Kinetic Concepts (KCI; San Antonio), a medical technology company with leadership positions in advanced wound care and therapeutic support systems, said that it will not be a contracted negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) supplier in phase one of the competitive bidding program administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The program covers Medicare home placements in 10 designated metropolitan areas and is scheduled to take effect in July 2008.

"We continue to believe that NPWT has been improperly included in competitive bidding due to a demonstrable lack of comparable or effective alternatives to KCI's V.A.C. Therapy system," said Catherine Burzik, president/CEO of KCI. "We believe that the CMS bidding and contracting process does not ensure access to effective NPWT in the home, and Medicare beneficiaries are likely to be harmed as a result."

To date, approximately 3 million patients have been treated with this technology and there is currently no clinically-proven equivalent to the proprietary foam-based V.A.C. Therapy system.

QMed to shutter operations in June

QMed (Eatontown, New Jersey) said that despite a lengthy and thorough search to find a strategic alternative or sale of the company with the assistance of its financial advisors, the company was not successful in its efforts and will discontinue its operations in June 2008 and wind up its business.

Management believes it is not likely that there will be funds for shareholder distribution.

QMed has developed evidence-based clinical information management systems for use by health plan customers. The QMed systems incorporate disease management services to patients and decision support to physicians. The company's subsidiaries have specialized in serving high-risk populations of Medicare beneficiaries.

Diagnostics team wins MIT $100K award

A team proposing patent-pending technology for diagnostic tools that will dramatically improve the health care management of patients in developing countries walked away with $100,000 in start-up funds after beating out six remaining finalists during the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship competition awards ceremony held at MIT (Cambridge, Massachusetts).

This year's winner, Diagnostic-For-All (DFA), is a not-for-profit that will deliver affordable point-of-care diagnostic solutions to the global medical community. Based on technology developed in chemist George Whitesides' laboratory at Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts), DFA's offering will serve as a platform for simple, portable, low-cost, and easy-to-dispose diagnostic tools for developing countries. Field clinicians have applauded DFA for its efforts to date in developing rapid and accurate diagnostic tools for liver, kidney, and metabolic diseases.

DFA secured the grand prize after successfully presenting to a panel of expert judges that included venture capitalists Gururaj "Desh" Deshpande, co-founder and chairman of Sycamore Networks, and Robert Metcalfe, inventor of the Ethernet and founder of 3Com, who also served as the evening's keynote speaker.

Now in its 19th year, the MIT $100K serves as an economic barometer for emerging markets that are getting funded by venture capitalists. Since its launch, the competition has led to the creation of more than 85 companies with an aggregate market capitalization of about $10 billion.

DaVita Clinical reports numerous trials

DaVita Clinical Research (DCR; El Segundo, California), a Phase I-IV clinical trial research service business specializing in renal-related drug and device research and development for FDA approval, reported completion of 13 Phase I clinical trials in 2007 and has another 34 active trials in late-stage drug development.

"The recent DaVita Clinical Research accomplishments can be attributed to our continuous research quality index measurements and commitment to service excellence," said Chris Rucker, DCR VP/GM. "These values serve as a catalyst for our research objectives, and allow us to participate in the advancement of renal knowledge and practice."

DCR provides Phase I renal studies services including renal, hepatic, cardiovascular, dermatology and endocrine subjects, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and drug interactions. Phase II-IV renal studies services include pre-ESRD and ESRD subjects, clinical efficacy and safety, special populations and post-marketing studies.