Patrick McBrayer has been named president and CEO of AxioMed Spine (Garfield Heights, Ohio), in February 2006. He joins the spinal implant firm during the development of the Freedom Lumbar Disc System, the next generation of total disc replacement and first implant system in the company's pipeline. McBrayer comes to AxioMed from Xylos, a biomaterials company, where he served as chairman and CEO, and has also worked with Exogen, Osteotech and Johnson & Johnson.

Dr. Peter Silverstone has been named senior vice president, medical and scientific affairs of Biovail (Toronto). Silverstone joins Biovail from Global IQ, a clinical research organization that he co-founded in 1999. He served as chief medical officer of Global IQ, and is also a professor in the faculty of medicine at the University of Alberta. Biovail is a specialty pharmaceutical company, focused on pharmaceutical products utilizing advanced drug-delivery technologies.

Niels Vernegaard has joined United Surgical Partners International (Dallas) as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Prior to joining the company, Vernegaard served for 12 years in positions of increasing responsibility for HCA, most recently serving as president and CEO of HCA's Research Medical Center. United Surgical Partners International currently has ownership interests in or operates 128 surgical facilities. The company also operates three facilities in London.

• Xillix Technologies (Richmond, British Columbia), a provider of fluorescence endoscopy for the early detection of cancer, reported executive management changes. Cynthia Roney has stepped down as president and CEO and will take on the position of executive vice president in order to focus on Onco-LIFE marketing and sales activities, particularly in North America, as well as advancing strategic opportunities for the company. Roney will remain a director of the company. Brett Gannon has been appointed president and CEO, and has also been appointed to the board of directors. Gannon was appointed CFO in 2004 and COO in 2005, having previously acted as an advisor to the company. Farran Grant, recently promoted to vice president, finance will take on additional responsibility as CFO and corporate secretary.