A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

CAS Medical Systems (Branford, Connecticut), a device company focused on non-invasive vital signs monitoring, said it has been awarded a Phase IIb Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The three-year, $2.8 million grant will be used primarily to support advanced clinical outcome studies that focus on the company’s Laser-Sight technology, CAS said. This technology is incorporated into the Fore-Sight cerebral oximeter, which started shipping to distributors and customers in the second quarter of this year. Further clinical studies funded by this grant will be used to expand the clinical applications for Fore-Sight outside of the initial target market of high risk cardiovascular surgery, the company said.

“The award of this peer-reviewed grant will enable us to provide physicians with expanded guidance for establishing cerebral tissue oxygen saturation threshold values in various medical situations. Studies with this funding are planned to begin within the next two months,” said Paul Benni, chief scientific officer for the company.

To date, CAS has been awarded six SBIR grants totaling $5 million from NINDS to support the development of its absolute cerebral oximeter.

CAS Medical Systems’ product lines include blood pressure measurement technology, vital signs monitoring equipment, blood pressure cuffs, apnea monitoring equipment and products for neonatal intensive care.

In contracts news:

• Akers Biosciences (ABI; Thorofare, New Jersey) said in addition to Monday’s news about the U.S. Army placing an order for $2.5 million of BreathScan alcohol safety units, the U.S. Navy placed orders for the same products valued at $2 million, deliverable in shipments beginning immediately and continuing through 2007.

ABI develops rapid, point-of-care screening and testing products and has been catering for the demand from several departments of the United States Government as a result of its efforts to increase safety awareness. The units provided consist of the company’s disposable breathalyzer device housed within its portable and refillable key ring case.

Thomas Nicolette, president/CFO of ABI, said: “This latest order will take the total number of our BreathScan alcohol safety units in use by the U.S. military to over 1.5 million. This provides a basis for a recurring revenue business model generated from this product line as the key ring cases will require refill once the alcohol breathalyzers are used and disposed.

Our BreathScan alcohol safety units are currently in use by the United States Special Operation Command, the United States Army and now the Navy.”

ABI develops, point-of-care screening and testing products designed to bring healthcare information both rapidly and directly to the patient or healthcare provider.