• Acacia Research (Newport Beach, California) reported that its CombiMatrix group subsidiary, CombiMatrix Molecular Diagnostics (CMDX), completed clinical validation of the first of its HemeScan suite of BAC (Bacterial Artificial Chromosome) array CGH- (Comparative Genomic Hybridization) based tests designed to detect prognostic markers in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). The tests are now available through both routine clinical sample processing as well as through CMDX's Technical Only Program for reference laboratories. The company said that the array is the industry's first clinically validated cancer diagnostic based on BAC array CGH. The CombiMatrix group is developing a technology to rapidly produce customizable arrays, which are semiconductor-based tools for use in identifying and determining the roles of genes, gene mutations and proteins.
Acacia also reported that its CombiMatrix Molecular Diagnostics (CMDX), has launched the second version of its Constitutional Genetic Array Test (CA850). The test utilizes the company's new Bacterial Artificial Chromosome (BAC) array, which includes more than 200 new, validated probes obtained through the company's partnership with The Center for Applied Genomics (Toronto). The CA850, which can identify over 50 common genetic disorders in one test, has been clinically validated for use in both postnatal and prenatal analyses by CMDX, the company said. The CombiMatrix group develops technology to produce customizable arrays, which are semiconductor-based tools for use in identifying and determining the roles of genes, gene mutations and proteins. Acacia Research comprises two operating groups, Acacia Technologies and CombiMatrix.
• Avid Radiopharmaceuticals (Philadelphia), a company developing molecular imaging agents, reported the results from a clinical study of 18F-AV-1/ZK (AV-1), a radiopharmaceutical for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of amyloid plaques in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Principal investigator Dr. Christopher Rowe from Austin Hospital of Melbourne, an investigator in the field of molecular imaging of Alzheimer's, presented the results at the 8th International Conference on AD/PD in Salzburg, Austria. Rowe reported that PET with AV-1 clearly distinguishes AD from healthy subjects and may be used to quantify amyloid burden. AV-1 PET scans showed high levels of signal in the Alzheimer's patients, particularly in areas of the brain known to contain amyloid plaques. In contrast there was no retention of AV-1 in the cerebellar cortex, an area where amyloid plaques do not accumulate. This is the first scientific report of a clinical trial with an 18F-compound designed for specifically imaging amyloid plaques in AD. The wide availability of 18F allows for the possibility of amyloid imaging at a large number of clinical sites worldwide. Avid develops diagnostic imaging agents to enable the early diagnosis, treatment selection and therapeutic monitoring of major medical disorders.
• Home Diagnostics (Fort Lauderdale, Florida),a maker of diabetes testing supplies, reported the launch of the TRUEread blood glucose monitoring system. TRUEread was designed to be reliable and easy-to-use and was created specifically to meet the needs of Medicare and Medicaid patients, the company said. TRUEread will be available through Home Diagnostics' domestic distribution and mail service channels beginning in mid-March. TRUEread's advanced biosensor and chip coding technology generates accurate results in 10 seconds from a single microliter of blood, the company said. Its data management features include a 200-test memory capacity, Internet data uploading capabilities to track results, and a large, easy-to-read display.
• Positron (Houston), through its R&D affiliate, has filed a provisional patent on a device that is capable of detecting illicit radioactive sources at a distance. The processes and techniques used in the development of the radiation detection devices arose as a result of Positron's long history in the field of medical imaging and positron emission mammography, or PET scanners. A PET scanner is a sensitive radiation detection device that detects cancer-seeking radiopharmaceuticals injected into the human body. PET scanners operate at close distances to the body. Radiation detection devices for Homeland Security must be able to detect potential nuclear threats at much lower dose levels than used in PET and in a much shorter time period, from as far as 100 meters away. The new stand-off radiation scanner (SORAC) incorporates solid-state photodetectors developed by the Positron affiliate's scientific team.
• VivoMetrics (Ventura, California) reported the launch of VivoResponder, a continuous life-sign monitoring system tailored to meet the needs of first responder and biohazard markets. The product was developed following study of the company's LifeShirt System in firefighters and other first responders such as military personnel, and it is now being made available for those confronting dangerous situations "so that they may protect others," according to the company. The VivoResponder uses a lightweight chest strap with embedded sensors, rather than a full shirt garment. It is designed to provide a greater range of motion and increased comfort under the layers of protective clothing often required to be worn by first responders and hazmat workers. The design can also withstand high heat, the company said.