A Medical Device Daily

VeriChip (Delray Beach, Florida), a provider of radio frequency identification (RFID) systems for healthcare, and Digital Angel (South St. Paul, Minnesota), owner of Patent No. 7,125,382 for an embedded bio-sensor system, said they have entered into a memorandum of understanding with Receptors (Chaska, Minnesota), making proteomics and artificial receptor technologies, to develop a prototype renewable glucose sensor to use with an implantable bio-sensing RFID microchip to measure glucose levels in the human body.

VeriChip will manage the partnership project, with the assistance of Digital Angel. Receptors will be responsible for demonstrating a self-contained glucose-sensing system in Phase I of the project. VeriChip said it expects to have a functioning prototype within six to twelve months.

Scott Silverman, CEO and chairman of VeriChip, said, “The partnership will accelerate our development efforts to create a prototype product and subsequently initiate clinical trials. We believe an implantable, glucose-sensing microchip could materially improve the lives of people with diabetes by negating their need to withdraw blood multiple times each day.

“Over time, we anticipate that VeriChip’s medical device division will grow through implantable RF and other technologies. We look at this glucose sensor development project as a first step in evolving our business from implantable RF identification devices to devices that can treat, diagnose and aid in patient care,” Silverman said.

The implantable chip will use a passive transponder, a sensor and integrated circuitry that could allow anyone implanted with the microchip to painlessly scan it to determine the patient’s blood glucose concentration. The microchip would then transmit the glucose data back to a wireless scanner that displays the glucose level. The RFID microchip would be powered by the scanner signal, avoiding the need for a battery in the microchip.

VeriChip said it intends to market it as Digital Angel’s exclusive licensee in the area of human implantable identification products.

Receptors’ products focus on the development of an integrated proteomics toolkit, with an emphasis on high-performance protein isolation and biomarker discovery.

In other agreements:

• Prometric (Baltimore) a company that specializes in technology-enabled testing and assessment services, and the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM; Lexington, Kentucky), one of the largest medical specialty boards in the U.S., yesterday jointly reported an exclusive contract for global Internet and computer-based test delivery.

Working in partnership with Prometric, the ABFM will realize a number of improvements and efficiencies to its testing program, including eliminating the need for the ABFM to maintain its own technology, test driver and banking system, thereby reducing its costs. Additionally, the ABFM will now be able to offer its programs at a larger number of locations and accommodate an increased number of candidates in a shorter period of time.

“The ABFM was impressed with the diligence that the Prometric staff demonstrated in meeting our testing needs and requirements,” said James Puffer, MD, president/CEO of the ABFM. “We believe that the technology solutions provided by Prometric will assist us with achieving greater efficiency in the way in which we develop and deliver our examinations in the future.”

Ray Kelly, senior VP Sales, Marketing and Client Services, said, “The ABFM was seeking a testing partner who could provide cost-effective access to reliable technology that would cover every element of its test program and take them to the next generation of computer based testing. Prometric created a comprehensive and customized technology solution to meet its exact needs. Prometric’s level of attentiveness, flexibility and responsiveness is critical to why our clients choose to partner with us.”

ABFM is a not-for-profit, private organization whose objective is to encourage excellence in medical care.

• Premier Purchasing Partners (San Diego) reported agreements in three new categories including adhesive skin closures, tape products and cohesive bandages, and transparent dressings have been awarded to 3M (St. Paul, Minnesota).

These new agreements, effective Oct. 1, 2007, offer discounted pricing on skin closure, dressing, and tape products to all acute and continuum of care members of the Premier alliance.

Premier is a healthcare alliance serving 1,700 hospitals and more than 47,000 other healthcare sites.