A Medical Device Daily

Aurora Imaging Technology (North Andover, Massachusetts) reported establishing a partnership with a notable national laboratory of Taiwan, the National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center (NSRRC), to collaborate on what the company termed "a variety of basic scientific and technological issues surrounding the detection of breast cancer."

The Aurora Breast MRI System is in use at breast health centers in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Through a new agreement, Aurora Imaging has commissioned NSRRC to engage in "various research and development projects." Scientists from several disciplines within NSRRC will serve as principal investigators and researchers, collaborating with Aurora's internal scientific research and development team.

"Aurora is ... excited about this [collaboration]," said President/CEO Olivia Ho Cheng. "It came about after several months of discussions between Aurora ... and NSRRC, one of the global leaders of light source' and ... related scientific and technologies surrounding the production and utilization of light source."

She said the organizations have "a knowledge in accelerator development, material science, image processing and data mining, to name a few."

"Aurora Imaging Technologies' ... breast MRI system is a logical beneficiary of our research initiatives," said Dr. Keng Liang, director of NSRRC. "While Aurora's dedicated breast MRI technologies were primarily developed in the United States, we have evidenced the technology's ability to address the rising health problem of breast cancer, now the No. 1 killer of women in Taiwan."

Liang added: "We have confidence in making major contribution in advancing the Aurora Dedicated Breast MRI technology through our extensive technical team in conducting research and development."

Qiagen offers free HPV testing in China

To mark International Women's Day, which was observed on Sunday, Qiagen (Venlo, the Netherlands) provided human papillomavirus (HPV) testing products for the testing of underprivileged women at 29 hospitals across China. HPV is the primary cause of cervical cancer.

The free testing program, held for the second year in a row, was part of the larger "3.8 Program" – a nationwide prevention campaign organized by the Cancer Foundation of China and partially sponsored by Qiagen.

"Qiagen is proud to continue its partnership with the Cancer Foundation of China after the success of last year's event," said Dr. Victor Shi, the company's Asia area president.

"Our goal at the Cancer Foundation of China is to improve awareness of cervical cancer and HPV screening in China to save lives," said Qiao Youlin, MD, general director of the event and chief of the department of cancer epidemiology at the Cancer Institute of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences. "We believe that the best in preventative care, including HPV testing, should be available to all women. Last year we were able to help hundreds of women reduce their risk of developing cervical cancer."

Cervical cancer is the second-most-common cancer affecting women worldwide. Qiagen said that when used along with the traditional Pap test, its Digene HPV Test "can help drastically reduce the annual number of cervical cancer deaths in China and around the world."

Expanded lab for Bruker in Japan

Bruker (Madison, Wisconsin) reported the opening of an expanded, multi-technology applications and demonstration laboratory, which is co-located with Bruker's R&D and manufacturing facility for X-ray analysis systems in Yokohama, Japan.

The 3,000-square-meter Yokohama facility is the largest combined Bruker applications laboratory in the world, showcasing a wide selection of life science, materials research and industrial systems.

Sadao Ueki, president of Bruker AXS KK and representative director of various Bruker subsidiaries in Japan, said, "Our expanded applications facility provides the opportunity for scientists from Japan and Asia to investigate a wide range of applications on our innovative systems, together with obtaining training, demonstrations and advice from Bruker's experienced Yokohama-based team of application scientists, plus visiting specialists from our worldwide factories."

In addition to the combined operations in Yokohama, Bruker has additional sales offices in Osaka and Tokyo.

New research center for PerkinElmer

In other Asian research facility news, PerkinElmer (Boston) reported the inauguration of a new Center of Excellence (COE) in Singapore. The new center is the second Singapore-based facility of its kind opened by PerkinElmer in the past year. It will serve as a training and knowledge-sharing facility for life sciences researchers located throughout the Pacific Rim.

Operated by PerkinElmer's Biodiscovery business unit, the center will provide advanced solutions in the areas of automation and detection, cellular imaging and analysis, and drug discovery and research reagents.

"PerkinElmer's decision to open an additional Center of Excellence in Singapore within a year underscores the company's commitment to both environmental and human health and becoming an even more significant partner in Singapore's growing life sciences community," said Daniel Marshak, PhD, chief scientific officer and president of Greater China business for PerkinElmer.

Richard Eglen, PhD, president, Biodiscovery, for PerkinElmer, said, "PerkinElmer recognizes the importance of technical support and training to ensure that our customers benefit fully from our expertise in imaging and detection as well as our reagent biology and chemistry. We offer an optimal combination of life science research technologies, in addition to proven local expertise in all cellular science technologies."

Chinese CROs join forces

Tigermed Consulting (Hangzhou, China), a leading contract research organization (CRO) in China, and Qiming Venture, a venture capital firm based in Shanghai, have joined to inject assets to MacroStat, which they described as a "unique CRO in China specialized in clinical data management and statistical analysis."

The firms said the union between the two top CROs will significantly improve Tigermed's clinical data management serviceability and broaden MacroStat's business line.

"MacroStat has the leading talents and system in biostatistics, with absolute competitive advantage in China," said Dr. Ye Xiaoping, CEO/founder of Tigermed. He said Tigermed and MacroStat will establish am "extensive strategic partnership in the management of clinical trials, data management and statistical analysis."

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