Berlex (Montville, New Jersey), a U.S. affiliate of Schering AG (Berlin), has been awarded a new contract by Premier (San Diego), a group purchasing organization, to provide contrast media for MRI to members of the Premier network. The new contract extends the nearly decade-long relationship between the two companies. Under the terms of the agreement, Berlex will provide Premier members access to Magnevist (gadopentetate dimeglumine) Injection, a contrast media for enhanced MRI. The value of the contract is estimated to exceed $40 million annually.

Biomoda (Albuquerque, New Mexico), a development-stage in vitro diagnostics firm, and life science company Cytomyx (Lexington, Massachusetts) have entered into an agreement for Cytomyx to provide human clinical samples to Biomoda for its diagnostic test development program. Validation studies for Biomoda's patented and patent-pending products for the early detection and targeted treatment of specific cancers will be supported by the relationship.

CardioDynamics (San Diego), which focuses on impedance cardiography (ICG) technology, said Vermed, its wholly owned subsidiary and the fourth-largest supplier of disposable electrodes and related supplies utilized in ECG and other diagnostic procedures in the U.S., has entered into a three-year, multi-source contract with Premier. Vermed was one of three vendors awarded the multi-source contract that begins July 1 to offer Premier's members ECG electrodes, lead wires and cables. CardioDynamics estimates the total annual national sales volume for the Premier award to be about $25 million.

Codman & Shurtleff (Raynham, Massachuseutts), a Johnson & Johnson (New Brunswick, New Jersey) company, has signed a development and licensing agreement with privately held Cranium Tele- metrics (Hannover, Germany) and a supply agreement with Fraunhofer IMS (Duisberg, Germany), an independent "applied research" facility, for an implantable sensor chip that wirelessly monitors intra-cranial pressure (ICP). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Codman will integrate the sensor technology into its shunt system for hydrocephalus, the Codman Hakim Programmable Valve System.
The system is intended to eliminate the need for additional surgeries and hospitalization.

Correlogic Systems (Bethesda, Maryland) reported a research collaboration with the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU; also Betheseda) and the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine (Rockville, Maryland). Under the agreement, USU's Center for Prostate Disease Research (CPDR) and the foundation will collaborate with Correlogic on a study of up to 2,000 men with specified prostate cancer conditions in order to further expand research on the use of the company's protein pattern recognition approach and technology in prostate cancer. The second study will center on men undergoing radical prostatectomies to determine whether the company's approach and technology can be extended to distinguish between indolent and aggressive prostate cancer.

Genzyme (Cambridge, Massachusetts) has entered into a license agreement with Massachusetts General Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (both Boston) to obtain exclusive, worldwide diagnostic rights to their discovery of gene mutations recently found in some patients with non-small cell lung cancer. The presence of these mutations, or markers, discovered in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene, has been shown to correlate with clinical response to certain drugs used in treating non-small cell lung cancer. Through this license, Genzyme will develop and market a diagnostic test for the EGFR markers that can be used to help identify patients who are most likely to respond to targeted lung cancer therapies. Genzyme said it expects to launch its EGFR mutation test later this year.

National Surgical Hospitals (NSH; Chicago), an operator of freestanding specialty surgical hospitals and surgery centers, has formed a joint venture with John Muir/Mt. Diablo Health System (Walnut Creek, California). The new joint venture, Bay Area Surgical Ventures, along with area physicians, intends to develop at least two and up to five surgical facilities in the area. The joint venture also plans to evaluate the feasibility of a surgical hospital to complement its healthcare services.

Siemens Medical Solutions (Malvern, Pennsylvania) has been awarded three-year contracts with HealthTrust Purchasing Group (HPG; Brentwood, Tennessee) to provide its network of 1,500 participating hospitals and healthcare systems access to Sie-mens MRI and ultrasound technologies, through March 31, 2008.

SourceOne Healthcare Technologies (Mentor, Ohio) and Shimadzu Medical Systems (Torrance, California), have signed a contract giving SourceOne rights to market and distribute a mobile X-ray system manufactured by Shimadzu for SourceOne in the U.S. SourceOne will distribute the system nationally. The Mobile Star II is a cordless mobile X-ray system designed to perform radiography examinations in remote locations.