• Cardiac Science (Bothell, Washington), a manufacturer of advanced cardiac monitoring and defibrillation products sold under the Quinton, Powerheart and Burdick brands, said new research for assessing a patient's risk of cardiovascular death would be presented during this week's American College of Cardiology meeting in Atlanta. The research involves new methods for analyzing cardiac stress testing data, and will include presentations such as “New Advances in Exercise Physiology and Testing“ and “Can Exercise Induced Heart Rate Variability Spectral Slopes Provide Insights Into Autonomic Activity and Prognosis?“

• Dade Behring (Deerfield, Illinois) reported that it has launched the Viva-Jr Drug Testing System for the criminal justice and low-volume clinical laboratories. Viva-Jr is designed to use the company's Syva-brand EMIT test reagents, which it said is the most widely used and extensively validated in the industry. The Viva-Jr system is a small counter-top analyzer with a broad menu of Syva's EMIT drugs-of-abuse tests and multiple timesaving operator benefits, and is the only analyzer of its size that has features found in mid- and high-volume drug testing analyzers. The Viva-Jr Drug Testing System is manufactured by Vital Scientific NV, a subsidiary of Clinical Data. Dade Behring is the sole distributor of the instrument.

• Delcath Systems (Stamford, Connecticut) reported that the first patient has been treated with the Delcath System in its pivotal Phase III clinical trial for the treatment of metastatic melanoma in the liver using the Delcath system with melphalan, an approved anticancer agent, at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The NCI is the first site to enroll patients in the Phase III trial with melphalan. The multi-center trial requires the enrollment of 92 total patients to determine whether patients using the Delcath system experience a reduction in tumor burden or zero progression of the tumor for a longer period of time than those receiving best alternative care. The Delcath system delivers high-dose chemotherapy directly to the liver via the hepatic artery. The procedure is repeatable and is less invasive than traditional surgical ways of performing isolated perfusion to effect dose-directed therapy for specific body organs or regions, the company said.

• Epix Pharmaceuticals (Cambridge, Massachusetts), a developer of pharmaceuticals for MRI, reported that the 52nd and final patient has been enrolled in the company's Phase IIa study of its thrombus-imaging agent, EP-2104R. The study included six cohorts of patients, all of which enrolled at least eight patients. The company said it has been working on a study report to submit to Schering (Berlin), which has an option to license the EP-2104R program from EPIX.

• Palomar Medical Technologies (Burlington, Massachusetts) reported that the Palomar Lux1540 Fractional Laser Handpiece was introduced at the American Academy of Dermatology's annual meeting that ended yesterday in San Francisco. The new handpiece uses patented fractional technology to create precisely defined zones of elevated temperature within the tissue. By varying treatment parameters, diverse effects can be induced in these zones with minimal damage to the surrounding tissue. Location, shape and dimensions of these columns can be accurately tuned to achieve the desired clinical effect. The handpiece is pending FDA clearance for soft tissue coagulation. The Lux1540 is an attachment for the StarLux Pulsed Light and Laser System, which offers aesthetic applications including hair removal and acne treatment. Palomar said it plans to begin shipments of the Lux1540 this summer.

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