• BioSphere Medical (Rockland, Massachusetts) reported that a study published in the March 2007 issue of Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology concluded that over the long term, uterine fibroid embolization using BioSphere Medical’s Embosphere Microspheres is safe and effective, with high levels of durable symptom control, improved health-related quality of life and patient satisfaction. Among the key findings of the study were: 72% of patients had known outcomes at three years after treatment, 88.4% of the patients with known outcomes completed a three-year follow-up without the need for a major intervention, 8.3% of the patients underwent fibroid surgery within three years. Biosphere is focused on applying microsphere technology to medical applications using embolotherapy techniques.

• Ciphergen Biosystems (Fremont, California) said it presented data from a prospective clinical trial demonstrating that its ovarian triage test correctly identified 84% of the ovarian cancer cases, compared to only 33% identified using standard diagnosis methods without the test. Ciphergen, along with its scientific collaborators, has ongoing diagnostic programs in oncology/hematology, cardiology and women’s health with an initial focus in ovarian cancer.

• DePuy Spine (Raynham, Massachusetts) reported the launch of the ExpediumsFX cross connector system, designed to make cross connector implantation quicker, easier and more secure at the completion of spinal fusion surgery. The system offers a “snap-fit” feature that provides surgeons audible and tactile feedback that confirms the connector is securely attached to the rod. It offers different implant options and is available in fixed or adjustable length configurations, including a low-profile option. The implants help to maximize stability and minimize torsional forces on the spinal construct. DePuy Spine is committed to advancing the knowledge of all health care professionals and their patients in addressing spinal pathologies.

• Nanogen (San Diego) reported being issued four patents by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for inventions related to diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers. The patents are the most recent in a series describing biomarkers associated with these diseases. U.S. Patent No. 7,179,610, “Complement C3 precursor biopolymer markers indicative of insulin resistance,” and U.S. Patent No. 7,132,244, “Betaine/GABA transport protein biopolymer marker indicative of insulin resistance,” describe the use of mass spectrometry and time-of-flight detection techniques to identify biopolymers that could potentially be used in the diagnosis of or development of therapeutics for the metabolic conditions Syndrome X and type II diabetes. U.S. Patent No. 7,179,605, “Fibronectin precursor biopolymer markers indicative of Alzheimer’s disease,” and U.S. Patent No. 7,179,606, “IG heavy chain, IG kappa, IF lambda biopolymer markers indicative of Alzheimer’s disease,” relate to the identification of protein biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease.

• Roche Diagnostics (Pleasanton, California) reported that the FDA has accepted for review its applications for two human papillomavirus (HPV) tests. The Amplicor HPV test is designed to enable accurate detection of 13 of the more common high-risk HPV genotypes in standard clinical samples. The Linear Array HPV genotyping test is designed to identify which of the 13 high-risk HPV genotypes are present in a sample. Roche’s diagnostics division makes testing products and services to researchers, physicians, patients, hospitals and laboratories.

• Symx Technologies (Miami) a provider of equipment life cycle management services for healthcare, said it is launching its ATLAS System, a platform to assist healthcare facilities and organizations in real-time assets and resources management. ATLAS is scalable to stand-alone ambulatory centers, nursing facilities and hospitals, as well as an enterprise model for integrated delivery networks. The open architecture design and data-capture technology is designed to ensure the healthcare provider of the ability to meet unique challenges in operating models as well as potential facility restrictions, the company said.

• Vanishing Veins (Scottsdale, Arizona) reports a minimally invasive and outpatient alternative to traditional varicose vein treatment. While there is a cosmetic component for the smaller spider veins, the larger varicose veins can present real medical problems. If left untreated, many people will develop pain and swelling which can lead to skin discoloration and non-healing ulcers. Patients receive a thorough medical evaluation and discuss individualized treatment options, which will depend on the extent of their vein disease, overall health and risk factors. Vanishing Veins provides venous disease and cosmetic treatments services to physicians and patients.

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