A Medical Device Daily

K2M (Leesburg, Virginia) reported that it has entered into an agreement with Promethean Surgical Devices (PSD; East Hartford, Connecticut) for the worldwide exclusive rights for all spinal applications of a breakthrough injectable polymer technology which may be used to address numerous spinal disorders.

K2M said its commitment to a new Biomaterials Research and Development Division signals its continued drive to being a market leader in the spine market. It said that in furtherance of this goal, the injectable polymer obtained from PSD will serve as a platform for the development of new implantable technologies.

This material has demonstrated properties that could lead to the development of a new treatment modality and earlier intervention to address pathologies, such as spinal nucleus degeneration, or less invasive surgical approaches for predictable annular repair.

"Acquiring this injectable polymer technology signals the beginning of a new phase in the growth of K2M and our commitment to the development of market leading technologies," said President/CEO Eric Major. "Our financial strength at K2M is allowing us to invest in new R&D activities and we are very pleased to be partnering with PSD for the research and commercialization of this revolutionary material."

"It has been our ongoing belief that the material we have developed at PSD is ideal for spinal applications," said PSD President/CEO Jeff Wilson. "With K2M's expertise in the spinal market and its team of world renowned spinal surgeons, we believe we have found the ideal partner to provide focus for the R&D and commercialization of products utilizing this unique polymer technology."

In other agreements and contracts news:

• Medsphere Systems (Carlsbad, California) reported a five-year agreement with the federal government's Indian Health Service, an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services, to provide support, maintenance and development for the agency's Resource Patient Management System (RPMS) electronic health record (EHR) solution.

The new contract extends and expands the existing relationship between Medsphere and IHS and continues uninterrupted IT support for healthcare among native populations.

Under the terms of the $9.7 million contract, Medsphere will provide support, training and development for VueCentric, a graphical user interface framework used in hundreds of healthcare facilities nationwide serving Native American and Alaska Native populations.

• Ensemble Discovery (Cambridge, Massachusetts) said that it has extended its collaboration with Roche (Basel, Switzerland) to apply its diagnostic technology to personalized cancer therapy. The collaboration will deploy Ensemble's assays, which are based upon DNA-Programmed Chemistry, in human clinical studies to analyze combinations of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptors (EGFR) present in cancer tissues.

This family of receptors is one of the most actively targeted in modern oncology therapy. The goal of the project is to develop product prototypes that detect EGFR receptor dimers (protein complexes made up of two identical molecules) in human cancer tissue samples and ultimately to use those products to improve the management of cancer patients and their therapy.

• Premier (San Diego) said agreements for vein finder equipment, a new product category, have been awarded to Luminetx (Memphis, Tennessee) and VuStik (West Sacramento, California), both small business enterprises.

Effective Oct. 1, the agreements are available to acute-care and continuum-of-care members of the Premier healthcare alliance.