Premier Research Group (London), an international pharmaceutical services company, said that its subsidiary, Premier Research Group SA, has earned ISO 13485:2003 certification in support of its global medical device operations.

ISO 13485:2003 is a stringent, globally-recognized standard for management systems for medical device manufacturers and service providers. Achieving ISO 13485:2003 certification provides Premier Research with a competitive edge to improve a product's time to market.

New partnerships for Vantage Oncology

Vantage Oncology (Manhattan Beach, California) said that it has completed seven new partnerships comprising 10 cancer treatment facilities in several new and existing markets. In addition, Vantage has secured a new $100 million credit facility that will support the company's continued growth.

Vantage now operates 31 centers in 11 states with its physician and hospital partners and is well positioned to continue its rapid national expansion.

"We are very pleased with our national expansion efforts," said Michael Fiore, CEO and co-founder of Vantage. "Since we began our operations just under six years ago, we have been building our infrastructure, enhancing our operating model, cultivating our relationships with high quality physician and hospital partners, and continuously strengthening our capital structure. The accomplishments of these past few months reflect the results of those efforts. We are now well positioned to continue this growth through new partnerships in both our existing and new regions. The acceptance of our partnership model and our focus on quality and advanced technology as we collaborate with our physician and hospital partners has been very positive. Our existing centers continue to expand and solidify their positions as leaders in their respective markets."

Vantage operates radiation oncology centers.

ALA reports lung disease increasing

According to the latest report by the American Lung Association (ALA; Washington), Lung Disease Data, death rates due to lung disease are currently increasing while death rates due to other leading causes of death such as heart disease, cancer and stroke are declining.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is expected to become the third-leading cause of death by 2020, laccording to the association.

"Every year, about 400,000 Americans die from lung disease," said Bernadette Toomey, president/CEO of the ALA. "With our report, Lung Disease Data, we hope to provide valuable information on lung disease to the public, especially to people who become ill and their family members who are caring for them."

ALA publishes Lung Disease Data to serve as a resource to the public, media, healthcare professionals, researchers and lung disease patients and their caregivers on the latest trends and research in lung disease, along with relevant facts and figures about some of the most common lung diseases in the U.S.

TomoTherapy closes Treatment Quality Challenge

TomoTherapy (Madison, Wisconsin), maker of the TomoTherapy Hi Art treatment system for advanced radiation therapy, reported the close of its Treatment Quality Challenge. The company had offered $250,000 to any U.S. cancer center that could surpass the quality of a helical TomoTherapy treatment plan using a single-rotation Varian RapidArc plan delivered in two minutes or less. The three-month program ended on June 30 without any entries.

"For TomoTherapy, the Challenge was a definite success," said Del Coufal, TomoTherapy's VP of marketing. "It generated strong support from customers and gave us the opportunity to let new audiences know that our focus is, first and foremost, on improving the quality of cancer care."

As the Hi Art system continues to mature, Coufal said there are several industry-leading innovations on the horizon. We expect to see improvement in overall patient throughput with an exciting new product moving through our development pipeline. It will be especially useful for the more routine case types. With this and future advances, it is clear that our next-generation, ring gantry platform can offer all the flexibility cancer centers demand."