A Medical Device Daily

Illumina (San Diego) reported being awarded a genotyping services contract by SAIC-Frederick (Frederick, Maryland), under prime contract to the National Cancer Institute (NCI; Bethesda, Maryland) to perform whole-genome single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) scans of more than 2,500 prostate case and control samples provided by the institute. Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.

The genotyping supports Cancer Genetic Markers of Susceptibility, an NCI initiative coordinated through the NCI's Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, the NCI Core Genotyping Facility and the NCI Office of Cancer Genomics. The initiative is designed to map susceptibility in prostate and breast cancers, with the aim of understanding disease cause and progression, and then identifying strategies for prevention, earlier detection and treatment.

TagSNPs serve as “proxies“ for larger groups of SNPs, called haplotypes, which are inherited together. Researchers can analyze human populations comprehensively and efficiently by examining between 250,000 and 500,000 tagSNPs instead of the entire set of more than 10 million SNPs.

Illumina will use its Sentrix HumanHap300 BeadChip and Infinium assay to perform the genotyping. This information gathered is intended to pave the way to personalized medicine by correlating genetic variation and gene function with particular disease states, enhancing drug discovery, allowing diseases to be detected earlier and more specifically, and permitting better choices of drugs for individual patients.

Illumina develops tools for large-scale analysis of genetic variation and function.

Group purchasing organization MedAssets Supply Chain (Atlanta) has signed a contract with Elekta (Stockholm), and Impac Medical Systems (Mountain View, California), an Elekta company, for radiation oncology treatment products and Impac's oncology-specific healthcare IT solutions.

MedAssets is the first GPO to sign a joint Elekta/Impac contract since the companies combined in 2005. The contract includes the Elekta Synergy treatment delivery series and the Mosaiq product spectrum from Impac. In addition, MedAssets has a contract with Elekta for stereotactic neurosurgical products, including the Leksell Gamma Knife.

Elekta said that a majority of the top 10 healthcare GPOs in the U.S. now have provider contracts with it for radiation oncology, stereotactic radiosurgery and associated neuroscience products.

Jay Hoey, CEO of Impac, said that MedAssets customers “will be among the first in the U.S. to benefit from the close collaboration and joint development between Elekta and Impac.“ Elekta acquired Impac early last year (Medical Device Daily, Jan. 19, 2005).

Elekta reports its systems and solutions are used at more than 3,000 hospitals around the world to treat cancer and manage clinical operations as well as to diagnose and treat brain disorders.

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