A Medical Device Daily

Cytyc (Marlborough, Massachusetts), a provider of surgical and diagnostic products targeting women's health and cancer diagnostics, reported a new multi-year agreement with Quest Diagnostics (Lyndhurst, New Jersey) for the ThinPrep Pap Test.

Quest said it first introduced the ThinPrep Pap Test in 1997 and has been instrumental in driving acceptance of liquid-based Pap testing among physicians nationally. The new agreement will run through the end of 2010. Additional terms were not disclosed.

"I am very pleased to continue our relationship with Quest Diagnostics and to once again establish multi-year terms," said Patrick Sullivan, Cytyc's president/CEO and chairman. "I believe this agreement is mutually advantageous for both companies and enables our high quality products to efficiently reach patients throughout Quest Diagnostics' extensive laboratory network."

In addition to the new ThinPrep Pap Test contract, Quest has agreed to evaluate the ThinPrep Imaging System at selected laboratory sites. The ThinPrep system is an integrated, interactive computer system that assists cytotechnologists and pathologists in the primary screening and diagnosis of ThinPrep Pap Test slides.

Cytyc's products cover a range of cancer and women's health applications, including cervical cancer screening, treatment of excessive menstrual bleeding, radiation treatment of early-stage breast cancer, and radiation treatment of patients with malignant brain tumors.

In other agreements:

InforMedix (Rockville, Maryland), developer of a portable, interactive "smart pillbox" caregiver system designed to help the chronically ill manage their medications and diseases, has signed an agreement with excelleRx (Philadelphia) to ensure that patients properly manage their medications. excelleRx, a division of Omnicare (Covington, Kentucky), provides medication monitoring, consulting, and pharmaceutical distribution services to more than 240,000 hospice patients, as well as health plans and disease management organizations.

excelleRx said it will market and sell InforMedix's Med-eMonitor patient interactive system to select customers. The system consists of a small portable digital device, a medication storage compartment, an LCD screen, keypad, and a telephone jack connection. At scheduled intervals, patients are instructed by the device to take their prescribed medicine, and then asked to confirm whether they have taken their medications. They are also provided with medication and disease-specific educational information as well as report information regarding their physical and mental health status.

InforMedix said it will adopt excelleRx's medication management support services, including pharmaceutical consultation, medication risk management, and information distribution service. Services provided by an excelleRx pharmacy professional will include patient enrollment, monitoring and counseling, as well as immediate notification about a patient's condition to clinicians and family members in support of InforMedix's consumer product launch.

"Joining our two services will enable us to launch our Med-eMonitor system through retail channel partners," said Bruce Kehr, MD, CEO and chairman of InforMedix. "We will now be able to provide a full 'end-to-end solution' for both the disease management market and all those consumers who need our help the most."

Participants enrolled in a medication management program, such as Medicare Part D, or those provided by a union fund, pharmacy, or managed care organization, are eligible to use the Med-eMonitor system, the companies said.

"The elderly and those with chronic conditions often have complex medication regimens that make them particularly vulnerable to medication-related problems," said Calvin Knowlton, PhD, CEO and chairman of excelleRx. "We are pleased to partner with InforMedix in using the latest technology to ensure the appropriate use of medication."

InforMedix has developed the Med-eMonitor System as The Medication Adherence Solution for disease management and retail products markets.

excelleRx provides medication counseling and pharmaceutical distribution services for hospice and chronic care patients throughout the U.S.

Invitrogen (Carlsbad, California) has partnered with Emiliem (Emeryville, California) to screen the company's multi-kinase inhibitors using Invitrogen's SelectScreen platform. Invitrogen will perform biochemical kinase screening, cellular pathway profiling and P450 screening of Emiliem's compounds targeting cancer. Financial details of the multi-year agreement were not disclosed.

"We are fortunate to have a partner with the highest technical and scientific standards in the industry and unmatched cellular screening assays," said Dale Johnson, PhD, president/CEO of Emiliem. "We view Invitrogen as a key component of our research arm in our quest to bring innovative therapeutics to cancer patients."

Invitrogen's SelectScreen profiling and screening service integrates industry-leading enzyme collections and cell-lines with state-of-the-art bioassay technologies to accelerate drug discovery programs. The first phase of the agreement will use the SelectScreen kinase profiling system to confirm specificity and potency of compounds in the Emiliem pipeline created through its K-STAR technology — a drug design platform for creating compounds that inhibit multiple kinases and other cellular targets known to be important in cancer progression. The second phase will use Invitrogen's SelectScreen cell-based pathway profiling service to interrogate the effects of Emiliem's compounds on biological pathways and the company's cytochrome P450 profiling service to determine the inhibitory profiles of lead molecules against drug metabolizing liver enzyme.

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