VeriChip (Delray Beach, Florida), a maker of radio frequency identification (RFID) systems for healthcare and patient-related needs, reported the results of an independent study presented at the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine annual meeting. The study concluded that use of the VeriChip for access to patient medical history verification significantly decreased the emergency care charges among critically injured patients in a randomized, blinded, prospective mass casualty scenario.

The study discussed the benefits gained from providing health care workers with immediate access to patient medical records during a mass casualty scenario. The objective of the study was to evaluate the use of VeriChip for electronic medical record access, and whether a patient implanted with the VeriChip would affect emergency charges in a prospective mass casualty exercise.

The conclusions stated that use of the VeriChip for access to patient records significantly decreased the emergency care charges among critically injured patients in the mass casualty scenario, with a mean decrease in ordered charges of $685.67.

Synthetic Blood's shareholders approve proposals

Synthetic Blood International (Costa Mesa, California) said that the company's shareholders have approved the proposals put before them at a special shareholders meeting.

The proposals include changing the name of the company to Oxygen Biotherapeutics. A new stock ticker symbol to go with the name change has not yet been designated.

The name change will be made in connection with the approved reincorporation of the company and change in the company's state of incorporation from New Jersey to Delaware. In addition, shareholders approved management's proposal to increase the number of authorized shares.

Synthetic Blood International makes pharmaceuticals and medical devices in the field of oxygen therapeutics and continuous substrate monitoring.

Nasdaq suspends Rotech shares

Rotech Healthcare (Orlando, Florida) said that following a hearing conducted on June 5 before a Nasdaq hearings panel and additional discussions with Nasdaq staff, the company received a letter from the Nasdaq Office of General Counsel indicating that the company's shares would be suspended effective as of June 12 and subsequently delisted.

Following the delisting of the company's securities, Rotech expected to be eligible for quotation on the OTC Bulletin Board.

Rotech Healthcare makes home respiratory care and durable medical equipment and services to patients with breathing disorders such as chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases.

DocuSys relocates to Atlanta

DocuSys (Atlanta) said that it has relocated its headquarters to Atlanta. This move will create 300 jobs over the next three years. The types of jobs created by DocuSys will range from software engineering, software implementation and client services to product management and sales positions within the healthcare IT market.

"Atlanta offers a developing healthcare technology company like DocuSys a sizeable pool for finding talented and experienced applicants with the necessary skills we need for each specific position," said DocuSys president/CEO Robert Watson. "The Georgia Department of Economic Development and the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce have been extremely helpful to our company during this transition and we are pleased to partner with one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S."

DocuSys is an anesthesia information management system, medication management system and pre-surgical care management system provider.

PreMD works on skin test clearance

Predictive medicine company PreMD (Toronto) said that the company has had further meetings with the FDA in an effort to resolve the outstanding issues associated with obtaining broader regulatory clearance for its non-invasive skin cholesterol test. PreMD and the FDA will work together to try to obtain consensus on certain conclusions from the existing clinical data in order to develop appropriate labeling for the product.

"The FDA has provided constructive comments and assistance in defining the most appropriate strategy for clearance, and we look forward to a productive outcome at the end of the 60 days," said Brent Norton, president/CEO of PreMD.

Biopure gets Nasdaq compliance extension

Biopure (Cambridge, Massachusetts) said that the Nasdaq has granted the company an additional 180 days, or until December 8, 2008, to regain compliance with Marketplace Rule 4310(c)(4) requiring a minimum bid price of $1 for continued listing. Currently, the company meets all other required inclusion criteria for the Nasdaq. If, at any time before December 8, 2008, the bid price of the company's common stock closes at $1 per share or more for a minimum of 10 consecutive business days, the company will be provided written notification that it complies with the Marketplace Rule.

Biopure Corporation makes oxygen therapeutics, that are intravenously administered to deliver oxygen to the body's tissues.

Navigators Group establishes life science unit

The Navigators Group (New York) said that its principal underwriting agency subsidiary, Navigators Management, has established the Life Sciences business unit. This business unit will focus on underwriting specialized property/casualty products for the life sciences industry on a global basis, as well as help to deliver the company's existing portfolio of relevant products.

Military committee recommends WoundStat

TraumaCure (Bethesda, Maryland) said that the DoD Joint Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care (CoTCCC) has recommended that U.S. soldiers from all services carry the company's hemostatic agent, WoundStat.

The CoTCCC based its recommendations upon the results of extensive studies conducted by both the Army's Institute for Surgical Research (ISR) and the Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC). In those studies, no other product was as effective across the board in terms of survival, post treatment blood loss, and duration of hemostasis.

"Severe bleeding is the number one cause of death for soldiers injured in battle. The ISR study clearly shows WoundStat works consistently to stop serious bleeding quickly. In light of these study results, WoundStat will be a critical product in the field available to all soldiers in harm's way, where and when it is needed most," said Ron Blanck, retired US Army Surgeon General. "Approximately 80% of injuries in the current conflict are from improvised explosive devices (IEDs), which result in the severe and irregular wounds that WoundStat is specifically designed to treat. In those situations, WoundStat works in seconds, not minutes."

TraumaCure makes wound-care products.

Exact, LabCorp team in new cancer test

Exact Sciences (Marlborough, Massachusetts) said that Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LabCorp; Burlington, North Carolina) informed Exact that it plans to launch a single-marker, laboratory-developed, stool-based DNA test for colorectal cancer screening in 2008.

In connection with the planned transition to the new test, LabCorp has stopped offering PreGen-Plus, the version of the stool-based DNA technology that has been the subject of FDA inquiry over the past several years.

Instead, LabCorp plans to move to a new stool-based DNA test, which is different from Exact's Version 2 technology and is based solely on the Vimentin gene, a methylated DNA marker that in published studies was shown to be associated with colorectal cancer.

"Our understanding from LabCorp is that they plan to launch their new single-marker test without the use of Effipure or other elements of PreGen-Plus that had been the focus of prior FDA communications," said Jeffrey Luber, president/CEO of Exact Sciences. "Independent of LabCorp's commercial launch of this test, Exact continues to advance its Version 2 technology toward FDA clearance or approval. We recently met with the FDA and look forward to continuing our discussions with the goal of finalizing the protocol for our validation studies for Version 2 as soon as possible."