• Bioheart (Sunrise, Florida), a developer of cell therapies for heart repair, reported signing patent licensing agreement with Tricardia (Eden Prairie, Minnesota) for patents covering an improved injection needle. The needle will be attached to Bioheart’s SR-200 MyoCath needle injection catheter system, which is designed to deliver biological solutions to the heart. The agreement gives Bioheart the worldwide exclusive rights to four issued U.S. patents and corresponding foreign filings that cover the needle and its methods of use in the field of delivering therapeutic compositions to the heart

• Clearant (Los Angeles) reported that the company has entered into an agreement whereby it will have access to spinal allografts as a processor’s representative to accelerate demand for tissue treated with the Clearant Process. Clearant will be the exclusive provider for this tissue processor of spinal allografts in selected U.S. markets. The first products to be released under this program will be cervical allografts used in spinal surgery. The Clearant Process is designed to reduce all types of pathogens in the tissue allografts while maintaining a high degree of the underlying protein.

• GE Healthcare (Waukesha, Wisconsin) and Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minnesota) reported a program for clinical development of high-field MRI of the body. This collaboration is designed to help realize the potential of 3.0T (Tesla) MR systems as a diagnostic tool, particularly for the abdomen, heart, breast and musculoskeletal system, GE and Mayo said. The collaboration, through the Body MRI Advanced Development Unit at Mayo Clinic, will develop and apply the most clinically viable techniques for 3T MR imaging, the highest strength magnetic field in clinical use, and allow Mayo Clinic patients to benefit from all that high field MRI technology can offer in accurately diagnosing conditions such as breast and prostate cancer, liver disease and coronary artery disease.

GE Healthcare also reported that it and St. Jude Medical (St. Paul, Minnesota) have entered a “significant development and collaboration agreement” that is intended to bring an integrated imaging and monitoring capability to cardiac catheterization labs around the world. The companies said they will co-develop a “state-of-the-art” cardiovascular ultrasound imaging system with fully integrated intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) imaging capabilities, intended for use in treating patients suffering from heart disease. Through the collaboration, GE’s ultrasound technology will be integrated with St. Jude’s catheter technology to provide physicians with real-time ultrasound imaging inside the heart, with direct visualization of both blood flow and other catheters used during cardiac procedures.

• IRIS International (Chatsworth, California), maker of automated IVD urinalysis systems and medical devices used in hospitals and clinical reference laboratories, has entered into a supply agreement with Novation (Irving, Texas), the healthcare contracting services company of VHA (also Irving) and University HealthSystem Consortium (Oak Brook, Illinois). The one-year contract includes two one-year extension options and covers IRIS’ iQ Body Fluids Module for use on the iQ200 Automated Urine Microscopy Analyzer.

• Misonix (Farmingdale, New York), a developer of ultrasonic medical device technology for the treatment of cancer and other chronic health conditions, said that it has entered into a distribution agreement with Medline Industries (Mundelein, Illinois) for the SonicOne ultrasonic wound debridement system.

• Osteotech (Eatontown, New Jersey) said that it has entered into an agreement with Premier (San Diego) to provide Premier members its line of products, including Grafton DBM, Graftech Bio-implants and Xpanse Bone Inserts, as well as traditional allograft bone tissue grafts and Osteotech’s PEEK-based GraftCage Spacers. The term of the agreement is for 36 months effective July 1.

• R2 Technology (Sunnyvale, California), which focuses on computer-aided detection (CAD) technology for the earlier detection of breast cancer and other medical conditions, has entered a multi-year agreement with GE Healthcare.GE Healthcare will distribute R2’s ImageChecker D mammography CAD system with the GE Senographe 2000D, Senographe DS full-field digital mammography (FFDM) systems in GE’s international markets outside the U.S. and the new GE Senographe Essential FFDM system once commercially available.

• Zimmer Holdings (Warsaw, Indiana) and HCA (Nashville, Tennessee) reported a five-year orthopedic implant supply agreement. The terms, called “mutually beneficial,” were not disclosed. The agreement provides for the opportunity to introduce trauma products into additional HCA facilities, the companies said.

• Zonare Medical Systems (Mountain View, California), a developer of ultrasound technology, reported a two-year contract with Kaiser Permanente for Zonare’s z.one ultrasound system. The contract value was not disclosed. Zonare, based on Zone Sonography technology, enables clinicians to instantly convert the z.one system from a full-featured, cart-based unit into a compact, portable ultrasound system with the performance of larger, more expensive units, the company said.

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