A Medical Device Daily

Affymetrix (Santa Clara, California) and Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (Nashville, Tennessee) reported that they have entered into a three-year 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.

“Cancer is a genetic disease. The technological capabilities that Affymetrix provides in gene expression and genotyping provides an important set of tools to examine the molecular and genetic basis of cancer,” said Shawn Levy, PhD, assistant professor of biomedical informatics and director of the Vanderbilt Microarray Shared Resource. “This partnership provides a mechanism to bring these technologies to the forefront of translational research in helping Vanderbilt understand not only the molecular basis for the disease but also the genetic disparities in various cancers and responses to therapy.”

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 will be used as a research tool to identify genetic variants that may make some patients more susceptible to adverse effects of certain drugs.

Affymetrix collaborates with academic institutions, advocacy groups and the pharmaceutical and diagnostics community through its Translational Medicine Program to develop molecular signatures for improving patient care.

In other agreement news:

• Roche Diagnostics (Indianapolis) and Protedyne (Windsor, Connecticut), a company offering industrial robotic solutions, said they have integrated their technologies to provide a rapid, completely 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. The LightCycler 480 Instrument builds upon the sensitivity and accuracy of the well established LightCycler System, and now enables rapid high throughput quantitative PCR.

Protedyne’s Radius is a new benchtop robotic system using the principles of industrial automation designed to offer flexibility, reproducibility, and process control for today’s busy laboratories, the companies said. Its radial design and vertical construction provide maximum functionality that can access areas of the bench top beyond its own footprint for simple and cost-effective device integration. The Radius system uses Protedyne’s software that easily adapts to multiple protocols - and SmartTools, easily interchangeable tools with built-in microprocessors that store tool calibration information and track performance data.

• Misys Healthcare Systems (Raleigh, North Carolina), focused on healthcare information technology, reported that Princeton HealthCare System (PHCS; Princeton, New Jersey) will expand its utilization of Misys technology to enhance patient care and safety.

PHCS will use Misys CPR on clinical desktops, expand its system to the radiology department and implement Misys Homecare, a major step toward creating an interoperable healthcare community through its home health unit, Princeton Homecare Services. By expanding its management of clinical information and making critical patient information more easily accessible.

• MediVas (San Diego), developer of drug delivery platforms, reported signing a research agreement with Pfizer (New York) focused on the R&D of advanced delivery methods for Pfizer compounds to treat diseases of the eye. By combining the fully biodegradable and biocompatible MediVas polymers with the Pfizer compounds, MediVas and Pfizer hope to create a product that can change the paradigm of how ophthalmic treatments are administered, the company said.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Using its family of biodegradable and biocompatible polymers, MediVas has developed platforms for the delivery of biologics. By combining therapeutic proteins and other biologics with a MediVas polymer, delivery routes that were previously unattainable, such as oral, intranasal, inhaled or subcutaneous injection, can now be achieved, the company said.

• Cynosure (Westford, Massachusetts), maker of of light-based aesthetic treatment systems, reported that it has signed an exclusive, three-year distribution agreement for its Smartlipo laser lipolysis system with Eclipse Medical (Vacaville, California), a distributor of aesthetic high-tech medical devices and supplies. Eclipse will have exclusive distribution rights for Smartlipo in a four-state region in the southern United States, including Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Smartlipo is a new laser lipolysis system that provides aesthetic surgeons a less-invasive method for reducing fat cells. The Smartlipo Laser Body Sculpting procedure is designed to enable aesthetic surgeons to treat localized deposits of fat through tissue coagulation, leading to skin tightening.