A Medical Device Daily

Research teams, 13 in all, will pair Canadian health researchers with others in developed countries to receive more than C$20 million in funding through the Canadian government's Teasdale-Corti Team Grants program

The grants will be awarded through the Global Health Research Initiative, a partnership between the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Canadian International Development Agency, Health Canada and the International Development Research Center.

Each team will be allocated up to C$1.6 million over four years to find "practical and sustainable solutions" to global health problems.

Government officials said researchers and research users, such as policymakers and practitioners, "will work together to find solutions to the world's most pressing health issues."

"GHRI provides an opportunity for Canadian and international partners to work together, to improve people's health in developing countries," said Minister of Health Tony Clement. "This is a unique approach that contributes to addressing several urgent global public health challenges."

Some of the projects include the creation of new programs by Canadian, Jamaican and Kenyan researchers to strengthen nurses' capacity to deal with the HIV/AIDS pandemic; a Canadian/Mexican collaboration to look at the problem of childhood obesity; and a team from Canada, Malaysia and Sri Lanka developing solutions to reduce human exposure to emerging infectious diseases carried by animals.

The program is named in honor of Lucille Teasdale, MD, and her husband, Piero Corti, MD. Teasdale was a pioneering Canadian surgeon who died in 1996 after contracting AIDS while operating on patients in Uganda. Teasdale and Corti dedicated their lives to improving healthcare in Africa, and to building the capacities of African health practitioners.

"This initiative harnesses the strengths of researchers in Canada with those in developing countries," said Dr. Alan Bernstein, president of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. "Their collaboration will both generate and apply the knowledge needed to address urgent global health and health system challenges. It is a major opportunity for Canadians together with their partners around the world to do this kind of research."

Hemopurifier in India study of dengue fever

Aethlon Medical (San Diego) said it has shipped Hemopurifier treatment cartridges for studies in India related to the treatment of dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), an international health issue untreatable with antiviral drug and vaccine therapy.

The Hemopurifier studies are being performed by researchers at the National Institute of Virology (NIV), the India government's infectious disease research center and a collaborating laboratory of the World Health Organization (Geneva).

Aethlon said initial testing of the Hemopurifier will focus on in vitro studies documenting the removal rate of dengue virus and related toxins from blood. It said the global prevalence of dengue and virulent DHF has grown "dramatically" in recent decades and is now endemic in more than 100 countries. According to WHO, up to 50 million cases of dengue infection occur yearly.

In vitro study data is expected to be available in 60 to 90 days.

The Hemopurifier is positioned to be a broad-spectrum treatment for drug and vaccine resistant bioweapons, naturally evolving pandemic threats and chronic infectious disease targets.

Canadian distributor for HemoSense system

HemoSense (San Jose, California) said it has signed an agreement with ManthaMed (Mississauga, Ontario), a Canadian provider of monitoring and diagnostic testing technologies, to distribute HemoSense's portable INRatio PT/INR monitoring system for patient self-testing and healthcare professionals in Canada.

The HemoSense INRatio system consists of a small monitor and disposable test strips providing measurement of blood clotting time, or PT/INR values, measurements necessary for the management of the patient's warfarin dosing.

The company said the agreement with ManthaMed represents its 16th international distribution agreement and expands distribution to 23 countries.

Peter Mantha, president of ManthaMed, added, "Many professionals in physicians' offices and anticoagulation patients who self-test at home will find INRatio a convenient and appealing alternative to traditional laboratory testing methods."

New test kits eyed in China

China Sky One Medical (CSKI; Harbin, China), a producer/distributor of external medicine in China, said that the AMI Diagnostic Kit, Human Urinary Albumin Elisa Kit and Early Pregnancy Diagnostic Kit have passed final stages of national inspection. The kits will be issued new-drug certificates and sold through drug stores, hospitals, examination stations and independent sales agents throughout China. CSKI also plans to market the products in Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and eventually in Africa.

The kit is used for early diagnosis of myocardial infarction (MI). There are about 8 million new MI patients in China every year, and China Sky One said recent studies show that heart attacks are increasing among younger people in China.

The Human Urinary Albumin Elisa Kit is used for early diagnosis of kidney problems and was created to inform users of any major changes their kidneys may be experiencing.

Australian state orders VanishPoint syringes

Retractable Technologies (Little Elm, Texas), a maker of safety needle devices, said that Queensland Health, a department within the Queensland, Australia, state government, has awarded it a one-year contract to supply its VanishPoint automated retraction syringes to Queensland Health's 202 acute-care facilities.

The contract, effective immediately and renewable for two years, follows a two-year clinical study at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane, Queensland's capital. Virtually all of the healthcare facilities in Queensland and in Australia's five other states are government-operated.

VanishPoint products are distributed in Australia by Scientific Educational Supplies (Brisbane).

Retractable Technologies manufactures VanishPoint automated retraction safety syringes and blood collection devices, which eliminate exposure to needlestick injuries. The devices use a friction ring mechanism that causes the contaminated needle to retract automatically from the patient into the barrel of the device.

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