• Edap TMS (Lyon, France) said its Ablatherm-HIFU, a non-invasive technique using high intensity focused ultrasound in prostate cancer patients, is now available in North America for the first time at the Don Mills Surgical Unit (Toronto). Ablatherm-HIFU delivers a beam of high intensity focused ultrasound to the prostate. Under spinal anesthesia, the Ablatherm-HIFU probe is placed into the rectum through which the focused ultrasound waves are directed into the cancerous prostate tissue without damage to the intervening tissue. This causes a rapid rise in temperature inside the prostate cells to 85 degrees Celsius, destroying the cancerous cells. The procedure is completed in les than three hours without blood loss or exposure to radiation. EDAP TMS and Maple Leaf HIFU Co. have entered into an exclusive sales agreement allowing Maple Leaf to market the Ablatherm in Canada and to develop access to Ablatherm-HIFU technology throughout the Canadian territory.

• IRIS International (Chatsworth, California), a manufacturer of automated IVD urinalysis systems and medical devices, said its StatSpin (Norwood, Massachusetts) subsidiary has initiated shipments of its new next-generation centrifuge, the StatSpin Express 3. The Express 3 has a larger capacity than the Express 2 model and represents a new platform for StatSpin enabling further application expansion in urine, blood and body fluids. Statspin Express 3 addresses critical workflow needs by providing rapid sample processing of serum or plasma. The Express 3 can separate blood in only two minutes compared with traditional centrifuges that take 10 minutes or more.

• Lion bioscience (Cambridge, UK) reported the release and availability of the SRS Pathway Editor, software that allows researchers to produce, visualize, compare and merge biological pathway and other relationship data using a proprietary algorithm. The SRS Pathway Editor was built on evolving industry standards such as the Eclipse platform and SBML, the standard format for importing and exporting pathways. The SRS Pathway Editor uses SRS Web Service technology to pull data from many different data sources and visualize the relationships between the different data points. The SRS Pathway Editor provides a standardized view across diverse data. The user can then modify or curate the data as well as overlay additional information onto the pathway. SRS is a scalable and robust data integration platform that provides fast access to diverse life sciences data – genetic, protein, cellular, molecular and clinical – from public and proprietary sources, regardless of data format.

• Medical Present Value (San Antonio), a provider of contract modeling services and claims auditing software to maximize reimbursement for medical groups, said that Holy Cross Medical Group (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) will implement MPV Phynance to further improve its contract management process and to better identify payment variances. “By teaming with MPV to verify the accuracy of our claim payments, we will be able to quickly identify additional underpayments and appeal opportunities,” said Lisa Hawthorne, executive director of Holy Cross Medical Group. “MPV Phynance will allow us to more easily compare rates, bundling guidelines and payment timeliness among our managed care payor contracts. We also plan to use the product as an analytical tool for physician compensation and cash flow projections.”

• Misonix (Farmingdale, New York), a developer of ultrasonic medical device technology for the treatment of cancer and other healthcare purposes, reported that its Ultrasonic Wound Debridement System has received 510(k) FDA clearance wound debridement. The device previously received clearance through an earlier 510(k) filing with the FDA for use in soft tissue aspiration. Wound debridement is a necessary course of therapy to remove necrotic tissue or foreign material from a wound to expose healthy tissue. Clinical tests performed with Misonix’s Ultrasonic Wound Debridement System showed that use of the system resulted in better granulation of the wound bed with minimal or no bleeding at the wound site, the company said.

• Orthovita (Malvern, Pennsylvania), a developer of orthopedic biomaterials, reported that two papers describing the clinical use of Cortoss Synthetic Cortical Bone were recently published online, ahead of print, in peer-reviewed journals. In one online article, dated June 2, 2005, in the European Spine Journal, the authors looked at the clinical effects of the use of Cortoss in vertebral augmentation on pain, disability and quality of life in patients with vertebral fractures due to osteoporosis or cancer. They concluded that vertebral augmentation with Cortoss appears to rapidly reduce pain, decrease disability, and improve physical functioning in patients with painful vertebral compression fractures. The authors further conclude that the ease of use of Cortoss relative to polymethylmethacylate bone cements, the good rate of treatment success using Cortoss, and the low rate of device related serious adverse events suggest that Cortoss is a useful option in the treatment of vertebral compression fractures. In a second online article, dated May 26, 2005, in the European Journal of Plastic Surgery, neurosurgeons evaluated the potential for the use of Cortoss in the reconstruction of bony defects of the anterior skull base. Ten patients with a variety of conditions had their bone defects filled with Cortoss, and then were followed for an average of almost nine months. Hospital stays for these patients were shorter then before, and no post-operative leakage, infections or complications were seen during the period of follow-up. The authors conclude that the use of Cortoss in anterior skull base defects appears to be quick, safe and effective, and may eliminate the need for the use of other tissues in the reconstruction procedure.