UT Imaging opens in Houston

UT Imaging (Bellaire, Texas), a partnership between UT Physicians, the medical practice of the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, and Outpatient Imaging Affiliates (Nashville, Tennessee), has officially opened.

UT Imaging provides MRI and computed tomography scans, ultrasound studies, X-rays and DEXA for bone density measurement. In addition to advanced diagnostic imaging equipment, UT Imaging offers wide sub-specialty medical expertise, provided by UT radiologists, and quick report turnaround times.

UT Imaging also offers physicians a secure and convenient way to access information about the status of patients referred to UT Imaging for imaging studies. Through its referring practice web portal, UT Imaging provides real-time, secure and convenient access to patient reports and images - both current and historical - as well as patient appointment availability and status.

UHS achieves ISO certification for service centers

Universal Hospital Services (Edina, Minnesota), which focuses on medical equipment lifecycle services, has achieved a quality milestone by receiving ISO certification for its six Centers of Excellence, the company's flagship service centers.

The centers are located in Atlanta; Dallas; Anaheim, California; Rockford, Illinois; Naperville, Illinois; and Totowa, New Jersey.

“This positions UHS to further expand its Lifecycle Services offerings to healthcare providers and medical technology manufacturers,“ said President and CEO Gary Blackford.

Synthetic Blood to start sickle cell trial

Synthetic Blood International (Costa Mesa, California) reported that, subject to availability of future funding, it expects to initiate its Oxycyte Phase II sickle cell anemia trial in the second quarter of 2006. Trial initiation has been delayed based on the company's receipt of a letter from the FDA placing the trial on clinical hold for protocol revisions. Synthetic Blood said it intends to actively and diligently work with FDA officials to satisfy the necessary requirements.

“Based on discussions with this trial's clinical investigators, we are confident in our ability to respond to issues raised by the FDA. We plan to quickly submit a revised protocol and consent that will enable us to proceed with this important study,“ said Robert Nicora, Synthetic Blood President and CEO. “We are committed to advancing our Oxycyte clinical program. We continue to believe that Oxycyte represents a safe and effective means of delivering oxygen to patients such as those suffering from sickle cell anemia, in which no direct treatment currently exists.“

In December 2005, Synthetic Blood filed an amendment to its investigational new drug (IND) application with the FDA to initiate a 20-patient, Phase II proof-of-concept trial in sickle cell anemia to be conducted at Virginia Commonwealth University.