A Medical Device Daily

Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute (Cleveland) has received a $13.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the molecular causes of blood clots, key contributors to heart attacks and stroke.

The Lerner Research Institute is one of three institutions nationwide to receive funding from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, part of the NIH, to develop a Center for Thrombosis Research.

The five-year Specialized Center for Clinically Oriented Research (SCCOR) grant was received by a research team led by Roy Silverstein, MD, chairman of the department of cell biology and vice chairman of translational research at the clinic's Lerner Research Institute. Silverstein will be the center's principal investigator.

Tri-Isthmus Group (TIGroup; La Jolla, California) said it has partnered with Health Inventures (Broomfield, Colorado) to work with the company's ambulatory surgery center investments.

TIGroup recently acquired an initial 19.99% ownership in two ambulatory surgical centers (ASC) in Point Loma and Del Mar, California. Upon completion of the audits of each center, TIGroup shall acquire an additional 31.01%, for a total of 51% ownership and will become the general partner for each ASC. The second closing will permit the company to consolidate the operating results of each ASC into TIGroup.

TIGroup is a public holding company and is seeking opportunities to both invest in and acquire ambulatory surgery centers, imaging centers and specialty surgical hospitals.

In other grants/contracts news:

• Aethlon Medical (San Diego), which focuses on developing therapeutic devices for infectious disease, reported that it has signed a cooperative research agreement with Commonwealth Biotechnologies (CBI; Richmond, Virginia).

Aethlon and CBI will collaborate to pursue federal grant and research opportunities for the Aethlon Hemopurifier within biodefense and pandemic preparedness programs. Since 1999, Commonwealth researchers have managed or participated in awarded biodefense grants exceeding $20 million in value. CBI also operates a secure BSL-3 containment facility able to receive and work with select agents as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“In addition to its obvious value as a treatment for acute viral infections, the Hemopurifier technology developed by Aethlon has enormous potential as a device to manage exposure to the viral agents identified by the CDC and other agencies as biothreat agents. It is simple in concept, straightforward in design, and has been shown to be effective in removing and trapping a variety of viruses,“ said Richard Freer, MD, chairman and COO of CBI. “We view this partnership as a natural to bring technology and expertise together to provide a very strong package for presentation to the many agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, concerned with the threat of bioterrorism,“ he added.

• MatrixOne (Westford, Massachusetts), a provider of collaborative product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions for the value chain, reported that it has entered into a reseller agreement with IntegWare (Fort Collins, Colorado), a company that makes enterprise PLM solutions to help customers build their products better, faster and more profitably.

IntegWare said it will strive to deliver rapidly implementable FDA compliance and process automation solutions to the medical device industry.

The electronic workflow provided by PLM solutions can streamline quality assurance and compliance, while helping to improve profitability through improved business process and faster time-to-market, the company said.

“Our medical device domain expertise and MatrixOne's FDA compliance solution will create a powerful tool for medical device businesses that have not yet been taking advantage of the streamlined regulation compliance and approval processes that PLM solutions enable,“ said Chris Kay, CEO of IntegWare.

As a part of the reseller agreement, the two companies will focus on providing FDA compliance and process automation solutions using the MatrixOne Accelerator for FDA compliance.

• Aperio Technologies (Vista, California), a provider of digital pathology and virtual microscopy systems, reported an exclusive license agreement with Zoomify (Santa Cruz, California) to resell the third-party web viewing software to the digital pathology market.

Zoomify's software enables Internet viewing of industry-standard digital slide files from any standard web server. Digital slide files are multi-gigabyte images of entire microscope slides that are created by a microscope slide scanner such as Aperio's ScanScope. Zoomify's technology is used for the digital slide gallery on Aperio's web site at aperio.com/gallery.

• Bio-Imaging Technologies (Newtown, Pennsylvania) reported that it has entered into a collaborative agreement with the division of image processing at the department of radiology at Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC; Leiden, the Netherlands). LUMC will develop clinical software for the quantitative analysis of CT angiography for Bio-Imaging's exclusive use in clinical trials.

The CTA software will be tailored to the needs of Bio-Imaging's use of the software within the highly regulated clinical trials industry, including the need for comprehensive reporting and complete audit trails.