• Amicas (Boston) reported the availability of Vision Series PACS Version 4.2 for its image management software. Amicas says Version 4.2 implements nearly 200 requests and enhancements, advances the clinical workflow communication capabilities of the Amicas RealTime Worklist, and introduces archiving and disaster recovery capabilities. Amicas makes software for radiology and medical image and information management.

• Daxor (New York) reported results from blood volume data utilizing Daxor's Blood Volume Analyzer BVA-100 at the Heart Failure Society of America's (HFSA) annual scientific meeting held last week in Seattle. The studies involved identifying and treating anemia in diastolic heart failure. In one study, 92% of diastolic heart failure patients had true anemia. An increase in plasma volume often occurs in heart failure, which may cause a false or “pseudo anemia.” By using the BVA-100, which is designed to provide a precise measured plasma and red blood cell volume, clinicians could accurately diagnose and treat patients with a true anemia with epoetin alfa (EPO). Researchers observed significant improvement in a patient's exercise capacity and heart function during the study, the company said. Daxor makes the BVA-100, a semi-automated Blood Volume Analyzer.

• Lechnologies Research (Milwaukee) reported that the FDA has approved the AfibAlert Atrial Fibrillation Monitor, a prescribed ambulatory cardiac monitor for atrial fibrillation management. The lightweight, pocket-sized monitor is for the more than 2 million Americans with atrial fibrillation (AF), an erratic heart rhythm. The monitor uses a computer algorithm to monitor for the presence of atrial fibrillation. To operate, patients hold the monitor with their hands, placing their thumbs on the raised pads. Each ECG test takes 45 seconds to complete and record. Testing also can be done using wristbands. When testing is complete, a red or green icon illuminates to indicate what action the user should take. Lechnologies makes products for the atrial fibrillation business.

• Nektar Therapeutics (San Carlos, California) reported that its Amphotericin B Inhalation Powder (ABIP) product has been granted orphan medicinal product designation by the European Commission for the prevention of pulmonary fungal infections in patients deemed at risk. The designation is based on a recommendation from the Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products (COMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMEA). The FDA granted both fast track designation and orphan drug designation to ABIP for prevention of pulmonary fungal infections in patients at risk for aspergillosis due to immunosuppressive therapy. Nektar is a biopharmaceutical company that develops therapeutics with its industry-leading drug delivery technologies.

• Relative Genetics (Salt Lake City) reported the availability of enhanced mitochondrial DNA testing services that improve the accuracy of maternal lineage information. Mitochondrial DNA is passed from mothers to their children, providing a dependable way to trace maternal ancestries for both men and women. Relative says the most accurate way to distinguish the genetic profile of an individual's maternal lineage is through analysis of genetic sequences from three “hypervariable” regions of the mitochondrial DNA. The new Relative mitochondrial DNA testing includes analysis of these three regions, designed to add “great detail and precision” to the results, the company said. Relative already offers a Y-chromosome DNA testing service for paternal lineage research. Relative makes DNA testing services available for individuals and families researching ancestry.

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