A Medical Device Daily

Scivanta Medical (Spring Lake, New Jersey) reported that it has entered into development agreements with Ethox International (Buffalo, New York) regarding the Hickey Cardiac Monitoring System (HCMS). Ethox will provide Scivanta engineering and development support for the catheter component of the HCMS in exchange for the rights to manufacture the component upon regulatory approval and commercialization of the HCMS. Manufacturing terms will be subject to a supply agreement, which will be entered into by Scivanta and Ethox upon regulatory approval of the HCMS, the companies said.

Scivanta also amended its technology license agreement dated Nov. 10, 2006 with The Research Foundation of the State University of New York , for and on behalf of the University of Buffalo , and Donald Hickey, MD and Clas Lundgren, MD, PhD. According to the amended agreement, the Foundation, Hickey and Lundgren were permitted to enter into a non-exclusive manufacturing license agreement with Ethox, whereby Ethox was granted the right to manufacture the catheter component of the HCMS for Scivanta.

As a result of these agreements, the development of the HCMS will now be partially funded through a technology incentive program contract awarded by the New York State Office of Science Technology and Academic Research to the Foundation and the Foundation’s company partner, Ethox. Up to $750,000 is available under this incentive program for the development of the HCMS, the company said.

Ethox is required to match the $750,000 of proceeds available under the incentive program by providing $187,500 of cash and $562,500 of in-kind contributions. Scivanta will provide Ethox with the $187,500 of cash required under the technology incentive program while Ethox will provide the $562,500 of in-kind contributions. The technology incentive program funding will primarily support the catheter and software development of the HCMS by Ethox and Applied Sciences Group (ASG; Buffalo, New York).

Scivanta also entered into a development agreement with ASG. ASG will provide software engineering services to Scivanta for the continuing development of the HCMS. The fees being charged by ASG related to this agreement could range between $335,000 and $400,000.

“Entering into these development agreements with Ethox and ASG is an important step in commercializing the HCMS. We believe that the expertise each company possesses will be extremely valuable to Scivanta as we work towards gaining regulatory approval and commercializing the HCMS,” said David LaVance, president/CEO of Scivanta. “We are also excited that Ethox and the Foundation will be able to utilize the proceeds from the technology incentive program contract to help offset the development costs associated with the HCMS.”

Scivanta says it is focused on acquiring and developing medical technologies and products which offer advantages over available medical procedures and treatments. The company has acquired the exclusive worldwide rights to develop the Hickey Cardiac Monitoring System, a minimally-invasive two-balloon esophageal catheter system used to monitor cardiac performance. The HCMS is expected to provide the primary measurements of cardiac performance in a minimally invasive and cost-effective manner and is designed to be used outside of an intensive care setting, the company said.

Ethox is a global manufacturer and provider of medical products and laboratory services.

ASG provides software engineering solutions for applications involving research, industrial and manufacturing environments, design-oriented engineering services, technical project management and training.

In other agreement news:

• LHC Group (Lafayette, Louisiana), a provider of post-acute healthcare services primarily in rural markets, reported that it has entered into a partnership agreement with The University of Tennessee Medical Center (Knoxville, Tennessee), to provide home health and hospice services. LHC Group will oversee the day-to-day operations. The service area of this partnership spans 16 counties in East Tennessee and brings LHC Group’s total service area in Tennessee to 26 counties.

Also, in a separate transaction, LHC Group said it has acquired 100% interest in the assets of Wetzel County Home Care (New Martinsville, West Virginia). The service area of this acquisition spans two counties and brings LHC Group’s total service area in West Virginia to 24 counties covered by five locations.

The approximate combined population in the respective primary service areas covered by these two transactions is 1.1 million, with almost 14% over the age of 65, and total combined Medicare revenue for 12 months is roughly $5.4 million.

LHC Group provides home-based services through its home nursing agencies and hospices and facility-based services through its long-term acute care hospitals and rehabilitation facilities.

• Amerinet (St. Louis), a national health care purchasing organization, said it recently signed an agreement to serve as the sole-source purchasing agent for the members of the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA; Chicago), formerly the Illinois Free Standing Surgery Center Association.

The partnership will also focus on Total Spend Management Solutions including cost reduction, contract evaluation and implementation, and education and program coordination at all of the association’s member facilities, Amerinet said.

Amerinet will also negotiate custom contracts on behalf of ASCA, and make available an array of competitively priced, quality products and services provided by industry leaders. This three-year agreement creates a partnership of shared responsibility to reduce costs and discover new revenue streams.