A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Medtronic (Minneapolis) recently reported the European introduction of Reveal XT, which it described as “the first insertable cardiac monitor that offers long-term and continuous monitoring of atrial fibrillation [AF].”

Noting that all other current monitoring tools are either for a limited period or on an intermittent basis, Medtronic said long-term, continuous monitoring “means that a clinician no longer needs to rely only on incomplete data to evaluate how AF may be progressing or treatment effectiveness.”

The Reveal XT Insertable Cardiac Monitor monitors AF patients 24 hours a day, every day for up to three years. Medtronic said that until now, physicians had no means of gathering detailed data, over an extended period, on the progression of AF and the effect of treatment. It said Reveal XT data “may help physicians to evaluate stroke risk and determine appropriate treatment and therapy options for their patients.”

The device recently received CE-mark approval, and the first implant of Reveal XT took place at Asklepios Klinik St. Georg (Hamburg, Germany) by Karl-Heinz Kuck, MD.

“Atrial fibrillation is the most frequent cardiac arrhythmia. It is often accompanied by symptoms that are very unpleasant for the patient,” said Kuck. “Moreover, atrial fibrillation is linked with increased mortality and an increase in the incidence of stroke, by a factor of two- to seven-fold. However, with the new Reveal XT, atrial fibrillation can now be scrutinized over a period of three years with a subcutaneous monitor. This gives us totally new possibilities for monitoring and adjusting the treatment.”

3 firms collaborate on diagnostic device

Acrongenomics (Geneva, Switzerland), Molecular Vision (London) and Pearson Matthews (Kingston upon Thames, UK) reported that they have joined forces to design a prototype point-of-care medical diagnostic device suitable for detecting kidney and cardiac biomarkers.

The basis for the device will be the proprietary Molecular Vision technology that uses organic light emitters and photodetectors, coupled with microfluidics for the detection of biomarkers in bodily fluids. The technology was first demonstrated in March.

The diagnosis relies on the optical characterization of labeled biomarker molecules and can use fluorescence, absorption, chemiluminesence or any of the other usual optical detection methods.

Chris Wright, executive chairman of Molecular Vision, said, “We are looking forward to working with Pearson Matthews and Acrongenomics on the development of our first commercial product. In combination, the three of us are able to provide innovative technology, product design and access to the market place.”

Molecular Vision, a spin-out company of Imperial Innovations, was founded by three Imperial College London researchers — Professor Donal Bradley, Professor Andrew de Mello and Dr. John de Mello — in 2002 in order to meet the need in the medical diagnostics, biosensors and analytical instrumentations markets for miniaturized chemical and biological detectors offering high sensitivity and functionality at low cost.

The company said it has addressed the market by inventing a method for optical detection based on recent advances in organic electronics and light-emitting diodes combined with microfluidics technology. Molecular Vision signed a development contract with Acrongenomics to jointly exploit and commercialize the technology.

Acrongenomics focuses on investing in and commercializing technology platforms in the life sciences sector.

Pearson Matthews is a specialist design development company with 20 years of healthcare sector experience for companies in the U.S. and Europe.

V rmland adding two Sectra systems

Sectra (Link ping, Sweden) reported that V rmland County Council in Sweden is expanding the digitalization of its mammography operations by investing in the company’s Sectra MicroDose mammography systems, which it said has the market’s lowest radiation dose.

The county council has used Sectra MicroDose mammography since 2006 and is now expanding its focus on digital mammography by buying two additional low-dose systems from Sectra.

“Sectra’s mammography equipment provides us with a safe, ergonomic and efficient way of working, which will enable us to successfully manage our expanded focus on mammography-based medical examinations,” said Birgitta Andersson, head of mammography operations in V rmland.

With the new equipment in place, the V rmland council expects a substantial increase in the number of women who can be called for mammography screening each year.

“Such a considerable flow of patients also imposes major demands on the equipment in terms of service and maintenance, and Sectra has a well-developed organization to cope with this,” Andersson said.

More than 900 hospitals worldwide use the Sectra system and more than 40 million radiology examinations are diagnosed annually. The company was founded in 1978 and has its roots in the Link ping Institute of Technology.

Distribution pact for Rapid BSE Assay in China

Genesis Bioventures (Los Angeles) reported that BioBDC, the company’s exclusive agent for sales and distribution of Prion Developmental Laboratories’ (PDL; Buffalo Grove, Illinois) Rapid BSE assay for “mad cow” disease testing for the Pacific Rim, has received a letter of intent from Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise Co. (Beijing, China) to sell and distribute the Rapid BSE test kits throughout that country.

Genesis, which holds the exclusive worldwide sales, marketing and distribution license for PDL’s rapid assays, said the BSE assay is “an inexpensive, fast, and easy-to-perform alternative to current laboratory methods.”

BioBDC is a diagnostic marketing company holding an exclusive sales and distribution contract for the lateral flow test — which will become the benchmark platform for testing for Prion-related animal diseases — in the Pacific Rim.

“We are excited about the progress we have made with our international team in establishing market acceptance in our distribution area,” said Stuart Brame, president of BioBDC. “The uniqueness and user ease of the BSE assay has established a new on-site, inexpensive benchmark for related testing and we anticipate quick market penetration as we move to product sales.”

Genesis said it intends to establish international distribution by exclusive licenses with key partners in six major territories: Pacific Rim, U.S., Canada, Europe, South America and Rest of World.