A Medical Device Daily

GHX (Westminster, Colorado) has acquired Market4care , which it describes as the largest provider of e-procurement and other supply chain services to hospitals and healthcare suppliers in the Netherlands.

Market4care and GHX Europe (Leverkusen, Germany), which provides similar services with its subsidiaries in the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Belgium, now serve the entire Benelux market (composed of Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg).

GHX said the acquisition “will deliver greater efficiencies to the healthcare supply chain in Europe by enabling more hospitals and suppliers to conduct business with one another electronically.”

Together, the two companies serve more then 900 hospitals and 250 suppliers in Europe. GHX said it also enables e-procurement among more than 6000 hospitals and 600 suppliers in North America.

Shareholders of both organizations have approved the acquisition, which takes effect immediately. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Market4care says it serves more than 20% of all Dutch hospitals. The company’s catalog management service contains more than 30 million items from more than 220 multinational and regional suppliers. “Now our hospitals will have access to even more suppliers and an even larger product portfolio,” said Eric Riegen of Market4care, who will serve as managing director with GHX Europe.

Prior to the acquisition, GHX Europe and Market4care had entered into a roaming agreement through which hospitals connected to Market4care and suppliers connected to GHX Europe were able to conduct business electronically. GHX Europe also operates in France and Spain under an existing roaming agreement.

“By joining together as a single company, GHX Europe and Market4care can streamline that process and eliminate redundant costs associated with supporting two trading exchanges and catalog management services,” said Peter Elmer, vice president, GHX Europe. “As a result, we can invest our resources in deploying our combined solutions to a greater number of customers, while leveraging product development resources in North America.”

GHX, whose ownership includes manufacturers, distributors, group purchasing organizations and hospitals, said it “provides value across the entire healthcare supply chain. Both hospitals and their suppliers benefit by automating the purchasing process and converting manual orders to electronic, which cost five to seven times less expensive to process.”

CE-mark approval for STA system

Milestone Scientific (Livingstone, New Jersey) said it has been granted CE-mark approval for its Single Tooth Anesthesia (STA) System, allowing it to begin marketing the system to dental professionals in European Union countries and other countries around the world that recognize the CE mark.

“CE-mark approval for the STA System ... represents yet another key step forward in the execution of our global marketing and commercialization strategy for this novel product,” said Leonard Osser, CEO and chairman of Milestone. “Considering key countries within the European Union will boast a near $33 billion collective market for professional dentistry services in 2008 ... this presents a compelling growth opportunity for Milestone and gives us more than ample customer targets to pursue as we advance STA’s worldwide market penetration initiatives.”

The FDA-cleared STA System is comprised of a computer-controlled drive unit and a single-use disposable handpiece/needle assembly. It provides real-time visual and audible feedback and verbal announcements via Milestone’s CompuFlo with Dynamic Pressure Sensing technology, “thus taking the guesswork out of the administration of anesthetic,” according to the company.”

The system enables dental professionals to precisely administer an intraligamentary injection to anesthetize a single tooth in just one or two minutes. The injection has an immediate onset, the company said, “whereas the typical block injection can take eight to 12 minutes before a dentist can start treatment.”

UK hospital newest Ablatherm-HIFU site

EDAP TMS (Lyon, France), a developer of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) treatment of prostate cancer, reported the introduction of fixed Ablatherm-HIFU services at the Capio Springfield Hospital in the UK, the first site in the UK to use the device under EDAP’s revenue-per-procedure model, which provides the user with dedicated machine availability at volume preferential terms in return for a guaranteed minimum number of procedures performed.

Capio Springfield joins a list of 120 centers offering Ablatherm-HIFU in Europe, and more than 150 worldwide.

Mark Perry, business unit sales director for the UK at EDAP, said, “Acceptance and use of HIFU is accelerating in Europe, where it is being adopted by many of the top urology centers.”

Jenny Wright, regional business development manager at Capio Springfield Hospital, said, “We have already completed 15 successful treatments using a mobile Ablatherm system. This new treatment offers real benefits to an increasing number of our patients, and this is why we have now invested in a fixed machine. Compared to other forms of treatment, Ablatherm has fewer side effects because the accuracy means healthy cells are not destroyed.”

EDAP participated in last week’s annual congress of the British Association of Urological Surgeons in Glasgow, Scotland, with Stephen Brown, consultant urological surgeon at Stepping Hill Hospital (Stockport, UK), presenting quality-of-life results obtained with Ablatherm-HIFU.

NuvaRing okayed in 13 more countries

Organon (Oss, the Netherlands) said its once-a-month contraceptive, NuvaRing (etonogestrel/ethinyl estradiol vaginal ring), has successfully completed the European mutual recognition procedure in an additional 13 countries.

NuvaRing already is approved in 14 European Union countries using the mutual recognition procedure, with the Netherlands as the reference member state. National marketing authorizations for the latest countries – Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, the UK, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, and Slovak Republic — have been applied for, and will extend NuvaRing’s availability to more than 40 countries globally.

NuvaRing is a flexible ring that is inserted into the vagina by the user and remains there for 21 days. It was developed to increase the convenience of contraceptive use and also reduces women’s estrogen exposure.