A Medical Device Daily

BG Medicine (Waltham, Massachusetts) reported signing a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and Boston University (BU).

The three parties will jointly conduct a series of biomarker discovery studies for heart disease and early detection of metabolic syndrome a combination of certain risk factors, including abdominal obesity, hypertension, and insulin resistance which are believed to increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

BG Medicine's highly advanced technology, which can detect and validate subtle biological changes at the molecular level, will analyze biosamples obtained during years of collection by Framingham Heart Study researchers. The Framingham Heart Study is funded by NHLBI and conducted in collaboration with BU's School of Medicine and School of Public Health.

The collaborative research aims to identify those at high risk of heart attack and stroke, two of the world's leading killers.

The study Systems Approach to Biomarker Research in Cardiovascular Disease (SABRe CVD) may also aid pharmaceutical companies in developing novel medicines to prevent or treat these conditions.

The collaboration is the first time in the Framingham Heart Study's 60-year history that it is partnering with a commercial company in a CRADA research project.

In other agreements/contracts news:

• Stereotaxis (St. Louis) said it has reached an agreement with Relational Technology Solutions (Rolling Meadows, Illinois) that will allow the company to offer its hospital customers an alternative financing arrangement for their purchase of Stereotaxis Niobe magnetic robotic systems. Under the agreement, hospitals will be able to fund a Niobe purchase through monthly operating lease payments.

• International Stem Cell (ISCO; Oceanside, California) is working with tissue engineers at Cytograft Tissue Engineering (Novato, California), to design a custom cell culture medium to cultivate living human vascular grafts; grafts which are expected to be used in future human clinical trials. The new medium will be developed and produced by scientists at ISCO's wholly-owned subsidiary, Lifeline Cell Technology, a producer of human cells and media products.

• Sonoco (Hartsville, South Carolina) reported an agreement with Swiss Precision Diagnostics (SPD; Geneva) to provide packing services for SPD's pregnancy diagnostic kits at Sonoco's Pack Center in Strykow, Poland.

"Sonoco was chosen because of its great reputation and proven results in consumer packaging," said Scott Majestic, director of product supply with SPD. "The company's Strykow location is ideally suited to meet our growing EMEA business and its global capability could be a strategic advantage in the future."

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