A Medical Device Daily

Exigon Diagnostics (Tustin, California) has partnered with MedTrust Online (Scottsdale, Arizona), an Internet-based solution provider for oncologists that offers knowledge on the latest topics in cancer treatment. Exigon, a company that offers individualized cancer care through molecular and cell-based clinical laboratory services, said it would provide a comprehensive suite of oncology molecular diagnostics services to MedTrust Online's Oncocentric oncology portal. Financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed.

MedTrust will add Exiqon service offerings, extensive clinical studies, insurance/billing information, order forms, and live forum case studies available to MedTrust's growing oncology health care provider user base consisting of thousands of medical, gynecologic and surgical oncologists as well as pathologists and support staff nationwide.

"We are pleased to add Exiqon Diagnostics to the growing list of molecular diagnostic companies providing content on the MedTrust Online oncology portal," said Matt Sargent, VP of molecular diagnostics for MedTrust Online. "Molecular diagnostic testing options and drug reimbursement data are the two most heavily requested topics from our oncology user base. Our Oncocentric portal allows oncologists to rapidly find the information that they need on new molecular diagnostics to better practice personalized medicine."

"Partnering with MedTrust offers a unique opportunity to present molecular and cell-based testing options and information to medical oncologists in an unbiased and confidential forum," said Erik Holmlin, chief commercial officer of Exiqon. "We believe MedTrust can provide patient care teams with important testing information that will help them make better informed and individualized treatment decisions for their patients."

In other agreements/contracts news:

• Plexus (Neenah, Wisconsin) said it has been selected to develop Qiagen's (Venlo, the Netherlands) next-generation automated screening system for the pre-processing of human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA samples. This product provides a highly automated solution to a current manual process, through sophisticated robotic motions, the company said. This contract for the final development phase builds on the existing collaboration, which led to the first prototypes, Plexus noted.

• SunGard Availability Services (Wayne, Pennsylvania) said it has partnered with Phoenix Health Systems (Richardson, Texas), a provider of healthcare IT outsourcing, consulting and revenue cycle management solutions, to help hospitals improve information availability for electronic medical records and other technologies essential to quality of care. SunGard and Phoenix plan to help community hospitals by developing cost-effective business continuity plans that address requirements to access critical data in the event of an IT systems outage as well as providing staffing and application support.

• Global Med Technologies (Denver), an international e-Health, medical information technology company, reported that its Inlog (Limonest, France) subsidiary has licensed and deployed its EdgeLab laboratory information management software (marketed as "Labo Serveur" in France) to the Eugene Andre Hospital (Lyon, France). Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

• Immucor (Norcross, Georgia), a provider of automated instrument-reagent systems to the blood transfusion industry, said it has signed a five-year agreement with Alverno Clinical Laboratories (Hammond, Indiana), one of the largest regional hospital laboratory integrated delivery systems in the nation, serving 27 hospitals in Illinois and Indiana.

Alverno said it is standardizing pre-transfusion testing in 26 facilities with Immucor automation through the acquisition of 24 Echo instruments and two Capture Workstations. Additionally, Immucor will be the primary source for Alverno's blood bank reagent needs.

• New England Research Institutes (NERI; Watertown, Massachusetts), a global contract research organization focused on Phase II-IV clinical trials and ProMedica Clinical Research Center (Boston), a Phase I firm, reported their strategic alliance. The companies said they could both now provide pharmaceutical, medical device, biomaterial and biotechnology clients with "seamless and comprehensive" clinical research solutions for Phase I-IV studies in a variety of therapeutic areas.

In addition to each of their respective specialized capabilities, NERI and ProMedica CRC will have all the resources necessary to respond to a broader spectrum of client needs. As a result of the working relationship, clients can benefit from NERI services like study feasibility, protocol design, project management, regulatory affairs, clinical monitoring and training, biostatistics, data management, site selection, recruitment, and management, and quality assurance, the companies noted. In addition to these areas of expertise, ProMedica CRC's capabilities include: bioavailability, bioequivalence, pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, tolerance, toxicity, gastrointestinal absorption, interaction and first in man studies.

• Amerinet (St. Louis), a healthcare group purchasing organization, and Perot Systems (Plano, Texas) reported a new agreement that will make Perot Systems revenue cycle solutions available to Amerinet's acute- and alternate care-site members. Through this relationship, Amerinet members can utilize Perot Systems customized revenue cycle solutions that enable business process improvements, resulting in increased cash flows and cost reductions.

Amerinet said Perot Systems offers business process services, including: extended business office, on-site claims support, conversion support and revenue cycle management.

• Tenet Healthcare (Dallas) reported the creation of MED3000 Practice Resources, a joint venture between MED3000 (Pittsburgh) and a subsidiary of Tenet, which is a 20% minority owner. MED3OOO provides advanced healthcare management and technology to physicians and physician networks.

The new joint venture will initially focus on providing services to physician practices in the 12 states where Tenet operates, including the majority of employed physicians at Tenet hospitals. MED3OOO Practice Resources will provide health information technology (including practice management systems, electronic health records and personal health records) and management services (including revenue cycle management, group purchasing and comprehensive practice and data management).