A Medical Device Daily

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.

“We share a mutual commitment to providing the best possible orthopedic patient care while remaining vigilant about controlling costs,“ said Jack Bovender Jr., HCA chairman and CEO. “We believe the new agreement provides significant financial opportunities for both organizations.“

“This agreement trades discounts for achieved market share and growth,“ said Ray Elliott, Zimmer chairman, president and CEO. “As important, we will provide orthopedic services utilizing our [minimally invasive surgery] procedures with the potential to improve patient outcomes while driving cost savings to benefit HCA.“

• MedicAlert (Turlock, California), a provider of critical medical information in emergencies, reported an agreement with MyMedicalRecords.com (Los Angeles), focused on Internet-based medical record and vital document storage, to provide patient-specific medical information in a digitized and encrypted format. The digital patient records will supplement the traditional paper records.

MedicAlert members are expected to be able to provide their doctor with access to the patient's medical history, what drugs he or she may be taking, and other information that may affect care. More importantly, doctors can obtain care records of a patient received from other doctors, whether the latter are in the hospital or not.

• Alcon (Fort Worth, Texas), an eyecare company, and Amgen (Thousand Oaks, California), major biotech power, reported a multi-target collaboration to jointly develop, and commercialize therapeutics for the treatment of eye diseases. The agreement encompasses multiple biological targets and disease areas within the field of ophthalmology.

Amgen will be responsible for providing existing and future molecules that have been or are identified to have potential utility in eye disease and will have the option to co-promote collaboration products. Alcon will lead clinical development and commercialization activities for molecules jointly selected by the companies.

Amgen will grant Alcon an exclusive license in ophthalmology for product candidates, but it will retain rights for all non-ophthalmic uses.

• Karl Storz Endoscopy-America (Culver City, California), which focuses on endoscopy products and solutions for operating room integration, reported an agreement with critical health care systems developer, Global Care Quest (GCQ; Aliso Viejo, California) to collaborate on marketing the companies' OR technologies for surgeons, such as Karl Storz OR1 integrated operating room and GCQ's mobile, wireless patient information retrieval and display system, ICIS.

OR1 is the first fully integrated operating suite to be installed in the U.S. that places total control of OR functions in the hands of surgeons and OR nurses. Centralized control of integrated systems is provided through the Karl Storz Communication Bus (SCB).

The SCB is capable of managing up to 31 separate medical devices, as well as an “unlimited number“ of environmental systems, the company said.

• 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 (Waukesha, Wisconsin).

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 USA, and the new GE Senographe Essential FFDM system once commercially available.

“CAD technology is quickly becoming the standard of care in mammography screening and R2 has established itself as an industry leader. By offering an integrated solution of R2's innovative CAD technology with our high-quality and market-leading Senographe products, we can now help physicians with the earlier detection of breast cancer,“ said Folke Lindberg, general manager of global mammography for GE Healthcare.