• Affymetrix (Santa Clara, California) and Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (Nashville, Tennessee) reported that they have entered into a three-year translational research collaboration to analyze genomic information across a large number of patient samples. Researchers at Vanderbilt-Ingram and Vanderbilt University Medical Center will use Affymetrix GeneChip microarray technology to develop new applications for translational research projects, focusing on disease areas such as cancer and HIV/AIDS. The HIV/AIDS translational research project will aim to help clinicians avoid the often irreversible and costly complications of therapy. The Affymetrix Human Mitochondrial Resequencing Array 2.0 were to be used as a research tool to identify genetic variants that may make some patients more susceptible to adverse effects of certain drugs, the companies said in a statement.

• Fujirebio Diagnostics (FDI; Malvern, Pennsylvania) and ARUP Laboratories (ARUP; Salt Lake City, Utah) reported an agreement to offer the Mesomark Assay, the companies calling it the world’s first in vitro test for monitoring mesothelioma, a form of cancer linked to asbestos exposure. Beginning Feb. 26, all Mesomark patient samples will be tested by ARUP, using the company’s medical testing capabilities. ARUP says it processes more than 25,000 specimens of blood, body fluid and tissue biopsies daily for clients throughout the U.S. The Mesomark test kit was developed by Fujirebio to monitor patients confirmed as having mesothelioma, for recurrence in patients following surgery, or for measuring response to therapies. Mesomark received approval from the FDA under its Humanitarian Device Exemption protocol in January.

• Gentex (Zeeland, Michigan) has agreed to jointly develop materials for the medical tubing market with Natvar (Clayton, North Carolina), a subsidiary of Tekni-Plex (Sommerville, New Jersey). Natvar will be granted a license to Gentex’s Clearweld laser welding technology to compound, produce, and sell near infrared absorbing products in medical tubing applications. The Clearweld process employs specialty infrared absorbing additives compounded directly into plastic resins to laser weld medical tubing and connectors, eliminating the need for solvents or adhesives used in assembly operations for many medical device applications today. Natvar bills itself the leader in tubing extrusion technology for the medical and industrial markets.

• Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LabCorp; Burlington, North Carolina) and ARCA Discovery (Denver), a biopharmaceutical company developing genetically-targeted therapies for heart failure and other cardiovascular diseases, reported a collaboration to develop a genetic test to aid in prescribing bucindolol, a genetically-targeted heart failure drug in development by ARCA. More than 400,000 new cases of heart failure are diagnosed each year in the U.S. With this agreement, LabCorp and ARCA said they are closer to bringing personalized medicine to patients suffering from heart failure and other forms of heart disease. The new test identifies common genetic variations of the alpha-2c and the beta-1 adrenergic receptors that regulate the human heart, the companies said.

Roche Diagnostics (Indianapolis) and Protedyne (Windsor, Connecticut), a company offering industrial robotic solutions, said they have integrated their technologies to develop a rapid, automated solution for high-throughput quantitative PCR applications. Roche’s LightCycler 480 Instrument is a 96- or 384-well, plate-based quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) instrument. The LightCycler 480 is a platform for gene-expression and mutation analysis. Protedyne’s Radius is a new benchtop robotic system with a radial design and vertical construction providing functionality that can access areas of the bench top beyond its own footprint for device integration. The Radius system uses Protedyne’s software that adapts to multiple protocols, and SmartTools with built-in microprocessors that store calibration information and track performance.

Siemens Medical Solutions (Malvern, Pennsylvania) and the Touro Infirmary (New Orleans) have signed an agreement through which Siemens will provide the Touro Infirmary with an information technology (IT) managed services solution which includes management of Touro’s IT operations and the implementation of Siemens Med Administration Check solution. Touro said it has implemented a range of Siemens Invision applications, using Invision to streamline information across clinical, financial and administrative functions. Touro will adopt Siemens Med Administration Check to support nursing medication administration workflow with online, point-of-care IT to reduce errors.

Wright Medical Group (Arlington, Tennessee), an orthopedic medical device company, said that it has signed an agreement with Regeneration Technologies (RTI; Alachua, Florida), a processor of orthopedic and other biologic implants, to develop xenograft implants for use in foot and ankle surgeries. Wright will design and distribute the implants, while RTI will develop, manufacture and supply Wright’s designs. The implants will be marketed by Wright under the Cancello-Pure brand. A multi-purpose wedge version of the product will be made available in 2Q07, with indication-specific product configurations scheduled for the second half of 2007.