• InfraReDx (Burlington, Massachusetts) said physicians at Beaumont Hospital (Royal Oak, Michigan) have successfully used its LipiScan coronary imaging system in a patient undergoing a cardiac catheterization. This is the first patient in whom it has been possible to assess the chemical composition of coronary artery plaques and use such information to assist in the management of coronary artery disease. The LipiScan is a catheter-based device that uses laser light to detect how much fat and other substances are contained in a plaque. The identification of the chemical composition of coronary plaques is expected to be of value to cardiologists in the selection of medical, stenting or surgical therapy for coronary lesions. The device is also expected to be of value to the pharmaceutical industry as a means to assess the effect of novel anti-atherosclerotic agents on lipid core plaque burden. InfraReDx specializes in near-infrared spectroscopic technology and its application to coronary imaging.

• Instrumentarium Dental reported introduction of the Soredex Scanora 3-D X-ray system with HD panoramic. Soredex Scanora 3-D combines a cone beam with high definition panoramic imaging in a single system to produce anatomically correct images of teeth, bone and soft tissue plus the highest quality panoramic images. In cone beam mode, Scanora 3-D offers three fields of view allowing the proper image volume to be selected for each specific diagnostic task. The field of view can be positioned anywhere within the maxillofacial area. The smallest view is 60 mm x 60 mm and is ideal for single implant operations, localized dental problems and TM joints. The medium view, 75 mm x 100 mm, is suitable when the entire dentition, including the mental and mandibular foramen, needs to be examined. The largest view, 75mm x 145 mm, is the best choice when the complete dentition, both TM joints and upper cervical spine, or maxillofacial area, with airways, must be examined. Instrumentarium Dental makes dental imaging equipment.

Long-term data from a study published in the International Journal of Cancer show that women screened only with a human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA test are half as likely to develop moderate-to-severe cervical disease over the next six years as those who get only conventional cytology. The research followed women age 35 years and older, and assessed their HPV status using Qiagen's (Venlo, the Netherlands) digene HPV Test. In this study, a colposcopy exam and biopsy were used to confirm or rule out the presence of cervical disease after each woman had both the HPV test and a conventional Pap. The sensitivity of the digene HPV Test was 96% for disease detected in the first year - substantially higher than the Pap's 82.45. In addition to the HPV test's greater ability to accurately identify women with pre-cancerous cervical cells or cancer, its specificity (the likelihood that women with positive results actually have disease) was similar to that of the Pap. Qiagen makes sample and assay technologies.

• SPO Medical (New York) reported the start of field trials for its latest homecare wellness product using SPO's technology and creating a new application for the traditional home baby monitor market. The company's new baby monitor is designed to specifically address these early concerns and provides maximum reassurance for the new parents. The SPO baby monitor consists of an ankle bracelet encasing an optical sensor which will be worn by the baby, an audio base unit and a parent's receiving unit. The system is wireless based on the use of safe RF technology for transmitting the data between the baby and the parent. SPO Medical makes biosensor and microprocessor technologies.

• Veridex (Raritan, New Jersey) said that its licensing collaborator, Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LabCorp; Burlington, North Carolina), has launched a new gene methylation test for prostate cancer. The new assay uses the biological specificity of 'DNA methylation' in prostate cancer, detecting the methylation of the gene GST-Pi. Methylation is a modification of DNA that occurs primarily in cancer. Veridex is making the methylation markers in this tissue assay, GST-Pi, along with other markers, for a urine-based screening test for prostate cancer. Veridex makes cancer diagnostic products.