• Affymetrix (Santa Clara, California) reported entering into a five-year collaboration with Duke University (Durham, North Carolina) to analyze genomic information across large patient samples. Duke researchers will use Affymetrix GeneChip microarray technology to develop new applications for translational research projects. The initial projects will focus on cancer and cardiovascular disease.

• Cardiac Science (Bothell, Washington),which focuses on cardiac monitoring and defibrillation products, said it has signed an agreement with Greenway Medical Technologies (Carrollton, Georgia), a provider of integrated electronic health record (EHR) and practice management software solutions for physicians’ practices. The agreement allows for the integration of Cardiac Science’s HeartCentrix EHR integration software, which enables seamless transfer of ECG, exercise stress and Holter monitoring results, with Greenway’s HER PrimeSuite solution, the company’s ambulatory software suite that includes Integrated Practice Management, EHR and Managed Care solutions.

• Corautus Genetics (Atlanta) said that it has entered into an agreement through which it will support the clinical trial of Caritas St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center (CSEMC; Boston) to evaluate the safety and efficacy of VEGF-2 for the treatment of patients suffering with moderate or high-risk critical limb ischemia (CLI). Corautus will provide its proprietary vascular endothelial growth factor, VEGF-2, to CSEMC for evaluation in a 64-patient, Phase I trial for the treatment. CSEMC is the sponsor of the trial, under a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH; Bethesda, Maryland). If Phase I trial data is promising, Corautus has the right to utilize and reference the CSEMC clinical trial data as part of its own CLI program. In July 2003, Corautus entered into a strategic alliance with Boston Scientific (Natick, Massachusetts) to develop the VEGF-2 gene therapy products, which includes treatments in the peripheral vascular system, such as CLI.

• HemoSense (San Jose, California) said that it has signed a marketing and distribution agreement with ZyCare (Chapel Hill, North Carolina) to integrate the use of HemoSense’s INRatio PT/INR Monitoring system with ZyCare’s web-based CoagCare system for patient self-testing through physician practices and hospital clinics. INRatio is a portable Prothrombin Time/INR testing monitor, and CoagCare is the only FDA-cleared, HIPAA-compatible remote INR test reporting and dosage management system for patients on oral anticoagulant therapy.

• Imagin Molecular (Oak Brook, Illinois) reported entering into an agreement with PET Management Services (PMS; Niagara, New York) for bioinformatics research and imaging center management. PMS will assist Imagin Nuclear Partners to deliver specialized evidence-based solutions for cardiac diagnostics and treatments that demonstrates cost savings to insurance companies when cardiac PET is performed on selected patients as a first line test rather than traditional single photon computed tomography scans.

• NitroMed (Bedford, Massachusetts) reported that its research program with Boston Scientific (Natick, Massachusetts), under which NitroMed’s nitric oxide-enhancing technology was being studied in connection with restenosis in balloon angioplasty, concluded at the end of 2005. NitroMed said it intends to continue to explore the use of its nitric oxide-enhancing technology in medical devices. The agreement, which was extended in January 2004, contributed about $1.5 million to NitroMed’s revenue in 2005, and some $3 million over the term of the deal. At the time of the Boston Scientific extension in January 2004, NitroMed said that it had demonstrated in a variety of preclinical studies that its stents coated with a nitric oxide donor “can significantly reduce restenosis.” Noting that nitric oxide is a “critical component of the artery and is endogenously produced by the endothelium,” NitroMed said it has been shown to play a “critical role in vascular stasis, as well as inhibiting vascular smooth muscle proliferation, platelet adhesion and aggregation, and local inflammation.” NitroMed is a research-based emerging pharmaceutical company and the maker of BiDil (isosorbide dinitrate/hydralazine hydrochloride), an orally administered medicine that may be prescribed in the U.S. for the treatment of heart failure in self-identified black patients.

• Wake Forest University Health Sciences (Winston-Salem, North Carolina) and Tengion (King of Prussia, Pennsylvania) reported entering into two multi-year agreements in the field of regenerative medicine that will advance the development of organs and tissues to treat human diseases. Tengion will provide funding – the amount not disclosed – for research to be conducted at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine under the direction of Anthony Atala, MD, the William Boyce Professor and Chair of the Department of Urology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. The primary focus of the research will be on creating “neo-organs” and tissues. Neo-organs and tissues are derived from a patient’s own cells that are grown on a scaffold or model that is bioresorbable, or can be absorbed by the body. These neo-organs become functional replacements after being implanted in the patient’s body. Since they come from a patient’s own cells (autologous cells) there is virtually no risk of rejection from the body’s immune system. The company says it is on track to begin clinical trials of its first product, a neo-bladder, by the end of 2006. Tengion will fund research projects at the institute that focus on vascular and genitourinary applications. A second agreement provides an exclusive worldwide license or option for Tengion to develop any technology that results. The Institute for Regenerative Medicine will locate in Piedmont Triad Research Park.

No Comments