A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Isonics (Golden, Colorado), a provider of solutions for the homeland security and semiconductor markets, report-ed that its Homeland Security and Defense (HSDC) subsidiary has entered into a definitive agreement with privately held Iscon Video Imaging (Watertown, Massachusetts), which gives HSDC the right to acquire up to 51% equity ownership in the company in a series of defined investments based on successful completion of developmental and commercial milestones.

Iscon is developing patent-pending infrared imaging-based technologies for the noninvasive detection of objects hidden under clothing as well as technology for the determination of the chemical composition of such objects to identify explosives and drugs.

Isonics will assist Iscon in obtaining commitments for deployment of beta prototypes in a number of demonstrations in airports, public buildings or correctional facilities. The successful demonstration of an alpha prototype for Isonics' engineers led to this investment agreement.

The initial funding of $250,000 from Isonics will be used to manufacture the beta prototypes and support business development efforts.

"The fully developed version of the Iscon technology holds promise to be a stand-off detector for suicide bombers," said Boris Rubizhevsky, Isonics' vice chairman and president of HSDC.

Iscon said it has received considerable interest in its efforts from both government and private entities in the U.S. and Europe and expects to have several pilot installations installed before the end of 2006.

Isonics has three business divisions: Homeland Security and Defense, Semiconductor and Life Sciences.

Positron (Houston, Texas), a manufacturer of positron emission tomography (PET) systems, reported acquiring exclusive licensing rights to sell and further develop Cadenza software. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

Cadenza software, developed by Dr. George Diamond, employs Bayes' theorem to analyze and report results of various clinical descriptors and noninvasive tests relative to the diagnosis of coronary artery disease.

Positron said in a statement: "The data indicates that Bayes' theorem and Cadenza is an accurate, clinically applicable means for quantifying the prevalence of angiographic coronary artery disease, the risk of multi-vessel disease, and the incidence of morbid coronary events in the year after testing."

Joseph Oliverio, president of Positron, said, "Assessing pre-test probability of disease accurately will be an essential tool for diagnostic testing facilities applying for prior-authorization approval from insurance companies. The use of Cadenza at a Positron customer site in New York State was critical for establishing and sustaining reimbursement.

"Cadenza software is a very important component to expand the acceptance of cardiac PET as a first line test in coronary disease similar to that of the well established SPECT technology," he said. "We believe that we will position Cadenza software to be embraced and demanded by Positron users and insurance companies across the country. Cadenza is the leading software algorithm that ensures the use of clinical evidence-based medical software in deciding which test to approve in order to maximize patient outcome benefit and minimize overall costs."

Positron manufactures advanced medical imaging devices utilizing PET technology under the name Posicam. Posicam systems incorporate proprietary software and technology for the diagnosis and treatment of patients in the areas of cardiology, oncology and neurology and are in use at various medical facilities.

In other dealmaking news, Xenomics (New York), a developer of DNA diagnostic technologies, reported obtaining exclusive rights to use a recently discovered genetic marker for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) for the development of new diagnostic tools.

The identification of this marker for AML is the result of research performed by Drs. Cristina Mecucci and Brun-angelo Falini, collaborators at the Institute of Hematology at the University of Perugia (Perugia, Italy).

"The PCR test for detecting the genetic marker has already been used in samples of bone marrow and peripheral blood from many patients with AML resulting in increased diagnostic accuracy and better monitoring of the disease. We are delighted that our efforts can result in such a positive impact upon the quality of life for so many individuals throughout the world," Mecucci and Falini said in a joint statement.

"Certainly the discovery of the new genetic marker will be critically important to physicians because it can provide a diagnostic tool to classify the type of AML much more rapidly than conventional techniques," noted David Tomei, CEO and co-founder of Xenomics.

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