter is available for immediate sale in the U.S. and Europe. This marks Volcano's entry into what it believes is at least a $70 million aspiration market, the company noted. The Xtract thrombus aspiration catheter is FDA-cleared and is CE marked for use in coronary vessels, as well as some peripheral vascular applications.