On-X Life doubles manufacturing plant

On-X Life Technologies (Austin, Texas), makers of the On-X prosthetic heart valve and On-X carbon products for orthopedic implants, said that it is doubling the size of its manufacturing space in Austin. It said that the expansion is a result of increased demand for On-X LTI products in both the cardiac surgery and orthopedic markets. The company has signed a lease for a 40,405 square foot building at 1300 East Anderson Lane, Austin, Texas, that was previously used by Sorin Carbomedics.

The company says the On-X valve is the result of a breakthrough in medical grade carbon technology: On-X pure pyrolytic carbon. In addition to providing a more thrombo-resistant surface, the comparatively high strength of pure On-X carbon enabled On-X LTI to make significant valve design changes that resulted in a prosthetic that acts more like a natural valve in its treatment of blood.

Envoii Healthcare now called Secure eHealth

Vir tualHealth Technologies (Lexington, Kentucky) said that its Envoii Healthcare subsidiary has changed its name to Secure eHealth to better reflect its focus on eHealth Security products.

Jim Renfro, VHGI president said: "This name change is an important part of our continuing effort to demonstrate our company's commitment on growing our opportunities in this evolving climate of Healthcare Reform. It has been abundantly clear that as systems integration becomes the focal point in building the connectivity required to enable change, everyone involved still needs to address the ongoing concerns regarding securing the data and maintaining the patient's privacy."

Advanced Cell to prepare IND for eye program

Advanced Cell Technology (Worcester, Massachusetts) said that it is finalizing preparations to file an IND in the second half of this year with the FDA for the company's retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cell program for the treatment of diseases of the eye. It has available the only technology that can today produce stem cell lines without the destruction of the embryo.

There are some 200 different retinal diseases that may be impacted by this stem cell derived therapy including macular degeneration, which represents a $28 billion dollar market. Age-related macular degeneration affects more than 30 million people worldwide and is the leading cause of blindness in people over 60 years of age in the U.S.

Study shows BSGI effective in breast imaging

Specific Gamma Imaging (BSGI) has been proven to be a highly sensitive imaging technique for the diagnosis of invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) a type of breast cancer that begins in the milk-producing glands (lobules) and then spreads to the surrounding breast tissue according to a study published in the February 2009 issue of American Journal of Roentgenology. The study found BSGI provides better sensitivity for detecting ILC than mammography, ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging. BSGI, performed with the Dilon (Newport News, Virginia) 6800 Gamma Camera, is a molecular breast imaging technique that can see lesions independent of tissue density and discover very early stage cancers.

"The study is significant because ILC can often be difficult to detect mammographically and is often not palpable at clinical examination. BSGI offers improved detection of this form of breast cancer that affects approximately 10% of new breast cancer patients every year," said Rachel Brem, director of breast imaging and intervention at George Washington University Medical Center (Washington).

VeriChip gets Nasdaq compliance notice

VeriChip (Delray Beach, Florida) said that it received notice from Nasdaq indicating that the company has not evidenced compliance with the $10 million stockholders' equity requirement for continued listing on The Nasdaq Global Market under Marketplace Rule 4450(a)(3). The Nasdaq notice also indicates that the company currently does not meet the requirements for continued listing on The Nasdaq Capital Market because its stockholders' equity at December 31, 2008 of $2.4 million is below the $2.5 million requirement under Marketplace Rule 4310(c)(3). As a result, the company's securities are subject to delisting from the Nasdaq Global Market.

VeriChip makes the VeriMed Health Link System for identifying people who arrive in an emergency room and are unable to communicate.

Impax Laboratories to list on Nasdaq

Impax Laboratories (Hayward, California) said that its application to list its common stock on Nasdaq has been approved and it has been advised that trading in the stock on The Nasdaq Global Market will begin under the trading symbol IPXL.

Impax Laboratories is a technology based specialty pharmaceutical company applying its formulation expertise and drug delivery technology to the development of controlled-release and specialty generics in addition to the development of branded products.

Ochsner Medical starts online' wait times

Ochsner Medical Center (New Orleans) reported that it is now posting online, "real time" wait times for its four New Orleans area emergency rooms, allowing patients the option to be treated more quickly at another Ochsner hospital for non-life-threatening conditions. The wait times are available at www.ochsner.org.

Ochsner is offering this information to patients in an effort to improve healthcare for the community and meet patients' growing requests for information about their care. "When patients arrive at the emergency room, their expectation is that they'll be placed in a room and evaluated by the provider and the faster we can do that the better it is for the patient," said Joe Guarisco, Ochsner's chief of emergency services.

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