A Medical Device Daily

GE Global Research, the technology development arm for the General Electric Company (Niskayuna, New York), reported signing a two-year cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to accelerate development of nanoparticle-based imaging agents that have the potential to revolutionize the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and heart disease.

Researchers in GE's Nanotechnology Lab have developed nanoparticle-based imaging agents that could increase imaging resolution and sensitivity. The ability to see and target disease with higher resolution and sensitivity could promote the detection of cancer and cardiac disease at much earlier stages. These agents could also be used to more rapidly and accurately monitor the effectiveness of treatments.

NCI's Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory (NCL), operated by contractor SAIC-Frederick (San Diego), will apply its nanotechnology characterization tools to evaluate the safety and feasibility of GE's nanoparticle diagnostic imaging agents.

"The backbone of GE's Early Health vision is to see, diagnose and treat disease at its earliest stages, so that we can improve patient outcomes," said Amit Kulkarni, manager, Chemical Nanotechnology Lab, GE Global Research. "GE's nanoparticle based imaging agents have the potential to be huge enablers of a new medical imaging paradigm, not only in the treatment of cancer but also cardiac disease, by allowing clinicians to see, target and treat disease at much earlier stages than what is possible today."

The NCL is a collaboration of the NCI, the FDA, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and is part of the NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer. The cooperative research and development agreement between GE and NCI is the first under NCI's new Advanced Technology Partnerships Initiative, which seeks to accelerate the delivery of new products to cancer patients.

In other agreements and contracts news:

• HMS (New York) said it has been awarded a Medicaid Integrity Program (MIP) task order by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. HMS will examine payments to providers made under Title XIX of the Social Security Act, with the objective of identifying potential overpayments made as a result of fraud, waste, or abuse.

HMS said it would perform these services in the Dallas jurisdiction, which includes Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.

The contract, expected to be completed over the next 12 months, is valued at $5.7 million and may be renewed on an annual basis upon a successful performance determination by CMS.

• IsoAid (Port Richey, Florida), a provider of brachytherapy products, has been awarded a three-year brachytherapy contract from Amerinet (St. Louis) to provide its members with a complete line of brachytherapy products used primarily in the treatment of prostate cancer. The agreement will begin Oct. 1.

• AssureRx (Cincinnati), a personalized medicine company, reported entering a strategic relationship with Diamond Healthcare (Richmond, Virginia), a privately held behavioral health and management consulting firm.

AssureRx's personalized medicine platform, based on technology from the Mayo Clinic and Cincinnati Children's Hospital, helps physicians determine the right drug and right dose for patients suffering from behavioral health conditions.

The relationship will provide AssureRx access to Diamond's managerial and clinical expertise and industry relationships and accelerate AssureRx's commercial introduction of its first personalized medicine product for the behavioral health marketplace, the company said.