A Medical Device Daily

PURE Bioscience (San Diego) reported it has signed a new agreement with Ciba (Basel, Swtizerland) to market and sell PURE's silver dihydrogen citrate antimicrobial as a preservative and biocide in the personal care, household, and industrial markets worldwide. In the personal care market, PURE granted Ciba exclusive marketing rights for SDC in personal care under trade name Ciba Tinosan SDC.

Catherine Ehrenberger, global head of Ciba's Home & Personal Care Business Line, said, "With this technology from PURE Bioscience, we are able to support customers in the personal and household care industries as they strive to enhance the antimicrobial effects and shelf life of their formulations.

She added, "We are especially excited about the opportunities in the cosmetics market, where manufacturers are increasingly expected to deliver antimicrobial benefits without compromising the look and feel of their products."

In other agreements/contracts news:

• BioIQ (Santa Barbara, California), a health testing products and services company, and Alere (Reno, Nevada), which provides services that include wellness, healthy living, productivity improvement and complex care management as well as case management of acute and catastrophic conditions to health plans, employers, and government agencies, will work together to supply BioIQ's home-test kits and online reporting tools as part of Alere's Personal Health Solutions.

As part of this workplace-wellness initiative, participants of Alere's screening services programs will order BioIQ test kits via a secure website, which are then mailed to their homes. Each kit includes instructions for drawing a small blood sample through a simple finger-prick method and mailing it to a certified laboratory for analysis. Measurements include high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), total cholesterol, triglycerides, hemoglobin/A1c, and fasting glucose.

A single-sign-on login process will enable Alere participants to seamlessly access BioIQ's enrollment and lab results pages via secure personal accounts. In addition, the results from the BioIQ tests will be automatically loaded into each participant's Health & Productivity Assessment and Personal Health Record, which are part of Alere's Wellness Solutions.

• HTG (Tuscon, Arizona) provider of the quantitative Nuclease Protection Assay system and service partner for the life sciences industry reported a collaboration agreement with researchers at Harvard Catalyst Laboratory for Innovative Translational Technologies (HC-LITT) at Harvard Medical School (Boston).

HTG and HC-LITT will collaborate to generate a novel microRNA biogenesis assay that can measure expression of both pre-microRNA (miRNA) precursors, mature-microRNAs and regulated RNA using HTG's qNPA (quantitative Nuclease Protection Assay) technology.

Researchers at the HC-LITT are investigating the implications of differential microRNA expression in human diseases such as cancer. MicroRNAs are single-stranded functional RNA species encoded in the human genome that regulate protein expression of numerous gene products. HC-LITT will utilize HTG's technology to evaluate regulation of miRNA biogenesis by established oncogenic cell signaling pathways in order to develop novel diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets for the molecular characterization and treatment of cancer.

HTG's qNPA technology is used to carry out quantitative, multiplexed gene-based drug discovery programs, including target validation, HTS lead optimization, metabolism, toxicology and clinical development. HTG's platform is highly flexible and designed for high throughput automation; it allows scientists to test any sample, including fixed tissues, without RNA extraction or target amplification. The technology is ideal for detecting small yet important changes in gene expression levels which other gene expression platforms cannot reliably detect.

• DxS (Manchester, New York) a personalized medicine company, has signed an agreement with Amgen (Thousand Oaks, California) to provide a K-RAS companion diagnostic for Vectibix (panitumumab) in the U.S.

Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, DxS and Amgen will work together to further facilitate the use of Vectibix in metastatic colorectal cancer patients with wild-type K-RAS status in the U.S., with the intent that DxS' TheraScreen: K-RAS Mutation Kit will become a companion diagnostic for use with Vectibix if approved by the FDA. This agreement between Amgen and DxS follows a collaboration entered into by the parties last year with respect to the TheraScreen: K-RAS Mutation Kit in Europe.

Dr. Stephen Little, CEO of DxS, said, "We are ... pleased to be working with Amgen and building on our relationship. We believe that this agreement is a further endorsement of the capabilities of our K-RAS diagnostic test. We look forward to working with Amgen and the FDA to ensure that colorectal cancer patients in the U.S. have access to a K-RAS diagnostic test kit."

Financial terms were not disclosed.