A Medical Device Daily

Digital Angel (St. Paul, Minnesota), specializing in identification, location tracking, and condition monitoring, reported entering into an agreement with the Brazilian Agriculture Research Corp. (Embrapa) to conduct a joint pilot program to fight hoof-and-mouth disease (HMD).

Kevin McGrath, president and CEO of Digital Angel, will be meeting with Brazil's Minister of Agriculture Roberto Rodrigues in Brazil to inaugurate the program, the company said.

The pilot program includes the development of a temperature-sensing (biothermal) radio frequency identification (RFID) umbilical chip that will assist in identifying Hoof and Mouth Disease in the Cebu cattle population in Brazil. The bio-thermal RFID umbilical chip being developed is based on the Bio-Therm RFID chip sold by Digital Angel in Europe and South Africa. The initial pilot program in Brazil, which is expected to proceed over the next six months, will involve tagging up to 175 cattle with an electronic RFID tag, a visual tag, and a bio-thermal chip located in the umbilical cord.

In addition to temperature sensing, this will provide for visual and electronic identification of the cattle.

With completion of the pilot program, Embrapa will make available all development information to Brazilian universities, technical schools, the scientific community, and the Cattle Raiser Association, and will demonstrate during “Field Days” to interested ranchers.

McGrath said, “We have been working with the government in Brazil for several years to help it enhance its livestock herd management, and we have learned a great deal and gained considerable respect for its commitment to this very important program. This is an excellent example of the innovative thinking of Embrapa and we are pleased to be able to expand and strengthen our cooperative agreement with them.”

When scanned with an RFID scanner and used in conjunction with a database program, the bio-thermal chip can, in addition to sensing temperature, provide immediate access to specific information such as the identity of the animal, its age, medical history, where it has been, and its contacts with other cattle.

Digital Angel said that with implementation in Brazil it will be the first country to use an umbilical sensor to fight Hoof and Mouth Disease, setting “the standard for other countries.”

Grifols adds plasma centers

Grifols (Madrid, Spain) reported the acquisition of PlasmaCare (Cincinnati) specializing in plasma collection. The 15 dedicated plasma collection centers from PlasmaCare, located throughout the Midwest and the South will be added to the 50 plasma collection centers Grifols has in North America. With the acquisition, Grifols said it will be the world's second largest supplier of plasma.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Victor Grifols, CEO, said, “Securing an adequate plasma collection capacity for the foreseeable future is a critical part of meeting the demand for plasma therapies on a global scale.” The company said it is positioned as a major provider of plasma therapies in more than 90 countries.

In the past four years Grifols said it has invested more than $300 million in U.S. production and logistics facilities, product licenses and dedicated plasma collection operations. “The U.S. has always been a key market for the company,” said Gregory Rich, president of the company's U.S. operations. More than 50% of the company's worldwide work force is in the U.S.

Throughout 2004 and 2005, Grifols said its investments in the U.S. focused on modernizing the company's production facilities in Los Angeles, undertaken to upgrade existing facilities and standardize production processes with those in place at the company's facilities in Spain.

Bruker Daltonics wins Russian registration

Bruker Daltonics (Billerica, Massachusetts) reported obtaining registration of its complete MALDI-TOF product line of microflex, autoflex TOF or TOF/TOF, and ultraflex TOF/TOF mass spectrometers, as well as of its ClinProRobot sample preparation platform, as medical devices from the Ministry of Health and Social Development of the Russian Federation.

MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry is being applied as a clinical research tool in biomarker discovery, clinical proteomics, functional genomics, molecular imaging, and microorganism identification. Registering its spectrometers as medical devices in the Russian Federation facilitates regulatory approvals of novel mass-spectrometry based in vitro diagnostic assays by its Russian customers, Bruker Daltonics said.

Bruker Daltonics has developed the CLINPROT solution for peptide and protein biomarker profiling, discovery, identification and validation from body fluids or tissue samples. The CLINPROT solution offers a combination of reproducible and scalable sample preparation using functionalized magnetic bead surfaces, high-performance MALDI-TOF and TOF/TOF detection and advanced analysis and visualization software packages.

On the same mass spectrometer platform, the company's MALDI BioTyper enables identification and taxonomical classification of microorganisms, like bacteria, yeasts, and fungi, for infectious disease research and other microbiology applications. In addition, the company's new MALDI Molecular Imageris a novel system for in vitro imaging of peptide and protein biomarker distributions in tissue sections and cell clusters, for example in tumor regions, that addresses the need for high-sensitivity imaging of the spatial distribution of protein biomarkers in biology, pathology and clinical research.

Quantum Sniffer at Milipol Qatar Exhibition

Implant Sciences (Wakefield, Massachusetts), a manufacturer of products for national security, medicine and industry, reported that its Quantum Sniffer technology and products will be exhibited May 15-17 at the 6th Annual Milipol Qatar Exhibition at the International Exhibition Centre in Doha, Qatar.

Milipol Qatar 2006, organized by the Ministry of the Interior of Qatar, expects about 3,900 professional and decision-maker attendees from 58 countries, seeking products and services for the protection of people and property.

Joanne Arsenault, Implant Sciences' vice president of sales and marketing, security division, said, “We currently have an established network of about 23 distributors in 34 countries for the sales of our Quantum Sniffer explosives detection products. Many of the decision makers for the procurement of security equipment in countries where we have representation are expected to be present at this exhibition.”

The company develops portable and bench-top detection devices to identify explosives.