• Ingen Technologies (Calimesa, California), manufacturer of OxyAlert, OxyView and Secure Balance, said that TSI Medical has agreed to distribute OxyView in North America. OxyView, patent pending, is a pneumatic gauge that provides visual safety warning of oxygen flow for patients in the hospital, surgical room, outpatient therapy, nursing homes and emergency response facilities.

• MDS Nordion (Ottawa), a developer of nuclear medicine, and Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals (Cambridge, Massachusetts) have signed a six-year renewable contract to manufacture and supply Zemiva, a molecular imaging pharmaceutical being developed for cardiac ischemia, or insufficient blood flow to the heart. Zemiva, currently in clinical trials, is targeted for the emergency department setting. “This contract will enable MDS Nordion to build upon our strong development partnership with Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals through the use of our significant development and manufacturing capabilities to meet the commercial market needs of Zemiva,” said Steve West, president of MDS Nordion. Zemiva is currently manufactured at MDS Nordion’s facility in Vancouver. As a result of the contract, MDS Nordion will expand its Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) manufacturing capabilities at this facility to support the clinical program and commercial supply of Zemiva. Zemiva’s first indication is expected to be for the rapid diagnosis of cardiac ischemia in a hospital’s emergency department. Data suggests that Zemiva administered to patients at rest can detect ischemia through imaging patients up to 30 hours after a cardiac event has occurred – potentially enabling the widespread use of imaging in the emergency department for more rapid diagnosis. Molecular Insight is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of molecular imaging pharmaceuticals and targeted radiotherapeutics.

• LifeNet (Virginia Beach, Virginia) said it has expanded its alliance with St. Jude Medical (St. Paul, Minnesota) to include vascular allografts from LifeNet for the treatment of coronary artery disease. Under the contract expansion, St. Jude will have exclusive rights for all LifeNet cardiac-based vascular allografts for its physician customer base. Currently, St. Jude Medical has exclusive rights for all LifeNet cardiac allograft products. The companies first formed their alliance in 1996. Dr. Richard Hurwitz, president and CEO of LifeNet, said, “Through our alliance with St. Jude Medical, LifeNet has grown to become the nation’s largest supplier of cardiac allografts. This new representation extension will further [our] leadership position in the cardiovascular allograft market.” LifeNet said it is the nation’s largest full service organ procurement organization and tissue-banking system, providing more than 250,000 allograft transplants per year.

• Toshiba America Medical Systems (Tustin, California), together with Cardiovascular Institute of the South (CIS; Houma, Louisiana), reported the new Cardiovascular CT Basics Program, designed to educate cardiologists, radiologists, vascular surgeons and administrators about the latest 64-slice CT technology, including Toshiba’s Aquilion 64 CFX system. The program meets American College of Cardiology (Bethesda, Maryland) and peripheral artery disease guidelines for cardiac imaging. Course topics include regulatory requirements, space and construction issues, coding and billing requirements, appropriate utilization of the technology and a general overview of interpretation challenges. The courses will feature discussion sessions with CIS cardiologists, surgeons, administrators and technical staff team members.

• VNUS Medical Technologies (San Jose, California), a provider of medical devices for the minimally invasive treatment of venous reflux disease, reported that that it has acquired exclusive distribution rights within the U.S. vascular surgery market to the U-Clip anastomotic device manufactured by Medtronic (Minneapolis). The U-Clip is a self-closing device designed to create high-quality connections between blood vessels, or anastomoses, without tying knots or managing sutures. In both peripheral bypass surgery and arteriovenous (AV) access surgery, tiny stitches of suture material are traditionally used to connect blood vessels together. The quality of this connection is critical to the long-term success of the procedure. The U-Clip device is designed to facilitate the surgeon’s use of an interrupted suture technique, which results in a more compliant anastomosis, allowing better contraction and expansion of the blood vessels compared to the use of continuous suture technique. The clinical benefit of an interrupted suture technique is especially apparent in an AV fistula created from small blood vessels, but in the past has been more time consuming and tedious to create, the company said. The U-Clip device is made of a shape-memory metal called nitinol, which quickly returns to an original configuration after being flexed, the company said. It is available in multiple sizes and lengths and has been used in more than 300,000 anastomoses since its introduction in 2000. The initial term of the distribution agreement is for five years with two automatic one year renewal terms. Pursuant to the agreement, VNUS is required to satisfy yearly quota requirements to retain its distribution rights. Medtronic will retain all distribution rights to the product in non-vascular surgery markets.

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