• Applied Digital Solutions (Delray Beach, Florida) though its subsidiary VeriChip, reported that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted VeriChip a patent for its portable RFID asset location system. The patent, No. # 7,116,230, covers the combination of RFID tagging technology with a portable receiver to track the location of assets within a fixed setting, such as a building or warehouse. The asset location system utilizes portable receivers to collect RFID messages, which the system uses to identify the unique ID of the asset as well as its room location. Applied Digital develops identification and security products for consumer, commercial, and government sectors worldwide. VeriChip sells radio frequency identification, or RFID, systems used to identify, locate and protect people and assets.

• CytoCore (Chicago) reported the launch of a marketing trial to demonstrate that its e2 Collector provides superior, more thorough cell-sampling technology for Pap tests. The company calls this the first major change to the Pap test in 50 years. The benefits of the e2 Collector, according to the company, can be obtained without the need for expensive equipment, reagents, laboratories, ‘learning curve’ or skilled practitioners. The HPV test is currently being adopted as a standard of care and routine component of any thorough Pap screening. Approximately ten of the 30 identified genital HPV types can lead to development of cervical cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control web site.

• Northstar Neuroscience (Seattle) reported being awarded U.S. patent No. 7,146,217 covering its cortical stimulation therapy system. The patent includes claims for the use of cortical stimulation therapy for Northstar’s lead clinical program for stroke recovery, as well as other applications involving brain injury and other disorders. The patent, which in part includes material initially filed in the USPTO in July 2000, is one of many early neurostimulation patents and patent applications owned by Northstar. Northstar is a developer of devices for the treatment of neurological diseases and disorders.

• Roche Diagnostics (Indianapolis) said that it has released for sale its new bench-top immunoassay analyzer, the cobas e 411 analyzer. This product speeds operational efficiency by combining fast turnaround time and ease of use with proven, reliable Elecsys system technology. The cobas e 411 analyzer is the latest member of the cobas instrument platform. The cobas instrument platform concept is designed to help labs reduce the complexity around chemistry and immunochemistry testing, leading to real efficiency improvements. Roche Diagnostics supplies testing products and services to researchers, physicians, patients, hospitals and laboratories world-wide.

• Tengion (East Norriton, Pennsylvania) said it has initiated a Phase II multi-center clinical study for its urinary neo-bladder construct. The study is being conducted in pediatric patients with spina bifida who have failing bladders that predispose them to a risk of kidney failure and incontinence even when they receive optimal medical therapy. Each construct consists of a biodegradable scaffold seeded with urothelial and smooth muscle cells cultured by Tengion scientists from the patient’s own (i.e., autologous) healthy cells. A surgeon implants the neo-bladder construct in the patient’s body, where it is designed to harness the body’s inherent regenerative capabilities resulting in an improved bladder that integrates with the patient’s body as the scaffold degrades. Founded in 2003, Tengion makes autologous neo-organs and tissues, such as bladders, that are derived from the patient’s own (autologous) cells.

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