A Medical Device Daily

DaVita (El Segundo, California) said that it has notified Gambro Renal Products , a subsidiary of Gambro (both Stockholm, Sweden), that it is terminating the alliance and product supply agreement, of October 2005, among DaVita, Gambro and Gambro Renal Products.

DaVita entered into the agreement in conjunction with the closing of its acquisition of Gambro Healthcare (Nashville, Tennessee), from Gambro's Colorado subsidiary and an affiliate of Gambro Renal Products (Medical Device Daily, Oct. 6, 2005).

The notice claims a material breach by Gambro Renal Products in the performance of its obligations under the agreement. The supply agreement provides for a cure period of 90 days following notice of the breach. In the event of a termination of the supply agreement, DaVita said it does not expect it will have an adverse impact on its overall financial condition.

DaVita is a provider of dialysis services at kidney dialysis centers and home peritoneal dialysis programs domestically in 41 states, as well as Washington, operating or managing more than 1,200 outpatient facilities serving about 98,000 patients.

In other agreement news:

Antares Pharma (Exton, Pennsylvania) reported that Eli Lilly (Indianapolis) has filed a provisional patent application with Antares for a needle-free injection device as the result of joint work done under a 2003 agreement providing for development of such a device in the fields of diabetes and obesity.

The filing incorporates development work focused on making products more patient friendly related to the Antares' core needle-free injector technology. Antares said the work could enhance the needle-free technology that it sells into the U.S. insulin market as the MediJector Vision.

Peter Sadowski, PhD, vice president and general manager of the Device Division of Antares, said, “It is our belief that the results of the work to date have included features that could make this one of the easiest to use reusable needle-free injectors, and ease of use is what patients are looking for.”

Jack Stover, president and CEO of Antares, said, “We are confident that recent approvals of alternative insulin delivery systems will provide a broader awareness that our MediJector Vision and its next generation products are available as simple and reliable alternatives to traditional needle and syringe self injections.”

Antares is focused on developing drug delivery systems and injectable device engineering capabilities. Its platforms include its ATD Advanced Transdermal Delivery system and its related TecTix system for topical and transmucosal delivery; its Easy Tec oral fast-melt technology; and subcutaneous injection technology platforms including both Vibex disposable mini-needle injection device and Valeo/Vision reusable needle-free injection devices.

Antares has subsidiaries performing R&D, manufacturing and product commercialization activities in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Basel, Switzerland.

Bruker Daltonics (Billerica, Massachusetts) and Protein Discovery (Knoxville, Tennessee) reported that they intend to collaborate on introducing scientists to the protein biomarker discovery capabilities of MALDI molecular imaging mass spectrometry. Protein Discovery holds a license from Vanderbilt University (Nashville, Tennessee) to provide imaging mass spectrometry services and provides these services to customers in the research, pharmaceutical and diagnostics industries.

Bruker Daltonics manufactures and sells the MALDI Molecular Imager, for research use only, optimized for this technique in collaboration with Professor Richard Caprioli at Vanderbilt. Both companies said they anticipate significant synergy effects from the collaboration, as both expect to benefit from the increasing popularity of MALDI imaging mass spectrometry.

MALDI molecular imaging mass spectrometry reads cell type specific protein and peptide mass spectra directly from sliced tissues. The imaging resolution of the technique enables differential mass spectrometry analysis of adjacent tissue types within a single tissue slice, such as cancerous vs. non-cancerous regions. MALDI imaging mass spectrometry is very promising for research and discovery of future diagnostic and prognostic protein biomarkers.

Protein Discovery's MALDI imaging mass spectrometry service laboratory is outfitted with Bruker Daltonics' instrumentation.

“The capabilities and applications of MALDI imaging mass spectrometry have now been well documented in the scientific literature by researchers who picked up on it early,” said Chuck Witkowski, CEO at Protein Discovery. “With the Bruker Daltonics MALDI Molecular Imager we now can show them the power of this new technique on their own research samples.”

Protein Discovery develops mass spectrometry sample preparation products and services. Bruker Daltonics is a provider of life science tools based on mass spectrometry.

NIH sponsors leadership forum

The National Institutes of Health (NIH; Bethesda, Maryland) will host the NIH Roadmap Inventory and Evaluation of Clinical Research Networks National Leadership Forum today and tomorrow in Rockville, Maryland. The meeting will present findings from the NIH-sponsored Inventory and Evaluation of Clinical Research Networks and will address ways to improve the infrastructure of clinical research networks.

Speakers will be Elias Zerhouni, MD, director of the NIH, and Kelly Cronin, director of the Office of Programs and Coordination, Office of the National Coordinators for Health Information Technology of the Department of Health and Human Services.

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