A Medical Device Daily

The National Institutes of Health and Institut Pasteur (IP; Paris) have entered an agreement to extend their collaboration in health research and the management of inventions arising from this research.

The institutions said they have been collaborators in the field of HIV/AIDS research for more than 20 years.

The extended agreement initially will facilitate the patenting and licensing of a large portfolio of intellectual property held by NIH and IP in the field of HIV-1 diagnostics. The agreement provides a new framework for further support and encouragement of collaborative research in a variety of areas by leading scientists at both the NIH and IP.

HIV diagnostics are important to maintaining the safety of the blood supply through donor screening and by providing early diagnosis and monitoring of HIV infection so that patients may benefit from early treatment regimens.

In 2006, 2.9 million people died of AIDS-related illnesses.

In other agreements:

Volcano (Rancho Cordova, California) and ev3 (Plymouth, Minnesota) reported a joint marketing and distribution agreement. Volcano will sell ev3's SpiderFX Embolic Protection Device in conjunction with its Intravascular Ultrasound (IVUS) and Functional Measurement (FM) devices for use in saphenous vein grafts (SVG's) in the U.S.

SVG's are commonly used during open-heart surgery to bypass blocked coronary arteries. As many as one-third of patients experience significant blockages in the grafted vessel(s) within 12 years following bypass surgery, and as a result, may require an endovascular procedure such as balloon angioplasty or stenting. Embolic protection devices are used to contain and remove the embolic debris that may become dislodged during these and other endovascular procedures.

The Volcano IVUS/FM systems provide real-time data that enable endovascular specialists to select, guide, and evaluate the appropriate treatment of vascular diseases. Volcano's IVUS device is a catheter-based system that allows physicians to acquire real time images from within a blood vessel. These images provide detailed and accurate measurements of the vessel size, as well as both the area and volume of plaque disease in the vessel. The Volcano FM device is a guidewire-based system that analyzes blood pressure and flow parameters from within a blood vessel during a diagnostic or therapeutic endovascular procedure.

The SpiderFX is FDA-cleared for use during the endovascular treatment of both SVG's and carotid arteries.

• Clarity Imaging International (San Diego) has entered into a long-term agreement with Formosa Biomedical Technology (FBC; Taiwan) to distribute laboratory and diagnostic products in the U.S.

FBC is the medical technology subsidiary of Formosa Plastics Group (FPG; Taiwan), a conglomerate with businesses in healthcare and medical technologies. FPG also operates a network of hospitals in Taiwan.

FBC aims at developing and manufacturing high-tech, high quality, safe and healthy products by integrating the three major resources of Formosa Plastics Group in manufacturing, academic studies and clinical research and services.

SunTech Medical (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina), which focuses on motion tolerant, blood pressure technology, reported a collaboration with Mortara Instrument (Milwaukee), whereby blood pressure and pulse oximetry readings from the SunTech Tango+ automated monitor are directly interfaced to the Mortara X-Scribe Stress Exercise System display and final report outputs.

Mortara Instrument focuses on noninvasive cardiology innovations that are the core of the company's complete line of ECG products including electrocardiographs, stress exercise systems, Holter systems, data warehousing solutions, and cardiology monitoring systems.