• Smiths Medical (Carlsbad California) reported the introduction of the Portex SuctionPro 72 Closed Suction System designed for airway suctioning of critically ill patients and indicated for up to 72 hours of continuous use. The closed system reduces risk of cross contamination and the lockable end cap helps prevent inadvertent suctioning. The product includes a swivel connector to reduce torque to the patient, a Trac-Wedge to aid in disconnecting the catheter from the patient's endotracheal or tracheostomy tube, and a patient label with day-of-the-week stickers to help monitor length of use. Smiths Medical makes devices used for a variety of therapeutic, diagnostic, and surgical procedures.

• StatSure Diagnostic (Framingham, Massachusetts) reported that its barrel technology has been introduced to the U.S. by Inverness Medical. In a deal signed in September 2006, Inverness became the exclusive distributor of StatSure's patented format for the HIV test worldwide. Clearview Complete HIV 1/2 is a qualitative screening test for the detection of antibodies to HIV-1 and HIV-2 in human whole blood, serum and plasma. The test utilizes a single lateral flow test strip which displays results through visual observation of a control line (non-reactive result) and a test line (reactive result) within 15 minutes. StatSure Diagnostic produces rapid immunoassay tests for the detection of sexually transmitted and other infectious diseases.

• Therative (San Francisco) said it has launched ThermaClear, an FDA-cleared hand-held device for the treatment of acne pimples. The product is based on a process called HEAT (heat enabled acne treatment), delivering a controlled burst of heat directly to the pimple to accelerate the clearing of acne after it occurs. The product will be available over-the-counter without prescription. The company's initial consumer brand is ThermaClear, a line of products including a hand-held consumer medical device and set of topical solutions for the treatment of mild-to-moderate acne.

• ThermoGenesis (Rancho Cordova, California) reported submitting a 510(k) pre-application to the FDA for its AutoXpress System (AXP). The AXP automates the isolation and capture of stem cells from umbilical cord blood in a functionally closed system. GE Healthcare (Waukesha, Wisconsin), the exclusive distribution partner for the AXP, began selling the product in March 2006. This 510(k) submission requests clearance for the AXP System for processing cord blood stem cells and claims equivalence to other devices used for this purpose. ThermoGenesis makes automated blood processing systems and disposable products that enable the manufacture, preservation and delivery of cell and tissue therapy products.

• Tripos (St. Louis) reported the release of Surflex-Sim, an automatic, flexible molecular alignment algorithm, integrated with SYBYL, Tripos' molecular modeling environment. Surflex-Sim provides biological similarity modeling, optimizing the pose of query molecules to evaluate their three-dimensional similarity to a known active compound. Given a small number of competitive ligands for a protein-binding site, this method can also produce an optimal superposition, maximizing pair wise similarities while minimizing total volume. This superposition forms a hypothesis as to the molecules' preferred binding mode to their target and functions as a docking program to rank a set of input molecules according to their degree of fit to the hypothesis. Tripos provides drug discovery informatics products and services and chemistry research.

• VQ OrthoCare (Irvine, California) reported the addition of the VQ CoolCare cold therapy system to its extensive product offering. The design features a motorized unit that helps reduce pain and swelling by providing patients with up to seven hours of safe and effective continuous cold therapy. Consistent temperature control throughout the cooling pad is achieved through a semi-closed loop system that allows warm water to re-circulate at a constant flow rate with cooler water. VQ OrthoCare focuses on noninvasive, nonpharmacologic treatment of bone, joint and soft-tissue conditions.