A Medical Device Daily

WebMD (New York) and the FDA reported a collaboration that expands consumers' access to the agency's timely and reliable important health information. This joint effort reflects the FDA's emphasis on using innovative, technology-based strategies to carry out its foremost mission, which is to promote and to protect the public health.

WebMD, which attracts nearly 50 million unique visitors each month, provides consumers with credible and timely health news and information.

The partnership includes:

A new online consumer health information resource on WebMD.com. Consumers can access information on the safety of FDA-regulated products, including food, medicine and cosmetics, as well as learn how to report problems involving the safety of these products directly to the FDA.

In addition, WebMD will bring the FDA public health alerts to all WebMD registered users and site visitors that request them. The cross-linked joint resource will also feature FDA's Consumer Updates — timely and easy-to-read articles that also are posted on the agency's main consumer web page.

FDA contributions to WebMD the Magazine. FDA Consumer Updates also will be featured at least three times a year in WebMD's bimonthly magazine, which reaches nearly 9 million consumers. The magazine is distributed to physician office waiting rooms across the country.

In other agreements/contracts news:

• Sigma-Aldrich (St. Louis) and SouthWest NanoTechnologies (SWeNT; Norman Oklahoma), a producer of single-wall carbon nanotubes, reported that they have signed an agreement under which Sigma-Aldrich will distribute SWeNT's single-wall carbon nanotubes to the research and development community.

Sigma-Aldrich will exclusively distribute research quantities of SWeNT CG 100, SWeNT SG 65 and SWeNT SG 76 single-wall nanotubes globally through its Aldrich division. SWeNT will continue to work closely with industry partners to deliver commercial quantities of the materials and focus on commercial application development and large-scale production.

Single-wall carbon nanotubes consist of a hollow cylinder of carbon with a diameter equal to approximately one nanometer — a billionth of a meter. Due to their unusual structure, single-wall nanotubes exhibit extraordinary optical and electronic properties, tremendous strength and flexibility, and high thermal and chemical stability. These remarkable properties make them suitable for a wide range of applications in the automotive, aeronautics, electronics, displays, energy and healthcare markets.

Ilya Koltover, business development manager, Aldrich Chemistry and Materials Science, added, "Progress in nanotechnology research depends on a reliable supply of consistently high-quality nanomaterials, supported by thorough characterization and technical information. This is especially true for single wall carbon nanotubes, and we are pleased to work with SWeNT, who is committed to the goal of providing such supply. This partnership will help researchers and accelerate nanotechnology innovation around the world."

• Devon International Group (DIG; King of Prussia, Pennsylvania) reported a new company, Devon Robotics, as the exclusive distributor and licensee of Health Robotics' CytoCare robot in North America and the Caribbean Islands.

The company said that CytoCare is the world's first and only automated robotic system for the safe preparation of hazardous, patient-specific cancer therapy medications and intravenous admixtures.

DIG recently acquired exclusive distribution rights in the region for CytoCare from Health Robotics, and also for Health Robotics' i.v.STATION, an automated solution for preparation of non-hazardous IV medications with general availability in 2009.

Devon Robotics will immediately assume implementation and service responsibilities for the six U.S. hospitals where CytoCare is installed and will be responsible for U.S. distribution, installation, maintenance, service and marketing for CytoCare.

MedSurg Specialty Devices, a subsidiary of ITOCHU International, has been selected as the sales channel for CytoCare. Devon Robotics said it will seek strategic healthcare partnerships with other key North American companies to optimize Health Robotics' products in the region.