A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Moffitt Cancer Center (Tampa, Florida) and Xceed Molecular (Wellesley, Massachusetts), a developer of gene-expression analysis systems, reported that Moffitt has joined Xceed's Strategic Collaborator Program and granted Xceed a worldwide, exclusive license to a gene signature for colon cancer.

Specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

This colon cancer-specific gene signature, one of many technologies developed at Moffitt, was discovered by Timothy Yeatman, MD, Steven Eschrich, PhD, and Gregory Bloom, PhD.

The focus of the current collaboration is to develop a new molecular test that is more predictive of patient prognosis than currently available assays. Xceed will work with the Moffitt team, which also includes Steven Enkemann, PhD, to complete the clinical development and validation of the gene signature, which is designed to predict the likelihood of disease-free survival of patients with colon cancer using biopsy tissues from a colonoscopy.

Moffitt is collaborating with Xceed research scientists to finalize the list of genes in the signature that will be included on the colon cancer TipChip (the consumable microarray device used by Xceed's Ziplex System).

Xceed will run the first samples in its Expression Services Laboratory in Toronto to optimize the performance of the signature on the Ziplex platform. Xceed will also provide a Ziplex System to the Moffitt team, which will complete additional validation studies.

Together, Moffitt and Xceed will determine the clinical utility of the colon cancer TipChip and the technical and commercial feasibility of developing a diagnostic test.

In other agreements:

• Medrad (Warrendale, Pennsylvania) reported that it has signed a distribution and co-marketing partnership agreement with Petnet Solutions, a subsidiary of Siemens Medical Solutions (Hoffman Estates, Illinois). The agreement will enable healthcare providers to inject fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) for positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) imaging procedures in an innovative way.

The partnership will leverage Medrad's soon-to-be introduced PET infusion system and multi-dose FDG packaging and delivery from Petnet Solutions. PET/CT Imaging has proven effective in diagnosing and staging certain forms of cancer.

Medrad's PET infusion system, to be called Intego, is designed to automatically extract a patient dose from a multi-dose vial and deliver it directly to the patient. The system is mobile and includes dosimetry, shielding and a touch-screen interface.

Petnet Solutions has agreed to provide FDG to customers throughout its extensive, cyclotron-based radiopharmacy network in multi-dose vials and specially designed vial shields, which will allow for easy integration with Medrad's new system.

Michael Reitermann, president, molecular imaging at Siemens, said, "In addition to our traditional delivery method, by providing FDG in multi-dose vials compatible with the Medrad PET infusion system across our extensive network, we have the opportunity to help improve the way FDG is being handled and delivered."

Alan Connor, director of global marketing for Medrad Molecular Imaging, said, "We are very pleased that Petnet Solutions is the first FDG provider to agree to provide FDG in a manner compatible with the Intego System across its entire network. From the beginning of this project, Petnet Solutions has been instrumental to the development of this system and is dedicated to providing the latest in safety and clinical performance to [its] customers."

• InTouch Technologies (Santa Barbara, California) reported that it has signed an agreement with Neurostar Solutions (NSI; Atlanta) to integrate NSI's clinical image management application into the company's telestroke offering.

Under terms of the agreement, InTouch Health will incorporate NSI's Internet-based clinical image management application into StrokeRESPOND, a software module integrated into its RP-7 Remote Presence Robotic System.

StrokeRESPOND has been designed to support urgent stroke consults by enabling a stroke expert to have timely access to the information needed to render efficient and informed care decisions for a stroke patient. Through this agreement with NSI, stroke experts will now be able to have access to the patient imaging information needed for stroke diagnosis and treatment.

• Advanced Medical Isotope (AMIC; Kennewick, Washington) said it has entered into an agreement to further develop a brachytherapy treatment with Battelle (Columbus, Ohio), which operates the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and the department of pharmaceutics and pharmaceutical chemistry at the University of Utah (Salt Lake City).

AMIC proposes development of a concept for controlled delivery of yttrium-90 (Y-90) microspheres embedded in resorbable seed-shape materials for tissue-directed, high-dose intra-tumoral therapy. Use of Y-90 will help to minimize the radiation dose to nearby normal tissues compared to x-rays from standard seeds. This technology is designed to improve the treatment of confined or non- resectable tumors and is based on a fast-dissolving polymer-matrix chemistry.