CryoLife (Kennesaw, Georgia) has entered an agreement with the Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland, Ohio) to develop an allograft heart valve for patients suffering from heart infections. The organizations will develop a combination aortic-mitral allograft heart valve for patients with infective endocarditis, a condition in which the structures of the heart, particularly the heart valves, are infected. Jose Navia, MD, a cardiac surgeon with the Heart and Vascular Institute at Cleveland Clinic, will work with CryoLife to develop the methods to process the valve. “Current heart valve replacements for these patients include a high percentage of synthetic materials that are more prone to harboring infection,” Navia said. “The combination aortic-mitral allograft heart valve may potentially provide a more infection-resistant treatment option.”

ev3 (Plymouth, Minnesota), focused on catheter-based technologies for the endovascular treatment of vascular disorders, and FoxHollow Technologies (Redwood City, California) reported an agreement to conduct a joint clinical study of FoxHollow’s calcium cutting device, The RockHawk, and ev3’s SpideRX endovascular devices to seek approval for the treatment of calcified lesions in peripheral artery disease. FoxHollow will have the exclusive right to market the two devices together in the U.S. The SpideRX is the only embolic protection device that permits physicians to use their guidewire of choice to access the target lesion, and also is cleared by the FDA for use in both carotid arteries and saphenous vein grafts, ev3 said. The RockHawk device, under development, is a specialized version of FoxHollow’s SilverHawk plaque excision system optimized for the treatment of calcified lesions in the peripheral arteries. John Simpson, PhD, MD, CEO of FoxHollow said, “The RockHawk was designed to treat calcified lesions, whereas the SilverHawk is indicated for general plaque excision in the peripheral vasculature. We believe the use of SpideRX with the RockHawk will improve the safety and efficacy of treating this unmet clinical need. This collaboration is a key element of our ongoing strategy to expand FoxHollow’s ability to treat peripheral artery disease.”

iCardiac Technologies (Rochester, New York) said it entered into a multi-year research alliance with Pfizer (New York) to develop and validate advanced ECG-based cardiac safety biomarkers using the COMPAS technology platform. iCardiac will receive an equity investment and technology license payment, plus research and development funding over the term of the alliance. The company will retain commercial rights to the validated technology platform and new biomarkers for future application in cardiac safety clinical trials and technologies. The COMPAS technology was developed within the University of Rochester’s Heart Research Follow-Up Program (HRFUP) — a group of electrocardiology researchers focused on the ventricular repolarization process of the heart — and exclusively licensed to iCardiac. The aim of the research alliance is the further development of iCardiac’s COMPAS platform and advanced ECG markers for use in the safety testing of in-development and on-market drugs, and includes a cross-licensing arrangement by which iCardiac will receive rights to ECG analysis technologies developed within Pfizer. iCardiac and Pfizer will collaborate on a research program comprised of a series of studies, including retrospective and prospective ECG data analyses. The long-term goal of the alliance is to improve the precision, increase the speed and reduce the costs of cardiac safety clinical trials.

Royal Philips Electronics (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) and Biosense Webster (Diamond Bar, California) reported that they have signed an agreement to co-develop integrated products intended to simplify complex procedures to diagnose and treat irregular heartbeats, also known as arrhythmias. This strategic alliance will enable the creation of an interface that connects Biosense Webster’s Carto Mapping and Navigation System with Philips’ integrated Allura Xper electrophysiology Lab System, as well as with Philips’ Xcelera Cardiovascular Information Solution. The interface between the Carto System and Allura Xper Integrated EP Lab can help reduce the amount of time required to setup and perform complex electrophysiology ablation procedures, which are designed to restore normal heart rhythms, the company said. The joint development program will also help by creating easier storage and retrieval of imaging data, allowing physicians to review and report from a single system.

Siemens Medical Solutions (Mountain View, California) and Biosense Webster reported that they signed an extension of their strategic alliance to now give Biosense Webster exclusive worldwide rights to distribute Siemens’ Acuson AcuNav ultrasound catheters to interventional cardiologists. Early last year, Biosense Webster was granted exclusive distribution rights to market the catheter to electrophysiologists. The Siemens AcuNav ultrasound catheters are designed to provide physicians with high quality diagnostic images and Doppler blood flow information throughout the entire heart during a cardiac catheterization procedure. It was FDA-approved for marketing in 1999.