A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

LipoScience (Raleigh, North Carolina) reported a collaboration with BioReference Laboratories (Elmwood Park, New Jersey) to offer the NMR LipoProfile test.

Portions of the NMR LipoProfile test, developed by LipoScience, will be used by BioReference Laboratories in its new Advanced Cardiovascular Testing (ACT) program.

The ACT program provides physicians a cardiovascular report including a full suite of results to aid physicians in management of their patients’ cardiovascular health that functions as a “Report Card” to help patients and their physicians track the results of the ACT test over time.

BioReference bills itself as the largest independent regional clinical laboratory in the Northeast providing focused laboratory services on a national basis in the areas of oncology (primarily hematopathology), clinical genetics and correctional healthcare. The agreement with LipoScience will expand availability of the NMR LipoProfile test.

“This valuable collaboration with BioReference Laboratories builds on our corporate strategy to broaden access to the NMR LipoProfile test and decentralize clinical applications of NMR technology,” said Richard Brajer, president/CEO of LipoScience.

The test uses NMR spectroscopy to analyze blood plasma samples and provide detailed information about the number of LDL particles in the bloodstream. The number of LDL particles is the optimal measure of LDL and of the heart disease risk that LDL causes.

LDL particles are containers in the blood that carry the so-called “bad” cholesterol. The number of these particles (LDL-P) is a better indicator of heart disease risk than the amount of cholesterol the particles contain. The NMR LipoProfile test measures LDL-P and provides related information, enabling doctors to optimally manage the heart disease risk of their patients.

In other agreements news:

• Med Discovery (Plan Les Outes, Switzerland) and Draximage (Quebec), the radiopharmaceutical division of Draxis Health (Quebec) said that they have established a research collaboration to explore the combination of Med Discovery’s targeted protein therapeutics with Draximage’s radiopharmaceutical products in the therapeutic and diagnostics field.

Med Discovery’s lead proteins are themselves potential therapeutic agents for prostate cancer and a variety of other cancers. The collaboration provides for the radiolabeling of certain of Med Discovery’s proteins by Draximage to assess the enhancement of their therapeutic action and their capability to detect microtumors.

The data from this collaboration is designed to yield information essential for commencing clinical studies, a prerequisite for their development as potential treatments for cancers.

The advent of new agents that can home in on molecular targets, such as cancer cells, opens new doors for designing radiopharmaceuticals, the companies said. Attaching radioactive isotopes to such agents may provide a way to more precisely deliver highly localized radiation therapy or allow researchers to better find and track metastatic tumors or more effectively monitor the progress of therapy.

• ARUP Laboratories (Salt Lake City), a clinical and anatomic pathology reference lab, reported renewal of a multi-source group purchasing agreement with Premier Purchasing Partners (Chicago), extending a contract between them, in effect since 1997, under which ARUP provided testing services to Premier’s clients within the U.S. The renewed contract runs from Oct. 1, 2007, through Sept. 30, 2010.

ARUP will continue to serve as an authorized provider of laboratory testing services for Premier’s alliance of more than 1,500 affiliate hospital and healthcare facilities.

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