A Medical Device Daily

Med Discovery (Plan Les Outes, Switzerland) and Draximage (Quebec), the radiopharmaceutical division of Draxis Health (also Quebec) said that they have established a research collaboration agreement 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. This collaboration provides initially 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 proteins will be produced at Med Discovery in Switzerland and radiolabeled by Draximage in Canada.

The data for these proteins from this collaboration will yield information that is essential for commencing clinical studies. This is a prerequisite for their development as potential treatments for cancers where there are currently few satisfactory therapeutic alternatives.

The advent of new agents that can home in on molecular targets, such as cancer cells, opens new doors for designing radiopharmaceuticals. 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.

“This agreement paves the way for a fruitful collaboration between our two companies,” said David Deperthes, CEO of Med Discovery. “We are very happy to be working with Draximage, one of the world leaders in the development and commercialization of radiopharmaceuticals. We believe that this collaboration will not only help advance our lead molecules to the clinic, but also generate exciting possibilities for future products based on a combination of our two companies’ expertise.”

In other agreement news:

• International Isotopes (INIS; Idaho Falls, Idaho), said it has entered into an agreement with Alpha Omega Services (AOS; Bellflower California) to be its exclusive worldwide distributor for a new family of Type B(U) radioactive material transportation containers.

AOS has been working on the development and licensing of these containers, as well as working with INIS on the distributor agreement, for about two years. These AOS containers will be the newest Type B(U) package designed in the U.S. and will meet all of the most current international atomic energy agency regulations for the safe transport of radioactive material. The AOS containers are intended to replace dozens of models of radioactive material containers currently used by U.S. government and commercial interests that will no longer be approved for use in the U.S. after Oct. 1, 2008.

Steve Laflin, INIS president/CEO said: “The AOS containers will be offered in a range of sizes and capacities that will permit them to meet a wide range of applications including transportation of radioisotopes, activated materials, and even irradiated fuel.”

International Isotopes makes nuclear medicine calibration and reference standards, high purity fluoride gases, and a variety of cobalt-60 products such as teletherapy sources.

• Aetna (Hartford, Connecticut) and Finger Lakes Health (Geneva, New York), which includes Geneva General Hospital (also Geneva) and Soldiers and Sailors Hospital (Penn Yan, New York), reported that they have reached agreement on a new multi-year contract that will allow Aetna members to receive in-network medical care at both facilities and from its affiliated physicians.

Finger Lakes Health is the largest provider of hospital services in the Central Finger Lakes, serving patients in Ontario, Seneca, Yates and Wayne Counties.

A healthcare benefits company, Aetna serves about 34.9 million people.

• Premier Purchasing Partners (Charlotte, North Carolina) reported new agreements for surgical blades have been awarded to BD (Franklin Lakes, New Jersey), DeRoyal Industries (Powell, Tennessee), and Personna Medical (Verona, Virginia).

These new agreements are effective Oct. 1, 2007 and offer discounted pricing on standard surgical scalpels and blades, safety scalpels and blades, and specialty blades to all acute care members of the Premier alliance.

Premier is a healthcare purchasing network.