• Acacia Research (Newport Beach, California) said that its CombiMatrix group has begun offering its Human 90K CatalogArray. Powered by the company's CustomArray Platform, the new Human 90K CatalogArray can interrogate 39,882 RNA transcripts, offering researchers the most up-to-date human array. CustomArrays contain in situ synthesized oligonucleotides, prepared using CombiMatrix's virtual-flask technology.

• Arbios Systems (Waltham, Massachusetts), a medical device and cell-based therapy company developing liver support products, said it presented interim safety and patient outcome results of its feasibility clinical trial of the Sepet Liver Assist Device, which demonstrated that all patients treated with the device tolerated the therapy well and met the clinical endpoint for improvement of hepatic encephalopathy. The presentation was given at the Rodman & Renshaw Techvest 3rd Annual Global Healthcare Conference in Monaco. The primary goals of the Sepet clinical feasibility trial are to assess preliminary safety, tolerability and efficacy of the device. In addition, data are being collected to assess the potential of Sepet to serve as a blood purifier to facilitate recovery from liver failure and encephalopathy, to support liver regeneration, and, if a patient is eligible for liver transplantation, to help keep the patient alive until a donor organ becomes available for transplantation.

• Conor Medsystems (Menlo Park, California), which develops controlled vascular drug delivery technologies, reported that the first patient has been treated with the company's dual-drug coronary stent, SymBio, as a special use lead-in case to the initiation of the company's GENESIS clinical trial. The GENESIS trial will be a randomized, multicenter study comparing the safety and efficacy of Conor's two new drug-eluting coronary stents to its CoStar cobalt chromium paclitaxel-eluting coronary stent system for the prevention of restenosis. The two stents that will be evaluated in the GENESIS study are the Corio pimecrolimus-eluting coronary stent system and the SymBio pimecrolimus/paclitaxel-eluting coronary stent system. Enrollment in the clinical trial is anticipated to commence this summer and be completed in late 2006 or early 2007.

• CoolTouch (Roseville, California), a manufacturer of medical lasers, reported the introduction of the CoolTouch SaphFire 2.5F fiber, the first fiber specifically designed for endovenous laser ablation. The SaphFire 2.5F is a handcrafted, single-use fiber that is only available for use with the CoolTouch CTEV 1320 Nd:YAG endovenous laser system for varicose vein treatment. The company said the SaphFire increases performance, handling and flexibility, allowing access and treatment of more tortuous veins or veins unsuccessfully treated with other modalities. The SaphFire's 2.5F diameter allows for the use of a smaller and less invasive 4F micro introducer for vein access.

• Focus Surgery (Indianapolis) reported that a clinical study for locally recurrent prostate cancer following radiation failure with High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) using the Sonablate 500 is now enrolling patients at the London Health Sciences Centre (London, Ontario). The purpose of the study is to determine the ability of HIFU to destroy prostate cancer tissue in patients with local recurrence after radiation failure. Developed by Focus Surgery and manufactured by Misonix (Farmingdale, New York), the Sonablate 500 is the only HIFU device in Canada that can treat prostates with height dimensions greater than 25 mm and does not require a preliminary transurethral resection of the prostate, a surgical procedure.

• HemoBioTech (Dallas) said that Texas Tech University filed a patent application for induction of erythropoiesis (red blood cell production) by HemoTech, a chemically modified hemoglobin. HemoBioTech has a worldwide exclusive license to HemoTech, which is being developed as a blood substitute. The new patent application filed for HemoTech describes its use and mechanism of action for induction of erythropoiesis as a treatment for blood loss.

• Impliant (Milford, Connecticut), a developer of spine arthroplasty alternatives to fusion surgery, reported that data from the clinical trial of its TOPS system, a mobile posterior device, was presented at the Spine Arthroplasty Society Meeting in Montreal. Outcome data on twenty patients included one-year follow-up data on five spine arthroplasty patients, who received the TOPS system for treatment of facet arthosis, spondylolisthesis, and spinal stenosis. Among the group that received the TOPS dystem implant, scores on various scales indicated positive patient outcomes. On the Visual Analogue Scale, the average group score dropped from 8.6 preoperative to 1.4 at the one-year postoperative visit; and on the Oswestry Score, the average group score dropped from 55 preoperative to 17 at the one-year postoperative visit. In addition, an independent radiologist confirmed that there was no screw loosening, no advancement of spondylolisthesis, and no loss of disc height

• InterCure (New York) said it will report new findings demonstrating the mechanism of action of its FDA-cleared hypertension treatment device, RESPeRATE. Details from four new studies will be presented at the American Society of Hypertension's 21st Annual Scientific Meeting in New York. The studies directly showed a reduction in the resistance of narrowed blood vessels to blood flow (peripheral resistance) and lower blood pressure.

• Regeneration Technologies (Alachua, Florida), a processor of orthopedic, cardiovascular and other biologic implants, said it officially launched its Adjustable Bone Tendon Bone (BTB), the first in a new line of assembled tendon implants, at the Arthroscopy Association of North America annual meeting in Hollywood, Florida. The adjustable implants provide surgeons with an equivalent alternative to natural bone tendon bone grafts in strength and biocompatibility. The Adjustable BTB offers the flexibility of soft tissue grafts with bone tendon bone fixation. Features include pre-drilled suture holes and a pre-attached bone block for quick preparation. Surgeons can size the Adjustable BTB to fit any joint aperture. The Adjustable BTB is delivered to surgeons sterilized through RTI's BioCleanse process and is covered by multiple U.S. and international patents pending.

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