A Medical Device Daily

Medtronic (Minneapolis) reported it has entered into a distribution agreement with Axon Systems (Hauppage, New York) to bring to market the next generation of surgeon-directed and professionally supported spinal neuromonitoring technology and expand the availability of this technology.

This agreement will have an immediate impact on Medtronic's spinal neuromonitoring product line and sets the stage for possible integration across all of Medtronic's core spinal therapy offerings, the company said.

The first new products enabled by this strategic alliance will be the NIM-ECLIPSE spinal System of neuromonitoring capital and disposable equipment. NIM-ECLIPSE received 510(k) clearance in the U.S. in May 2006. This equipment will allow for as many as 32 channels of simultaneous electroencephalography (EEG), evoked potentials (EP) and electromyography (EMG) monitoring. The NIM-ECLIPSE spinal system also provides for automatic pedicle screw monitoring with direct nerve and screw stimulation. During spinal surgery, the NIM-Eclipse may allow physicians to monitor critical neural pathways which helps prevent post-operative neurological deficits.

Axon Systems is a privately held developer of neuromonitoring technology used during spinal surgery.

In other agreement activity,OraSure Technologies (Bethlehem) reported an agreement for the supply of its OraQuick Rapid HIV-1/2 antibody test to the Supply Chain Management System ("SCMS"). Created with funds from the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), SCMS procures essential medicines, diagnostic tests and other supplies for the prevention and treatment of HIV for distribution to developing countries supported by PEPFAR. SCMS may purchase the OraQuick® test for an initial one-year period and an optional second year.

"The execution of an agreement with SCMS is an important development for several reasons," said Douglas Michels, president/CEO of OraSure. "This agreement will allow PEPFAR countries to access the efficiencies of the consolidated supply chain managed by SCMS in order to obtain our OraQuick® test. In addition, this agreement will provide a vehicle for expanding our efforts to make the OraQuick® test more widely available internationally and in particular in developing countries supported by PEPFAR. We are committed to working with SCMS and other international agencies to make rapid HIV testing as widely available as possible around the world."

PEPFAR is a five-year, $15 billion program established in 2003 by President George W. Bush to combat HIV/AIDS on a global basis. Through PEPFAR, the U.S. government works with international, national and local leaders to support a multi-faceted and integrated approach to HIV prevention, treatment and patient care.

OraSure develops saliva specimen collection devices using patented oral fluid technologies, diagnostic products including immunoassays and other in vitro diagnostic tests, and other medical devices.

Scan-Med designs MRI technology.