• Accuray (Sunnyvale, California), a developer of radiosurgery products, has entered into an agreement with CyberHeart (Menlo Park, California) to use Accuray's technology to develop a non-invasive method for performing cardiac ablation. CyberHeart is exploring the use of Accuray's CyberKnife robotic radiosurgery system to generate these lesions non-invasively. The system's intelligent robotics, accuracy and tracking capabilities will be used to target the heart's affected tissue and create an ablation lesion. CyberHeart said it has received commitments for independent venture capital financing to fund technical and clinical R&D of a cardiac ablation system that incorporates Accuray's technology. It said that in the event that it is able to develop and commercialize such a system, Accuray will be the sole supplier of radiosurgery equipment to CyberHeart.

• Biosense Webster (Diamond Bar, California) a developer of cardiac mapping and ablation technology, and Medtronic (Minneapolis) reported plans to collaborate on a clinical trial, educational initiatives and a product development program aimed at advancing the care of patients with cardiac arrhythmias. The companies said they will focus on three areas of interest: a clinical trial, a technology development initiative and educational programs. They said they will design the clinical trial to "create a new care pathway" for identifying candidates most likely to have a successful ablation treatment outcome and increase the acceptance of ablation therapy. The companies said they will integrate specific technologies to provide new solutions to the treatment of complex cardiac arrhythmias.

• Compugen (Tel Aviv, Israel) reported acollaboration with the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minnesota) for discovering and validating biomarkers for the presence of unstable atherosclerotic plaque in coronary artery disease (CAD) and cerebrovascular disease. Vulnerable plaque is regarded as the most common cause of complications from CAD, leading to increased incidence of heart attack and stroke. Currently, there are no diagnostic tests to identify patients with unstable atherosclerotic plaques, according to Compugen. Compugen's integrated analysis will incorporate data from biological materials provided by Mayo, as well as Compugen's own expression and clinical data. Compugen will have exclusive commercialization rights for products resulting from this collaboration, with Mayo to receive milestones.

• HemoSense (San Jose, California) signed an agreement with Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp; Burlington, North Carolina) to supply the HemoSense portable INRatio PT/INR monitoring system to identified LabCorp laboratories. The INRatio system will also be made available to selected LabCorp patient service centers and affiliated physician offices nationwide. HemoSense's INRatio system consists of a small, portable meter and disposable test strips that provide a quick measurement of blood-clotting time, known as a PT/INR value. This test helps patients reduce the risk of strokes through frequent monitoring of anticoagulation therapy.

• Invitrogen (Carlsbad, California) and Cytori Therapeutics (San Diego) entered into a global strategic supply and commercialization agreement to offer adipose-derived stem cell-based research products to life science researchers. Invitrogen will offer Cytori's stem cell products to broaden the understanding of adult stem cells and to discover and accelerate development of preclinical applications for adipose derived stem cells. Cytori is developing stem and regenerative cell therapies for cardiovascular disease, reconstructive surgery and many other serious chronic, and life threatening conditions.

• LifeNet (Virginia Beach, Virginia) reported partnerships with four independent distributors to increase the availability of saphenous veins for surgeries. LifeNet will begin work with Pace Medical (Bejing), Tuzik (Norwell, Massachusetts), Products for Surgery (Forest Hill, Texas), and Life Systems Health. LifeNet provides peripheral vascular disease bypass grafts and coronary artery bypass grafts. These saphenous vein allografts are an alternative for patients lacking available autogenous veins, the company said.

• Welch Allyn (Skaneateles Falls, New York) and Masimo (Irvine, California), the inventor of Pulse CO-Oximetry and Read-Through Motion and Low Perfusion pulse oximetry, are partnering to incorporate Masimo SET pulse oximetry into new versions of the Welch Allyn Spot Vital Signs and Welch Allyn Propaq LT devices. The two devices allow spot checking and patient monitoring respectively in ambulatory and acute care settings, and can be operated by caregivers with varying levels of training. Spot Vital Signs captures non-invasive blood pressure measurements using the oscillometric method. The Propaq LT patient monitor can be used in various bedside, transport and ambulatory applications. It is deployable in areas in and outside the hospital, and is able to monitor heart rate, 3- or 5-lead ECG, noninvasive blood pressure, SpO2, and respiration.

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