Beckman Coulter (Fullerton, California) reported signing a licensing agreement with Nephromics (Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts), providing it access to all Nephromics' patents, patent applications and biologics related to the detection, monitoring and risk assessment of pre-eclampsia, considered the second leading cause of maternal deaths in the developed world. The Nephromics technology is based, in part, on reagents supplied by R&D Systems (Minneapolis). Beckman Coulter in 2003 entered into an agreement with R&D Systems to develop and manufacture automated cytokine assays and assay components designed for Beckman Coulter's Access family of immunoassay systems. The new tests are being designed for use on the Access systems, including the UniCel DxI 800 analyzer and the Synchron LXi 725 chemistry-immunoassay system.

CryoLife (Kennesaw, Georgia), a biomaterials and biosurgical device company, reported that CryoLife and the Magdi Yacoub Institute at Imperial College (London) have entered into a three-year research collaboration to develop methods to improve the utilization of unfixed xenografts (animal tissues) for human transplantation. A primary focus of the collaboration will be on the technology that is used to decellularize porcine heart valves. This research effort will leverage the Magdi Yacoub Institute's extensive knowledge of heart valve structure and biochemistry, and is designed to optimize decellularization technology in the preparation of animal tissues for human implantation.

dj Orthopedics (San Diego), a global medical device company specializing in rehabilitation and regeneration products for the non-operative orthopedic and spine markets, said that it has signed a new three-year, multi-source contract with MedAssets Supply Chain Systems (Atlanta), a group purchasing organization that serves more than 22,000 healthcare providers nationwide through its revenue cycle and supply chain operations. Under the agreement, which begian July 1, dj Orthopedics will sell its broad range of ProCare soft goods to MedAssets' members. This is the second supply contract awarded to dj Orthopedics by MedAssets. Last November, the company reported a contract to supply MedAssets with dj Orthopedics' functional rigid knee bracing products, post-operative knee and shoulder bracing products and the company's entire line of cold therapy products.

Everest Biomedical Instruments (St. Louis) reported its alliance with New York University School of Medicine's Brain Research Laboratory (BRL; New York). The agreement provides Everest with exclusive rights to a number of patents and patent applications from the laboratory. BRL's patented information covers the fields of electroencephalography, neurodiagnostics, neurotherapy, brain function scanning and anesthesia, analgesia and amnesia monitoring. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Access to BRL's intellectual property is expected to accelerate Everest's commercialization of novel brain-state neurological assessment devices. The technology could lead to improved results and more efficient care for patients suffering from traumatic brain injuries, strokes, seizures, Alzheimer's disease and various psychiatric disorders.

FzioMed (San Luis Obispo, California) reported that it has signed an agreement appointing Ethicon (Somerville, New Jersey) as the exclusive distributor of FzioMed's Oxiplex/AP, a bioabsorbable product for use in adhesion prevention in abdominal and pelvic surgeries. Ethicon will have exclusive rights to sell Oxiplex/AP worldwide, with the exception of Japan, for use in adhesion prevention in pelvic and general/abdominal surgeries. FzioMed will manufacture and supply the product to Ethicon. Financial terms were not disclosed. Oxiplex/AP is a synthetic, bioabsorbable gel applied during gynecologic and general surgery to reduce post-operative internal scarring, also known as postsurgical adhesions.

GE Healthcare (Waukesha, Wisconsin) reported that it has signed a five-year, $1.2 million agreement with Boston Medical Center (BMC; Boston), the largest "safety net" hospital in New England. GE will install Centricity Pharmacy, a medication management and clinical decision support tool, at the 547-bed academic medical center in Boston's South End. The Centricity system provides tools for pharmacy managers, pharmacists and nurses to efficiently distribute medications as prescribed by healthcare professionals, and monitor the use of drugs across the organization, helping to prevent adverse interactions. GE Healthcare also reported a six-year Centricity PACS SE contract with Norfolk General Hospital (Simcoe, Ontario). The 121-bed hospital is the first site outside of the U.S. to install the PACS SE system.

Misonix (Farmingdale, New York), a developer of ultrasonic medical device technology for the treatment of cancer and other healthcare purposes, said that it has entered into an agreement with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center to evaluate its Ultrasonic Osteotome device on animal laminectomies. The device, also known as the Misonix "bone cutter," will be used on animals with a bone structure most analogous to that of humans.

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