A Medical Device Daily

Merlyn Medical (Tustin, California) has signed an agreement with Suzuken Co. (Nagoya, Japan) to serve as sole Japanese distributor for Merlyn’s line of airway management products.

In reciprocal agreements, Merlyn will be worldwide distributor for several products manufactured by Kenzmedico , Suzuken’s medical device division, and Elltec (also Nagoya), which it described as “Japan’s leading manufacturer of infusion/blood warmers.” Suzuken will distribute Merlyn’s EndoFlex endotracheal tubes, which have a flexible distal tip that can be adjusted when needed, EndoMask laryngeal masks and EndoTube, a full line of standard tracheal tubes.

Jay Kotin, Merlyn president, said the company’s airway products were launched at last week’s Japanese Society of Anesthesiologists conference in Sapporo.

A $12 billion company with 11,000 employees, Suzuken is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

“Suzuken continuously searches worldwide for superior-quality, scientifically sound medical devices which will be of value to the Japanese healthcare market,” said Nobuo Suzuki, Suzuken director and general manager of product development and marketing. “We believe that Merlyn’s EndoFlex and other airway management products will lead to better, safer healthcare for patients in Japan.”

Merlyn will distribute the Kenz patented stereophonic stethoscope and a line of proprietary fitness monitors, including dedicated Physical Activity Analysis Software that charts and analyzes energy expenditure and duration data at nine intensity levels for up to 200 days.

Kotin said his company also will distribute a group of blood and fluid warmers manufactured by Elltec. That agreement includes worldwide distributorship of the new FlexWarmer, which requires neither battery nor electric power.

China distribution accord for AMDL

AMDL (Tustin, California), which has operations in Shenzhen, Jiangxi and Jilin, China, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Jade Pharmaceutical (JPI), said that Jade, through its JJB subsidiary, has signed new distribution and agency agreements with Double Crane Medicine Co. (Changsha) and Anhui Huayuan Medical Co. (AHM), a subsidiary of China Resources (Holdings) .

The one-year, renewable agreement with Double Crane Medicine covers the provinces and cities of Hunan, Hubei, Sichuan, Chongqing, Guangxi, Yunnan and Guizhou. Double Crane will initially be selling 12 Jade products.

A similar agreement with China Resources covers primarily the provinces and cities of Anhui, Shandong, Hebei, Shanxi, Beijing and Tianjing.

Frank Zheng, managing director of Jade, said that the new distribution agreement with AHM, coupled with the two new relationships recently with Double Crane Medicine and Shanghai SiFul Medicine, all require JJB’s distribution partners to meet minimum sales thresholds of about $3.8 million annually for each distribution agreement.

“Based upon all three distribution agreements and discussions between JJB and its new distribution partners, we believe that there is a potential to increase JPI’s sales in Northern China and the Shanghai regional markets by as much as $24 million over the next 12 month sales cycle,” he said.

Together with Jade, AMDL engages manufactures pharmaceutical and testing products.

Bridgetech, ValiRx in accord

Bridgetech Holdings International (San Diego), whose focus is on “maximizing the potential of emerging healthcare products and services in the U.S. and Asian markets,” said it has signed a strategic alliance agreement with ValiRx , a UK biopharmaceutical company.

The companies said the agreement governs cooperative efforts in creating and exploiting market and technology transfer initiatives between Europe and China.

“Bridgetech’s ability to excel in the marketplace is in no small part thanks to our set of global alliance partners,” said Michael Chermak, company CEO and chairman. “ValiRx is one of the European industry leaders in cancer therapeutics and diagnostics.”

Dr. Satu Vainikka, CEO of ValiRx, said, “We are experienced in successful transferring of technologies and products into the commercial endpoints. ValiRx is excited to execute this alliance agreement with Bridgetech to accelerate the process of taking knowledge generated in laboratories and turning them into market-ready products.”

Bridgetech said it is “leveraging its network of relationships in China and the U.S. to capitalize on the demand for Western healthcare in Greater China. The company is bringing emerging drugs, devices and diagnostics to Greater China, with an initial focus on oncology.”

ValiRx is a biopharmaceutical development company, saying that it is attempting to build a portfolio of complementary cancer-related therapeutic and diagnostic technologies.

Pluristem unit gets Israeli grant

Pluristem Life Systems (New York), a biotherapeutics company focused on the commercialization of products for a variety of malignant, degenerative and auto-immune indications, said its fully owned subsidiary, Pluristem , has received a competitive R&D grant of about $830,000 from Israel’s Office of the Chief Scientist (CSO).

Zami Aberman, Pluristem CEO and chairman, said, “We are [pleased] that the CSO is supporting PLX development for the second year and proud they decided to support the development of PLX for additional clinical indications targeting a potential market of $30 billion.”

The 3% royalty-bearing grant is part of the Israeli government’s Ministry of Trade and Industry program that offers incentives to high-tech companies for research and development.

The monies were designated by the CSO to further develop Pluristem’s first planned product, PLX-I, which targets a $2 billion market and is intended to resolve the global shortfall of matched tissue for bone marrow transplantation. “The grant will support Pluristem’s goal to explore the use of our placental expanded mesenchymal stem (PLX) cells for other clinical indications,” the company said.

Pluristem is focused on the commercialization of non-personalized (allogeneic) stem cell therapy products for treating various severe degenerative, malignant and autoimmune disorders. PLX-I targets a $2 billion global market.

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