A Medical Device Daily

The Molecular Imaging division of Siemens Medical Solutions (Hoffman Estates, Illinois) a provider of molecular imaging equipment, molecular imaging tracers and services, reported an agreement with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals (Madison, New Jersey), a division of Wyeth, to use Siemens’ new research imaging agent in Wyeth’s clinical studies of new therapies in development for Alzheimer’s disease.

Molecular imaging techniques, such as positron emission tomography (PET), use imaging agents to non-invasively characterize metabolic activity in cells by visually “lighting up” energy consuming cells to visualize and quantify the biology of diseases.

Siemens’ new Alzheimer’s imaging agent — recently FDA-cleared to begin Phase I clinical trials — is designed to work differently by specifically seeking out and identifying the accumulation of amyloid plaques and neuronal tangles in the brain — the hallmarks of the disease that cause cell disruption and death.

Once cleared, the imaging agent could enable doctors to identify the areas of the brain affected by amyloid plaque deposition and neuronal tangle formation, and also differentiate it from other neurological diseases — a first in the imaging of neurological disorders, the company said.

In other agreements news:

• iCAD (Nashua, New Hampshire), a provider of computer-aided detection (CAD) solutions for the early identification of cancer, reported the integration of technology developed and licensed from the National Institutes of Health, into the company’s emergent colon CAD product line.

Under a licensing agreement, iCAD has incorporated polyp detection technology, developed at the NIH, into iCAD product offerings in the field of CT Colonography (CTC) now under development.

CTC, also known as “virtual colonoscopy,” uses a CT scanner to examine the colon without sedating the patient and using a scope, as with a conventional colonoscopy. Specialized software displays the images, producing cross section views and detailed representations of the internal surface of the colon, delivering images that enable the early detection and identification of polyps, the company said.

• Biosite (San Diego) reported the addition of McKesson (San Francisco) to its distributor network.

Biosite’s product offering for physicians treating outpatients is the Triage BNP Test, designed to aid in the diagnosis and assessment of heart failure and in the risk stratification of patients with acute coronary syndromes and/or heart failure.

The CLIA-waived blood test can be performed in about 15 minutes, using a small, portable meter, the company said.