Analogic (Peabody, Massachusetts) said that the company's board intends to present a proposal for director majority voting for approval by the company's stockholders. The proposal will be included in the proxy for the company's January 2009 annual shareholders meeting. If the proposal is approved, the company's articles of organization and bylaws will be amended to require that a director standing for election in an uncontested election receive a majority affirmative vote of the shares cast in his or her election.

Subject to approval of this amendment, the board also adopted a director resignation policy. In the case of an uncontested election, an incumbent director who does not receive a majority affirmative vote would be required to tender his or her resignation. The resignation would be considered by the nominating and corporate governance committee and acted upon by the board within 90 days of the election.

Analogic makes advanced health and security systems and subsystems sold primarily to original equipment manufacturers.

Job cuts affect Siemens headquarters

Siemens Medical Solutions (Malvern, Pennsylvania) has issued 350 layoffs at its headquarters, as part of the 16,750 companywide job cuts announced by the company in early July. About 4,000 people are employed at the headquarters.

Lance Longwell, a Siemens spokesman, said that the layoffs in Malvern are in the health services business unit and the healthcare IT operations.

"This action is intended to better align resources to the company's strategic areas of focus and affects less than 10% of the work force," Longwell said. "The employees have been informed and we are working over the coming weeks to transition the affected employees, with the goal to bring it to conclusion by mid-September."

Siemens said the cuts were being made in an effort to reduce total costs by $1.8 billion by 2010.

Boston U. ceases Athena testing

Aubrey Milunsky director of the Center for Human Genetics (CHG) at Boston University, said that CHG will no longer offer testing services covered by patents licensed to Athena Diagnostics.

These tests include tests relating to CADASIL, hearing loss related to A1555G or Connexin 26 mutations, developmental disorders caused by mutation of the ARX gene, Duchene's muscular dystrophy, myotonic dystrophy, Freidreich's Ataxia, hereditary neuropathy with pressure palsies, polycystic kidney disease, spinal muscular atrophy, spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA1, 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8) and tuberous sclerosis (type 2).

This decision follows a negotiated settlement agreement with Athena, which had brought the issue to the attention of the university and CHG.

Study: Laser therapy more effective than steroids

A new study found that traditional laser therapy is more effective than the recent trend of using steroid injections to treat diabetics with swelling in their eyes.

The multi-center trial, published in the online edition of Ophthalmology, also noted that laser therapy has far few side effects than corticosteroids in trying to preserve eyesight in diabetic patients with diabetic macular edema (DME). The condition occurs when the center of the eye's retina, or macula, swells, possibly leading to blindness.

"Many of the investigators, including myself, were surprised by the results," local principal investigator David Brown, ophthalmologist and retina specialist with The Methodist Hospital System (Houston), said in a news release issued by the university. "We're continually researching new treatments, but sometimes the tried-and-true methods are still the best course. These findings substantiate the importance of laser treatment in the management of diabetic macular edema."

Almost half of the 18 million Americans with diabetes have vision problems.

VirtualScopics still non-compliant with Nasdaq

VirtualScopics (Rochester, New York), a provider of quantitative imaging for clinical trials, said it received notification from Nasdaq that the company remains out of compliance with the $1 minimum per share bid requirement for continued listing as set forth in Nasdaq Marketplace Rule 4310(c)(4). As a result, VirtualScopics' securities are subject to delisting from the Nasdaq Capital Market.

The company has filed an appeal of the staff determination to a Nasdaq listings qualification panel. The appeal request will automatically stay the delisting until the panel reaches a decision. Nasdaq will typically hold a hearing to consider an appeal within 45 days after the appeal is made, and it may take up to 30 days after the hearing to make a decision. At the hearing, the company intends to present a plan to regain compliance with the minimum bid price requirement in order to maintain its Nasdaq listing.

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