A Medical Device Daily

Software provider Art Technology Group (ATG; Cambridge, Massachusetts) said that its ATG Self-Service application has been selected by the UK’s Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health (CPPIH) to provide the organization with advanced search and self-service technology.

The company said CPPIH has used its suite of applications to power a knowledge management system that connects more than 650 organizations and covers a wide variety of public health issues. It said ATG Self-Service will be integrated into CPPIH’s infrastructure and will allow users, including the public, to effectively search the organization’s knowledge repository.

Established in early 2003, CPPIH is an independent, non-governmental body created to provide a new system, termed the Knowledge Management System (KMS), for patient and public involvement in health in England. KMS, which runs on ATG Portal and the ATG Adaptive Scenario Engine, was launched in July 2003. More than 3,000 users already are participating in discussions and using the online knowledge management system.

ATG Self-Service is part of an overall strategy designed to enrich the level of customer service experienced by users through quick information dissemination. It embeds a leading natural language processing search engine, letting users zero in on the exact information they need.

The company said its software allows the public to use the CPPIH portal to engage with public involvement groups throughout England to influence health-related decisions that are made in the National Health Service (NHS) and local and national governments.

“KMS provides a means to learn and discuss, to pass on information, and to become part of a team working toward providing a better health service,” said David Orchard, director of communications and knowledge management at CPPIH. “The NHS is vast. The use of the KMS helps pull together information and leads to discussion on issues of the day. The advanced search capabilities delivered by ATG Self-Service will empower users to quickly find with a high degree of accuracy, the information they need - down to the page, paragraph, and sentence.”

ATG describes itself as a maker of software that companies use to create a relevant and consistent customer experience, across the web, e-mail, call center and mobile channels; and throughout the marketing, commerce and service lifecycle.

Flamel files another patent on opioids

Flamel Technologies (Lyon, France) reported that it has filed a PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) patent application with the European Patent Office regarding its Trigger Lock technology, based on its Micropump platform, for the prevention of opioid misuse and abuse.

The company noted that opioid derivatives are increasingly prescribed for the treatment of severe and chronic pain, with sales of such pain treatments totaling more than $6 billion in 2004. However, it said, “many experts feel that patients suffering such pain are under-served due to concerns about the potential misuse and abuse of the medications doctors would otherwise prescribe.”

Flamel said it is estimated that a “substantial portion” of these drugs are taken by drug abusers, who manipulate the currently marketed long-acting formulations in order to achieve an immediate release of the active ingredients.

The company said it has previously filed four patents describing claims to lessen and avoid the potential abuse and misuse of these medications. The newest patent further claims to avoid the misuse of the active ingredients in the event they are sought to be used other than as prescribed.

“The concept is to effectively trap the drug if the drug is improperly extracted by drug abusers from the delivery system,” said Dr. Gerard Soula, Flamel’s founder, president and CEO.

The company said the technology appears to have application across the opioid class, including products such as oxycodone, which is off patent, oxymorphone, hydromorphone, tramadol and others.

Flamel’s Micropump is a controlled-release and taste-masking technology for the oral administration of small-molecule drugs.

German clinic orders Mobetron

Intraop Medical (Santa Clara, California) said it has received an order for a Mobetron from the Women’s Clinic at the University of Heidelberg (Heidelberg, Germany). The lightweight, mobile, shelf-shielding device provides intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) for cancerous tumors.

The company said that, for many types of tumors, IORT treatment made possible by the Mobetron can dramatically improve cancer survival rates and local control of the disease.

The clinic specializes in both preventive and therapeutic care for a variety of diseases in women, including breast cancer. It has been at the forefront of breast-conserving treatment for early stage breast cancer for almost 30 years and conducts more than 600 breast cancer surgeries a year.

IORT treatment has been in use since the 1970s, but the company said development of the Mobetron has made IORT more practical to apply. The device that eliminates the logistical challenges of administering IORT.

“Intraoperative radiation therapy for early stage breast cancer is gaining increasing interest as the results of studies using this technique show it can be very effective in reducing local recurrences,” said Donald Goer, president and CEO of Intraop Medical.

The University of Heidelberg is a member of the International Society of IORT’s European research group. In addition to breast IORT treatment and research, the university currently treats a variety of cancers using IORT, including sarcomas, colorectal cancer, and head and neck cancers.

The Mobetron at the Women’s Clinic will be the first Mobetron in Germany and the fifth such system in Europe.