A Medical Device Daily

Thermo Fisher Scientific (Waltham, Massachusetts) said it has acquired SwissAnalytic Group (Basel, Switzerland), which owns Spectronex and Flux Instruments, with combined revenues of about $22 million in FY06. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Spectronex is a leading supplier of mass spectrometry, chromatography and surface science instrumentation in Switzerland, Austria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Thermo Fisher Scientific said that as it expands its field sales presence in Europe, the acquisition will bring additional direct sales, demonstration capabilities and visibility to customers in those regions.

Flux Instruments is a maker of high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) pumps and software. Thermo Fisher said Flux brings new technology and design expertise to its current HPLC and LCMS business, which includes the new Thermo Scientific Accela UHPLC as well as advanced sample extraction and liquid chromatography products gained through the recent acquisition of Cohesive Technologies (Franklin, Massachusetts) late last year (Medical Device Daily, Dec. 18, 2006).

The company said Flux enhances its product portfolio with complementary technologies and intellectual property for future product development.

“Flux Instruments is a strong complement to our expanding chromatography and life sciences mass spectrometry product lines,” said Marijn Dekkers, president/CEO of Thermo Fisher Scientific. “Spectronex enables [us] to strengthen our footprint in Europe with direct sales channels and support, enhancing our ability to work closely with important customers in this area.”

Thermo Fisher Scientific develops laboratory equipment, software, services, consumables and reagents to enable laboratory workflow solutions.

bioMerieux, NorChip in HPV diag pact

bioMerieux (Marcy L’etoile, France) has entered into a worldwide exclusive license agreement for rights developed by NorChip (Klokkarstrua, Norway) to an m-RNA based Human Papillomavirus (HPV) diagnostic, for early detection of cervical carcinogenesis. The test will use the NucliSENS EasyQ platform and be available during 2Q07.

Dr. Geir Morland, CEO of NorChip, said, “An agreement with one of the world leaders in the field of in vitro diagnostics enables accurate and cost-effective prevention of cervical cancer worldwide,” he added.

“The m-RNA based HPV assay developed by NorChip is an important addition to our diagnostic portfolio, as it increases significantly our commercial molecular diagnostic offering,” stated Stephane Bancel, CEO of bioMerieux.

The test will use the m-RNA based HPV detection technology developed and patented by NorChip and the NASBA Real-Time technology from bioMerieux. NorChip will license the patents and related technology to bioMerieux, which will manufacture and distribute kits for use with its NucliSENS EasyQ system. The licensed technology utilizes the fact that cells integrated with DNA from oncogenic HPV virus strains express oncogenic proteins based on continuous expression of abnormal m-RNA.

NorChip develops clinical diagnostics. bioMerieux develops in vitro diagnostics for clinical and industrial applications.

1st patient treated with Abiomed’s IAB, iPulse

Abiomed (Danvers, Massachusetts) reported the first treatment of a patient in Europe with its new intra-aortic balloon (IAB) and iPulse Console under its recent CE-mark approval.

J.P.S. Henriques, MD, a cardiologist at Academic Medical Center (Amsterdam, the Netherlands), used the intra-aortic balloon pump during an angioplasty procedure.

Abiomed’s IAB is a percutaneous technology designed to enhance blood flow to the heart and other organs for those with diminished heart function. The iPulse combination console platform drives Abiomed’s IAB, BVS 5000 and AB5000 circulatory support systems, as well as new product introductions planned by the company in the future.

“We had a positive experience with the iPulse Console and Abiomed’s intra-aortic balloon, finding the technology to be safe and easy to use. This new intra-aortic balloon is a good front-line treatment option to provide patients with minimally invasive cardiac perfusion,” said Henriques.

The procedure, which lasted about an hour, provided increased circulation during angioplasty to an 84-year-old patient requiring stents to the left main, the vessel that supplies blood to the heart itself. The 8 Fr IAB is inserted percutaneously into a patient’s descending aorta through the femoral artery. Inflation and deflation timing is controlled by the patient’s heart rhythm or blood pressure, to ensure maximum cardiac support.

Michael Minogue, president/CEO and chairman of Abiomed, said, “Our iPulse console and new intra-aortic balloon provide Abiomed with an earlier presence along the continuum of patient care, allowing greater access to potentially life-saving heart recovery technologies.”

Air purifier said effective vs. viruses, bacteria

British scientists report that they have developed an air purifier that kills colds and flu germs, including H5N1 bird flu, as well as MRSA and anthrax.

The inventors, Tri-Air Developments (London), said that unlike air filtration devices, its system simulates the production of fresh air to destroy airborne viruses and bacteria in minutes within private, work and public spaces.

Tri-Air Developments was co-founded by the UK’s Buildings Research Establishment, with technology transfer specialists Inventa Partners and microbiologists at Promanade.

The company said the unit, for which worldwide patents are pending, “uniquely combines three established decontamination technologies to overcome their inherent individual shortcomings: non-thermal plasma; ultraviolet catalysis; and ‘open air factor’.”

This creates a fresh-air environment lethal to viruses, including bird flu, which, if a pandemic occurs, is forecast to cost $2 trillion globally and kill 70 million.

The researchers say the unit creates an environment rich in hydroxyl radicals, to destroy microbes including flu and cold viruses and bacteria, both in the air and on surface contact. Hydroxyl radicals are found in abundance in outdoor fresh air, with high concentrations in forested mountain areas. The hydroxyl radicals from the unit condense onto particles that become airborne after a sneeze, destroying the viruses even in close human proximity.

The company said the unit can be “readily adapted” for a range of domestic, commercial, medical and industrial applications, including being incorporated within large ventilation systems for healthcare and homeland security.