Vermillion (Fremont, California) reported hiring ThinkPanmure, an investment bank, to assist in identifying and evaluating alternatives intended to enhance the potential of the company's proteomic tests (OVA1 and VASCLIR) and pipeline of biomarkers.

"We continuously evaluate our strategic options to identify and develop prospects for maximizing value for all stockholders and look forward to working with ThinkPanmure in this regard," said Gail Page, president/CEO of Vermillion. "While reviewing the various alternatives, we will continue to advance our commercialization strategies, namely building marketplace awareness for our women's health, oncology, and cardiac programs which include the OVA1 and VASCLIR tests."

Vermillion makes diagnostic products for oncology, hematology, cardiology and women's health.


Philips calls Massachusetts home

Senior Management from Philips Electronics North America (Andover, Massachusetts), a unit of Royal Philips Electronics, together with Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, said that Andover, Massachusetts, will serve as the company's new North American headquarters.

As a result of this move, Massachusetts now has the largest Philips presence in North America, with nearly 5,000 employees, six major worksites and significant manufacturing facilities.

"There are many compelling reasons for choosing Massachusetts as the place to relocate our regional headquarters," said Scott Weisenhoff, CEO for Philips Electronics North America. "Massachusetts is the global headquarters for our healthcare business, and our Solid State Lighting business, which drives our leadership in energy-efficient lighting solutions. These are important growth engines for our company, making it imperative that our corporate office work closely with these business units to ensure growth. As Philips grows, so too will our investment in Massachusetts and North America."

Philips estimates that its presence will inject more than $266 million dollars in payroll into the Massachusetts economy annually, when taking into account the various Philips facilities including executive and administrative offices, innovation centers, R&D, warehousing and manufacturing.


Lakewood Pathology to become PLUS Diagnostics

Lakewood Pathology Associates (Lakewood, New Jersey) said that it will adopt a new name, PLUS Diagnostics, to better reflect its position as a leading national provider of anatomic pathology and diagnostic services. PLUS is an acronym for Pathology Laboratory of the United States.

"Our new name — particularly the word PLUS — embodies our company's commitment to provide our customers with innovative and specialized services," said CEO Doug Berg. "We are constantly looking at new ways to enhance our testing processes and procedures to ensure we are providing clients with superior diagnostic results. As a result, we have attracted customers from across the country and transformed Lakewood Pathology from a regional laboratory specializing in urology into a national anatomic pathology leader offering a range of multi-specialty services."

Lakewood will officially adopt its new name on Aug. 4.

Lakewood Pathology Associates is a pathology company that provides a range of multi-specialty services, including extensive diagnostic procedures and specialist consultations.


iReminder's product now global

iReminder (Westfield, New Jersey) reported that its Compliance for Life product now delivers dosing reminders anywhere in the world by phone and SMS text message, as well as email. Compliance for Life is a scalable, patient-centric system that reminds and motivates people to fill, refill and take their prescriptions, go to medical appointments and complete other medically-necessary tasks.

"We are filling an unmet need for better medication therapy management by delivering dosing reminders to people around the world via all three contact methods – phone, SMS text messages and email," said CEO Amy Yoffie. "Users don't need any special equipment to receive or reply to reminders, which are delivered in the recipient's language. Letting users pick the language of their reminders is yet another unique personalization feature of Compliance for Life to motivate ongoing compliance anywhere in the world."

iReminder markets Compliance for Life to managed care organizations, pharmacy benefit managers, pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors, pharmacy chains and companies with self-insured health benefits that in turn distribute it to their constituents. It also is marketed to companies conducting clinical trials and government agencies.

iReminder is a healthcare technology company.


College to offer cardiovascular graduate degree

Geneva College (Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania) said that it will launch the first cardiovascular technology (CVT) graduate degree program in the nation.

Drawing on Geneva's longstanding affiliation with Inova Fairfax Hospital (Falls Church, Virginia), the program offers students an M.S. degree in cardiovascular sciences. Geneva's incoming freshmen will now have the option of obtaining a BS (in four years) or a BS/MS degree (in five years) in CVT. Students coming into the program with another BS degree can complete the MS in two years.

Cardiovascular technologists are allied health professionals who work directly with cardiologists to perform diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in the laboratory setting. Their assistance has become vital in the growing trend toward non-surgical solutions for a variety of cardiovascular diseases, according to Geneva College.


Medtronic initiates PROTECT in U.S.

Medtronic (Minneapolis) reported the initiation of the first investigational sites in the U.S. to participate in PROTECT, the company's global study comparing the Endeavor and Cypher drug-eluting stents on key safety metrics, including stent thrombosis — a rare but serious adverse event in which a blood clot forms inside the stent, with the potential to cause heart attack or death.

Initiated in May 2007 with the first implants in Europe, PROTECT will enroll a total of 8,800 patients, equally randomized to the Endeavor zotarolimus-eluting coronary stent from Medtronic or Johnson & Johnson's Cypher sirolimus-eluting coronary stent, at more than 200 medical centers globally. Enrollment through July stands at nearly 5,500 patients, more than 60% of the total.

Collectively, data from PROTECT augments the comprehensive ENDEAVOR clinical program, which involves more than 21,000 patients; more than 15,000 of these patients will have received an Endeavor stent.

The clinical trials that supported the regulatory approvals of the Endeavor stent have shown no increase in the rate of vLaST compared with its bare-metal stent control. The annual rate of vLaST with the Endeavor stent in the ENDEAVOR clinical program through four years of follow-up is 0.02%, with no events after two years. This observation served as the rationale for PROTECT.


Lakewood Pathology to become PLUS Diagnostics

Lakewood Pathology Associates (Lakewood, New Jersey) said that it will adopt a new name, PLUS Diagnostics, to better reflect its position as a leading national provider of anatomic pathology and diagnostic services. PLUS is an acronym for Pathology Laboratory of the United States.

"Our new name — particularly the word PLUS — embodies our company's commitment to provide our customers with innovative and specialized services," said CEO Doug Berg. "We are constantly looking at new ways to enhance our testing processes and procedures to ensure we are providing clients with superior diagnostic results. As a result, we have attracted customers from across the country and transformed Lakewood Pathology from a regional laboratory specializing in urology into a national anatomic pathology leader offering a range of multi-specialty services."

Lakewood will officially adopt its new name on Aug. 4.

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