A Medical Device Daily

Antigen Discovery (Irvine, California) reported receipt of a Phase II SBIR grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR).

The $3 million grant will fund efforts to further develop ADI's protein microarray based serodiagnostic platform for applications in biodefense and emerging infectious diseases. ADI will collaborate with investigators at the Proteomics Core facility of the Pacific Southwest Regional Center of Excellence located at the University of California Irvine (UCI).

"The major bottleneck that limits the translation of readily available genomic information into the development of next-generation diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics, is the continued lack of effective antigen and biomarker discovery tools," said Xiaowu Liang, CEO of ADI. "We are grateful that the SBIR program continues to fund ADI and our UCI collaborators in the further development of this exciting new technology platform that truly revolutionizes the screening and detection of disease markers."

"The focus of this grant is to commercialize some of the broad applications of the platform technology that were developed during previous funding phases. The establishment of a Good Manufacturing Practices facility, and a clinical research lab will enable us to offer diagnostic products and services to physicians, point-of-care facilities, developers of novel vaccines, and pharmaceutical researchers," said Huw Davies, the principal investigator on the SBIR grant.

Davies added, "By using our novel protein array systems and statistical algorithms, we can rapidly discover antigen sets that will provide serological tests that discriminate between different infections, or even between different stages of the same infection."

In other grants/contracts news:

• Premier Purchasing Partners (Charlotte, North Carolina) reported new agreements for third-party scope repair have been awarded to Cardinal Health (Dublin, Ohio); FrontLine Medical (Tampa); Integrated Medical Systems International (Birmingham, Alabama); Life Systems (St. Louis); Medical Optics (Tamarac, Florida).; SterilMed (Maple Grove, Minnesota); and Total Repair Express (Hillsborough, New Jersey).

The 20-month contracts, which took effect June 1, are available to all acute-care and continuum-of-care members of the Premier healthcare alliance.

• B. Braun Medical (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) reported that it has entered into two contract agreements with HealthTrust Purchasing Group (HPG; Brentwood, Tennessee). Under the agreements, HPG's more than 1,300 not-for-profit and for-profit acute-care hospitals will benefit from the advanced safety and efficiency of B. Braun's Pinnacle TPN Management System and products from B. Braun's broad portfolio of pharmacy solutions.

B. Braun will provide its Pinnacle system, which helps improve patient safety and compounding efficiency when pharmacies mix intravenous formulations. The system controls the precise, individualized creation of IV formulations using dextrose, amino acids, electrolytes and lipids for patients unable to tolerate oral intake of nutrients or who rely on tube feeding for sustenance.

• Amerigroup (Virginia Beach, Virginia) said that, effective July 1, Amerigroup Tennessee renewed its contract with the state of Tennessee through June 30, 2009.

The renewal includes a rate increase for the period April 1-June 30, 2008, as well as a rate increase for the period July 1, 2008, through June 30, 2009.

Expenditures on home health and private duty nursing services during state fiscal year ending June 30, 2008, were at a level significantly higher than originally projected. Based on more current claims data, Tennessee's actuaries have certified an additional adjustment for these services for the period April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008, that will result in a one-time payment to Amerigroup Tennessee.

• Medgate (Toronto) reported that National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA; Washington) has selected Medgate's Industrial Hygiene and Employee Health Software for use across its entire operation.

NASA sourced, selected and procured Medgate's software offering via Medgate's recently awarded U.S. government contract. After an initial implementation at one space center, NASA will roll out the software system across all NASA space, flight, research, test and assembly facilities.