A Medical Device Daily

VeriChip (Delray Beach, Florida) has entered into a development and supply agreement with Medical Components (Medcomp; Harleysville, Pennsylvania) to develop and manufacture a RFID microchip for implantation into Medcomp's vascular access medical devices on an exclusive basis.

The initial term of the agreement is five years, totaling more than $3 million over the life of the agreement, assuming successful completion of the development of the new, smaller microchip and Medcomp's receipt of approval from the FDA of the vascular port containing the microchip.

VeriChip will receive a product development fee for the new, smaller RFID microchip, the development of which is expected to be completed within 90 days. Additionally, Medcomp will buy scanners from VeriChip for use by healthcare professionals nationwide in order to identify a patient's vascular port for correct medication dosage.

Scott Silverman, chairman of VeriChip, said, "This agreement with Medcomp is a validation of our technology for healthcare applications above and beyond our core market of patient identification. Not only will we be selling a smaller version of our microchip, but we also expect to offer the VeriMed Health Link patient identification service at a reduced rate to all patients who receive a Medcomp vascular port.

"We are confident we will complete development of the new microchip, which is more than 30% smaller than our existing microchip, in the very near future, thereby enabling Medcomp to move forward with the FDA approval process," continued Silverman. "This is an important step forward for our company and an exciting partnership."

Timothy Schweikert, president of Medcomp, said, "We believe this agreement with VeriChip will help to further differentiate our product from our competitors, expanding our market advantage. By affirmatively identifying the particular type of vascular access device a patient has prior to treatment, we are increasingly ensuring patient safety. Because both our vascular catheter and VeriChip's RFID microchip are already FDA-cleared devices, we anticipate a smooth submission and approval process with the FDA."

In other agreements/contracts news:

Icon (Dublin) and MedAvante (Hamilton, New Jersey) reported that they have signed an alliance agreement to couple Icon's clinical trial management with MedAvante's platform to centralize and calibrate the assessment of patients undergoing treatment in clinical trials. As a result, pharmaceutical and biotechnology trial sponsors will be able to precisely measure patients' response to therapies.

Premier Purchasing Partners (San Diego) reported a new agreement for ETO sterilizers has been awarded to Steris (Mentor, Ohio). Effective March 1, the 36-month agreement is available to acute-care and continuum-of-care members of the Premier healthcare alliance.

Premier also signed new agreements for washers and decontaminators with Getinge (Rochester, New York) and Steris.

The Premier healthcare alliance has recently expanded participation in its QUEST: High Performing Hospitals collaborative by launching QUEST 2009.

"Due to the requests we have received from hospitals both within our alliance and outside of it, we have decided to open the door to an additional group of hospitals to participate in and benefit from the QUEST collaborative," said Susan DeVore, Premier's chief operating officer. "QUEST 2009 participants will benchmark performance against the baseline performance established by the current project participants. They will work alongside this original group, which will serve as mentors, sharing what they have learned to date through QUEST."

Designed to springboard hospitals to new levels of performance, QUEST is a voluntary, three-year project with 166 not-for-profit hospitals representing 31 states.

Rivulet Communications (Herndon, Virginia) was awarded a project to provide interactive medical video to 28 new operating rooms at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center (Winston-Salem, North Carolina). Wake Forest Baptist, which recently was named one of America's most wired hospitals, expects to complete the project in the first quarter of 2009.

Virtua Health (Marlton, New Jersey), a four-hospital system, has selected Microsoft Amalga, a unified intelligence system, as its health data platform to give physicians critical information and insight that help them improve the quality and efficiency of patient care. Physicians at Virtua Health will use Amalga to aggregate a wide range of clinical and patient data pulled from discrete sources across the Virtua Health Network to build unique views of that data.

eGistics (Dallas) said it won a contract to integrate its hosted document management functionality into Claimera, Resource Knowledge Management Enterprises' (RKM; Plano, Texas) market solution. RKM provides healthcare revenue cycle management solutions to a variety of healthcare organizations.

Through Claimera, RKM enables providers, including physician practice groups, out-patient surgery centers and hospitals, to automate the scrubbing of hospital and physician claims to eliminate inbound payment errors, under-payments, and non-allowable denials.

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