• DePuy Spine (Raynham, Massachusetts) said it has begun testing of a genetically engineered human protein in patients with moderate to severe low back pain. The first in a series of clinical studies evaluating the safety and effectiveness of the protein, intradiscal rhGDF-5 (recombinant human growth and differentiation factor-5), began at Texas Back Institute (Plano). The study outcomes will evaluate if injections of rhGDF-5 into the lower spine can relieve pain and slow or even reverse early stage degenerative disc disease. The study consists of patients who have had persistent discogenic back pain for at least three months at one symptomatic lumbar level from L3/L4 to L5/S1 and who have not responded to conservative medical treatment such as physical therapy. Clinical outcomes will be measured using standard validated tools and lumbar disc changes will be measured using magnetic resonance imaging data.

• GE Healthcare (Waukesha, Wisconsin) reported the introduction of its new Carescape telemetry platform, a wireless patient monitoring offering for hospitals. Built on GE Carescape Enterprise Access and leveraging GE ApexPro CH Telemetry, GE Carescape telemetry enables hospitals to simultaneously leverage multiple telemetry frequencies and coordinate cell phone, Wi-Fi and other wireless technologies on one infrastructure. The Carescape provides dual-band capabilities enabling hospitals to simultaneously leverage the two protected frequency bands – 600 MHz and 1.4 GHz – in Wireless Medical Telemetry Service (WMTS) with a single, central telemetry system. Hospitals can monitor up to 438 patients while ensuring that critical patient data is sent securely without interference.

• Invitrogen (Carlsbad, California) reported the launch of the GIBCO OptiCHO Protein Express Kit, an integrated solution for development of serum-free, stable cell lines for biotherapeutic development. This kit provides cells banked under cGMP conditions, enabling biotherapeutics manufacturers to speed regulatory submissions and time to market. The GIBCO OptiCHO Protein Express Kit enables biotherapeutics manufacturers to develop stable cell lines where proteins of therapeutic interest can be expressed and reproduced. It uses all of the reagents, protocols and documentation required to go from gene to stable cell clones expressing the protein of interest within a completely serum-free process. All of the products within the workflow are animal-origin free, which supports biomanufacturers' ability to enhance the safety of human therapeutics.

• Microtest Laboratories (Agawam, Massachusetts) said that it is adding dissolution testing to its current suite of analytical testing and stability services. Dissolution is a compendial method used to measure a drug's rate of release from its dosage form. It is a complement to other analytical assays – potency and related substances – that characterize the dosage form. Dissolution is typically used to optimize drug delivery rate during development studies; for use in routine QC analysis for lot release and to measure lot-to-lot variability; for use in stability studies to study the effects of time/temperature/humidity on the dosage form; and to compare one dosage form to another (different formulations, different processes, analysis of competitor's samples).

• Non-Invasive Monitoring Systems (Miami) reported that the results of a laboratory investigation published in the April issue of the journal Neuroscience links the technology behind NIMS' Exer-Rest acceleration therapeutic platform to a reduction in brain damage for the major cause of stroke. The report concluded that whole body periodic acceleration (WBPA, pGz), the technology behind the Exer-Rest, has potential to positively impact on the management of stroke. They selected this treatment because it increases release of beneficial substances, such as nitric oxide, prostacyclin, prostaglandin E2, and adrenomedullin, from the inner lining of blood vessels into the circulation. These substances protect the brain from damage due to ischemia, i.e., cessation of blood flow to tissue.

• Solos Endoscopy (Boston) said it has developed a new endocoupler with an eye piece for the MammoView system. Along with its current endocoupler, it will allow the MammoView scope to be used by a majority of the video systems currently in the market place. Solos has already started to market the new endocoupler to those customers that previously could not utilize the standard endocoupler. The company says that the new MammoView Endocoupler will allow healthcare facilities to have more flexibility because it allow them to utilize any video system at their disposal.

• SunTech Medical (Morrisville, North Carolina) reported the newest release of AccuWin Pro v3 ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) software. AccuWin Pro v3 software supports SunTech's Oscar 2 ambulatory blood pressure monitor. The release offers several upgrades, including new compatibility features for Windows Vista and integrated USB communications. The software also includes new features to assist with the process of analyzing and reporting on ABPM procedures such as time-slice period highlighting, medications memory auto-fill, and pre-programmed thresholds incorporating ESH and JNC7/AHA recognized standards.

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