A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Abbott Laboratories (Abbott Park, Illinois) reported signing a group purchasing agreement with Premier Purchasing Partners (San Diego) for a broad array of the company’s diagnostic products. The three-year contract covers all of Abbott’s immunochemistry analyzers, reagents and accessories, as well as all CELL-DYN Hematology analyzers, products and service.

Abbott said that the contract represents potential sales to Premier members in excess of $300 million over three years.

Abbott said it will work with Premier to help with laboratory automation, which will help member hospitals deliver quality lab results while maximizing resources.

“Our products have proven themselves in enhancing the productivity of high volume labs,” said Scott Luse, divisional VP of marketing for Abbott Diagnostics. “We look forward to partnering with Premier to help its member hospitals improve operating efficiencies and patient care.”

Serving 1,700 hospitals and more than 44,000 other healthcare sites, Premier bills itself the largest healthcare alliance in the U.S. dedicated to improving patient outcomes while safely reducing the cost of care.

Abbott Diagnostics offers a range of instrument systems and tests for hospitals, reference labs, blood banks, physician offices and clinics.

In January Abbott reported plans to sell its core laboratory diagnostics business, including the Abbott Diagnostics Division and Abbott Point of Care, to General Electric (Little Chalfont, UK) for $8.13 billion in cash.

The sale is subject to regulatory approvals.

Given Imaging (Yoqneam, Israel), a leader in capsule endoscopy, and Fujinon (Saitama City, Japan), a developer of optical technologies and endoscopic equipment, reported signing an agreement to collaborate in R&D, component sourcing, marketing and product distribution worldwide, except in Japan. The companies will collaborate to develop future products for the gastrointestinal endoscopy and diagnostic field.

The agreement grants Fujinon nonexclusive rights to distribute Given’s equipment and small bowel products, including its RAPID workstation and data recorders, PillCam SB, and Agile Patency capsules in certain countries worldwide, determined by the companies “on a case-by-case basis,” they said.

Homi Shamir, president/CEO of Given, said, “Together with Fujinon, we will work to develop the next generation of less-invasive gastrointestinal products, leveraging on the combined resources and technologies of both companies to provide more effective treatment options for patients with gastrointestinal disorders.”

Takeshi Higuchi, representative director and president of Fujinon, said, “Being able to offer Given’s capsule endoscopy products alongside our own product portfolio gives our customers a powerful set of diagnostic and therapeutic tools and solidifies our position as the leading provider of GI Imaging solutions.”

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

Given’s technology platform is the PillCam Platform, featuring the PillCam video capsule.

Fujinon says it has “continually developed” as an optical equipment manufacturer of Fujifilm Group.

In other agreements:

• Transgenomic (Omaha, Nebraska) said it will provide Spectrumedix instrument service and consumables support in the U.S. and other areas as well as continue the offering to European customers of Spectrumedix (State College, Pennsylvania).

Transgenomic has been the exclusive Spectrumedix systems European distributor since 2003, and Spectrumedix customers were affected by the Spectrumedix decision to discontinue operations after March 9.

Spectrumedix systems are high-throughput capillary electrophoresis (CE) instruments designed for various applications including comparative genome scanning, SNP genotyping, heterozygote identification,fragment sizing, PCR quality testing, and custom assay development.

Transgenomic also reported acquiring certain assets from the SpectruMedix court-appointed receiver and a license from the gel patent holder necessary to manufacture consumables for Spectrumedix systems.

Financial terms of these transactions were not disclosed.

Craif Tuttle, president/CEO of Transgenomics, said, “We are pleased to announce this series of transactions which clarifies this situation for Transgenomic and its European customers subject to the limitations of no longer being supported by Spectrumedix itself. Additionally, we intend to service and support other Spectrumedix customers as well, subject again to the same limitations.”

• Pentadyne Power (Chatsworth, California), a maker of clean energy storage systems using composite flywheel technology, reported entering into a memorandum of understanding agreement (MOU) with Toshiba International (TIC; Houston) for Toshiba to sell Pentadyne’s flywheel in medical and broadcasting UPS applications.

The Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) system division of TIC is offering the Pentadyne VSS+DC energy storage system with Toshiba’s G8000 series of UPSs as a battery-free reliable power solution primarily for in-patient treatment/diagnostic equipment and for television broadcast facilities in North, Central and South America.

“Our current OEM distributor focuses on the data center and IT sectors, while [TIC] will focus on applications in the patient care, broadcasting and industrial markets,” said Frank DeLattre, senior VP of sales and service at Pentadyne. “Toshiba targets those specific vertical markets with an advanced UPS system that’s exceptionally well suited to those applications. Adding the Pentadyne VSS+DC flywheel as a clean energy storage option to their product portfolio offers a wealth of benefits to these customer segments where we have a great fit, but limited reach to date. The MOU enables [TIC] to sell our product into underserved markets without creating channel conflicts in the data center/IT applications where our other partner is thriving.”

Pentadyne’s flywheel energy storage system can be used as a supplement to increase the reliability of conventional UPS lead-acid battery arrays, or can be used to eliminate the cost, maintenance and less predictable reliability burdens common to lead-acid batteries.

• Accuray (Sunnyvale, California), focused on the field of radiosurgery, reported signing a co-marketing and distribution agreement with Siemens Medical Solutions USA (Malvern, Pennsylvania), enabling Accuray to integrate its CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System and RoboCouch Patient Positioning System with a Siemens SOMATOM computed tomography (CT) scanner with a sliding gantry configuration. The combination enhances visibility of internal structures at the time of treatment, according to the companies.

The companies said that the clinical benefits of the in-room diagnostic CT system are realized “mainly in the treatment of tumors that move with respiration, such as lung, liver and pancreas, as well as prostate tumors, which are impacted by bowel and bladder function.”

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