A Medical Device Daily

Managed Health Care Associates (Florham Park, New Jersey), which describes itself as the largest group purchasing organization in the alternate-site and long-term care industry, reported that it has entered into a two-year affiliation agreement with National Healthcare Services (NHS) to be its exclusive provider of GPO services for medical, surgical and other supply products.

National Healthcare Services is a regional GPO that negotiates contracts on behalf of nursing homes and assisted living facilities with a focus on dietary programs. NHS has provided these dietary services for more than six years and has 795 members throughout the Mid-Atlantic region of the country.

NHS President Joni White said, “Our affiliation with MHA will allow us to provide our customers the most comprehensive and cost effective contract portfolio available to the extended-care market. By combining our expertise in the dietary markets and the expanded MHA expertise in the alternate-site arena we have the ability to offer a comprehensive portfolio to our members. We had a number of partners to choose from, and based on the shared philosophy of both organizations in providing unparalleled levels of customer service and solutions to reduce and control their supply costs, we felt MHA was the right long term business partner for us.“

Renaissance Health Care (Lexington, Massachusetts) said it has been awarded a contract by Group Health (GHI; New York) to provide disease management for GHI's members who suffer from chronic kidney disease. Renaissance is a National Committee for Quality Assurance-accredited disease management company providing specialized services to kidney patients.

Renaissance CEO Robert Farrell said: “GHI is among the insurance industry leaders who have recognized the tremendous need to address the debilitating effects of end-stage renal disease on its members, and is making the commitment to provide help and support. We are pleased to work with GHI and we look forward to providing our program, achieving positive results and bringing significant benefits to the participants in our end stage renal disease program.“

Isonics (Golden, Colorado), a developer of solutions for the homeland security and semiconductor markets, said that it has been selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) National Nuclear Security Administration's Global Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention program.

As part of the program, the company has entered into a two-year, $2 million Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with Battelle Memorial Institute (Columbus, Ohio) as operator of DoE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Isonics, Battelle and the Russian State Scientific Center Research Institute of Highly Pure Biopreparations (IHPBP) will collaborate to complete the development of and then commercialize an environmentally safe system comprised of a chemical agent and an aerosol-based delivery method which can decontaminate microbial and fungal cells, spores and viruses. In a prior phase of this program, IHPBP successfully demonstrated the efficacy of the proposed system and technology.

Acacia Research (Newport Beach, California) said that the 2006 Defense Appropriations Bill, recently signed by President George Bush, includes an allocation of $2.4 million to fund efforts by Acacia's CombiMatrix (Mukilteo, Washington) unit to develop further its microarray technologies for the detection of biological and chemical threat agents.

Since March 2004, CombiMatrix has been awarded a $5.9 million contract, a $2.1 million contract that is currently in process, and the just-announced allocation of $2.4 million for its detection technologies.

Under previously funded programs with U.S. government agencies including the Department of Defense, CombiMatrix demonstrated that its microarray could be multiplexed for the simultaneous detection of toxins, viruses and bacteria using immunoassay and genomic analysis.

In other grants/contracts news:

• Venetec International (San Diego), makers of StatLock safety securement devices for catheters and other medical applications, said that it has signed a sole-source agreement to supply the Northside Hospital (Atlanta) healthcare delivery system with tape-free and suture-free StatLock products.

The agreement encompasses all three hospitals in the Northside system, which serves the North Metro Atlanta area.

As part of the agreement, Northside will incorporate the StatLock PICC, Foley, NG, and IV Ultra securement devices into their routine standard of care. In addition, Northside Hospital-Forsyth will integrate StatLock CV into its standard of care procedures.

“Northside has set high standards for patient safety,“ said Barbara March, RN, CRNI, supervisor of IV therapy at Northside Hospital. “With Venetec's StatLock for peripheral IVs and central line catheters, we have prevented needlesticks, reduced nursing time related to troubleshooting IVs, and increased patient satisfaction, while still being cost-effective.“

Tm Bioscience (Toronto), which focuses on the commercial genetic testing market, said it has signed an agreement to supply Jacobi Medical Center (Bronx, New York) with Tag-It reagents for use in its Ashkenazi Jewish Panel and Cystic Fibrosis gene assays.

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