Sometimes big things come in small packages.

Thus, newly created Pipeline-Neuro (Parsippany, New Jersey) is developing what might appear to be a small solution to a big problem.

NeuroPro Technologies (Modesto, California) and Pipeline Biomedical Holdings (Parsippany, New Jersey) have formed the new company to develop a rapid test for detecting cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The companies said development would begin immediately.

Each year in the U.S. more than a million people are treated and released from hospital emergency departments with traumatic head injuries, according to Pipeline-Neuro. An additional 230,000 people are hospitalized with traumatic head injuries while only 2% to 3% of head injuries will result in the occurrence of CSF leaks, the company noted.

Current methods of positively identifying CSF can take anywhere from two days to two weeks for results, during which time the doctor may admit the patient to be on the safe side and needlessly treat them for a CSF leak, the company said.

That's why Pipeline-Neuro said it wants to develop a rapid test for detecting CSF.

"It may seem like a small thing but it can actually have a big impact economically both for the patient and their insurance company," John Green, COO for NeuroPro, told Medical Device Daily.

Green said that the genesis behind developing this test came from NeuroPro's two co-founders who are both practicing neurosurgeons.

"They are intimately aware of the needs of other neurosurgeons and the [seriousness] of a CSF leak," Green said.

In forming Pipeline-Neuro, all the intellectual property and the know-how up to this point is coming from NeuroPro, Green said, and the funding is coming from Pipeline Biomedical.

"An accurate, rapid test for detecting cerebrospinal fluid has been needed in the healthcare marketplace for a long time," said Robert Cohen, president/CEO of the new company. "Such a test will help emergency room doctors and neurosurgeons rapidly detect CSF leaks that can lead to dangerous infections in the brain or spine."

Benjamin Remington, MD, NeuroPro founder and practicing neurosurgeon, also emphasized the importance of developing the test.

"Determining whether there is a CSF leak is a critical point in the diagnosis of a head injury. A quick and accurate answer helps the patient get the right treatment immediately and can help avoid unnecessary expenses," Remington said.

By developing a new company for the sole purpose of developing a rapid CSF detection kit, Green said the company would have more options down the road.

"We fully intend to commercialize [the CSF detection kit] but most likely there's going to be a bigger fish out there and if this is the only thing the company is developing it would be easier to sell the whole company," Green said, though he emphasized that the possibility of selling the technology to a larger company was not a primary factor in creating Pipeline-Neuro.

NeuroPro Technologies was formed in 2002, and Pipeline Biomedical Holdings was formed this year.

In other new ventures:

• Carestream Health (Rochester, New York) said it has signed agreements with healthcare institutions around the world that have implemented its digital medical imaging and information technology (IT) systems to serve as "Center for Excellence" sites.

Carestream emerged this year when Onex (Toronto) bought Eastman Kodak's Health Group (Rochester, New York) for up to $2.55 billion (Medical Device Daily, May 2, 2007). The sale was first disclosed in January (MDD, Jan. 11, 2007), followed by the adoption of the name Carestream Health (MDD, Jan. 31, 2007).

"These organizations were specifically chosen because of their commitment to being on the leading edge of healthcare technology and patient care," said Michael Jackman, president of Healthcare Information Solutions for Carestream Health. "We will work closely with these healthcare providers to design, develop, test and implement our next generation of powerful digital solutions to enable operational efficiency as well as an enhanced patient experience."

The Center of Excellence sites include: Long Beach Memorial Medical Center (Long Beach, California); Queensway Carleton Hospital (Ottawa); Rochester General Hospital, the University of Rochester Medical Center, and the Borg Imaging Group, (all Rochester, New York); ABC Hospital (Mexico City); Uppsala University Hospital (Uppsala, Sweden); Hopital Fondation Saint Joseph (Paris); Florence Nightingale Krankenhaus Kaiserswerth (D sseldorf, Germany); Grupo Hospitalario Quiron (Madrid); USL Ferrara - Lagosanto Hospital (Lagosanto, Italy); Santa Maria Nuova Hospital (Reggio Emilia, Italy); Al-Sabah Hospital (Kuwait City); Hunter New England Health (NSW, Australia); and Kansai Medical University Hirakata Hospital (Osaka, Japan).

In addition to hosting visits for other healthcare providers who want to see products from Carestream Health in action, these facilities have agreed to collaborate on future innovations in digital medical imaging and healthcare IT, according to Carestream. By providing a clinical test environment and expert insights, these organizations will help Carestream develop products tailored to the unique needs of healthcare customers around the world, the company said. Some of these products will carry the Kodak brand, as Carestream Health, the company noted.

Carestream said it now owns all former Kodak Health Group sub-brands such as Carestream. About 8,100 employees associated with the Health Group have transferred to Carestream.

• ChartOne (Burlington, Massachusetts) said it has formally established a technology division to compliment its service offerings to the hospital industry. The company said the new division — formed in response to increasing technology sales and to prepare for continued growth — is eWebHealth.

To signal this change, ChartOne said it has re-branded itself as well as the division. New logos, a new web site and marketing programs will help to communicate this new identity and build market awareness, the company said.

ChartOne originally acquired eWebHealth, previously known as InterTech Information Management, in 2004 (MDD, July 14, 2004).

• Brookwood Pharmaceuticals (Birmingham) and Targeted Technology Ventures (San Antonio) have formed a joint venture to develop a new drug-dispensing stent.

The new venture, Aeon Bioscience (Birmingham) was created to come up with a more effective coating around heart stents to stop blood clots and scar tissue from forming.

Brookwood Pharmaceuticals is a subsidiary of Birmingham's Southern Research Institute (Birmingham).

Funding was secured through the Birmingham Technology Fund, managed by Greer Capital Advisors of Birmingham.

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