A Medical Device Daily

Royal Philips Electronics (Andover, Massachusetts) and Celsion (Columbia, Maryland) reported the signing of a joint research agreement focusing on a new cancer treatment that combines Philips' ultrasound technology with Celsion's drug delivery solution to target tumors with high concentrations of a cancer-fighting drug.

Philips and Celsion will explore the potential for using Philips' investigational magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) system in combination with Celsion's ThermoDox to treat a broad range of cancers.

The research uses the HIFU system to position doxorubicin, an approved and frequently used anti-cancer drug, and to create a mild hyperthermia that releases the drug directly into the tumor. The result would be the ability to treat tumors that would otherwise be inaccessible.

The Philips HIFU system is designed to precisely control and deliver energy non-invasively to targeted tissues. By using Philips' HIFU technology to deliver targeted, localized activation temperatures, Philips' and Celsion's research will explore the potential for ThermoDox to non-invasively treat a number of solid tumor cancers that may be susceptible to the combination of a high concentration of doxorubicin and concurrent hyperthermia.

"Localized drug delivery is being evaluated to determine the potential for increasing the potency of drugs in their target regions with equal or less toxicity to critical organs," said Falko Busse, vice president and chief technology officer, MR, at Philips Healthcare. "The Philips MR-HIFU system could be a powerful tool to deliver these thermally activated drugs. Our volumetric heating with feedback technology is being designed to allow control of both the tissue temperature and the heating area. We are very excited about this research collaboration with Celsion in the promising field of localized drug delivery."

Philips and Celsion are conducting research to test two premises. First, ThermoDox has the potential to eliminate cancer cells that may otherwise remain viable and be responsible for secondary tumors by using HIFU to aid in releasing the concentrated drug within and around the margins of the heated area. Second, using HIFU in the low temperature activation mode in combination with ThermoDox has the potential to provide a means to deliver high concentrations of chemotherapeutics to multiple sites at virtually any location in the body.

In other agreements/contracts news:

• HP (Palo Alto, California) and Home Dialysis Plus (Corvallis, Oregon) said they have signed a licensing agreement to enable dialysis patients to more easily integrate dialysis into their daily lives.

Using HP's ink jet technology, HD+ plans to develop a portable, cost-effective dialysis system that allows patients to experience the benefits of nightly nocturnal dialysis in the privacy of their own homes.

HP's ink jet technology will be used within HD+'s dialysis machine proportioning system to mix the correct amount of water and concentrated dialysate (a salt and electrolyte solution) in real time, and pump the dialysis solution into the dialyzer. Mixing the solution in real time helps to filter toxins over a longer period. In addition, HP's smart memory chip technology will be used to ensure that the correct dialysate prescription is being delivered consistently so dialysis can take place while the patient is sleeping.

These technological advances are expected to afford patients a slower and more accurate nocturnal dialysis treatment that is more in tune with the body's natural biological processes and that will dramatically reduce a patient's post-treatment recovery time from hours to minutes.

• Biotest Diagnostics (Rockaway, New Jersey) and Group Services for America's Blood Centers (GSABC), a cooperative wholly owned by America's Blood Centers (ABC; Washington), reported a multi-year supply agreement for Biotest blood bank products including the Biotest traditional blood bank reagents and the TANGO optimo Automated Blood Bank System, reagents, consumables and service.

The agreement will provide members of GSABC with access to Biotest's complete line of both traditional and automated blood bank products.

• AirInSpace (Washington), a supplier of mobile devices with HEPA-MD technology that inactivates harmful and resistant biological particles from the air, said that it has signed an agreement with Government Scientific Source (GSS; Reston, Virginia), a supplier of medical and scientific equipment and consumables to federal, state and municipal governments. Under this agreement, GSS will have the non-exclusive right to offer the FDA-cleared PlasmairT2006 by AirInSpace mobile unit in the U.S. beginning immediately.