A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Caliper Life Sciences (Hopkinton, Massachusetts) reported that it has entered into a new two-year, multi-million-dollar agreement in which Amphora Discovery (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina) will purchase LabChip products, the deal characterized by Caliper as worth in the "multi millions" of dollars.

Amphora, a drug discovery firm, already is using more than 20 of Caliper's microfluidics-based screening systems to screen drug target classes, including kinases, proteases, phosphatases and ion channels.

Kevin Hrusovsky, president and CEO of Caliper, said the agreement "validates the importance of LabChip technologies and restores Amphora as a major customer in 2005 and beyond. We are pleased to see Amphora's success identifying lead compounds with our technology."

"Caliper's microfluidics-based screening systems have enabled us to rapidly advance two of our kinase inhibitors into preclinical development," said Peter Savas, chairman of Amphora's board. "Our industrialized approach and the quality of our data have attracted pharmaceutical partners including Sanofi-Aventis and Johnson & Johnson Product Research & Development."

Caliper uses its advanced liquid-handling and LabChip technologies to accelerate drug discovery, enable diagnosis of disease and facilitate scientific research. Caliper's R&D, operations and manufacturing facilities for LabChip devices are located in Mountain View, California.

Delphi Medical Systems (Troy, Michigan) a subsidiary of Delphi Corp., signed a worldwide licensing agreement to manufacture and market vital signs monitors using breakthrough cardiac technologies and products from Inovise Medical (Newberg, Oregon).

Delphi Medical Systems will integrate and distribute Inovise's Audicor software and sensors in its vital signs monitors, and manufacture and market these products for use at home or in alternate sites as well as in hospitals and clinics.

Audicor combines automated heart sound detection and analysis with advanced electrocardiography, ECG, performance in a point-of-care report. The system is designed to help physicians quickly detect acute cardiac conditions, including heart failure and heart attacks, at the point-of-care, and to monitor the efficacy of treatment of those patients.

Additionally, Delphi Medical Systems will offer Audicor as an integrated feature in its vital signs monitors to original equipment manufacturers.

Delphi Medical Systems is a provider of technology, products, and product development and manufacturing for respiratory care, IV infusion, vital signs monitoring, dialysis equipment, in vitro diagnostics and surgical/hospital equipment. Its capabilities stem from Delphi's vast technology base, product development expertise and manufacturing excellence.

In other grants/contracts news:

Chronix Biomedical (San Jose, California) reported that it has received a letter from the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) that it has been awarded a grant of up to EUR 500,000 ($650,000). The grant will fund the development of the company's living test for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly referred to as "mad cow" disease.

The BioRegion GmbH board of reviewers recommended last September that the German government approve the grant supporting the commercialization of the Chronix Biomedical Gottingen Living Test (GLT), a BSE susceptibility test.

Dr. Howard Urnovitz, CEO of Chronix, said, "This award represents an international collaboration of corporate, academic and governmental bodies toward the common goal of improving public health. Additionally, it accomplishes the important milestone of scientific validation of our core technology and its commercial application in the marketplace."

Currently, the only available BSE tests are post-mortem tests performed on brain tissue from animals that have been slaughtered.

Nanomix (Emeryville, California), a company commercializing nanoelectronic detection devices, reported winning a $500,000 National Science Foundation grant. The Phase II Small Business Innovation Research award will support the production of a collaborative dev-elopment kit based on its Sensation detection system.

The kit will enable collaborators to work together with Nanomix in developing analyte-specific recognition chemistry.

In Phase I, Nanomix demonstrated the ability to produce the platform and to deliver a functioning prototype of the test equipment and data acquisition software. Nanomix said it is collaborating with industrial and university scientists on the definition and evaluation of the kit that has applications ranging from medical diagnostics to water and air quality monitoring.

Nanomix is launching a menu of scaleable, nanoelectronic devices using carbon nanotube sensing elements where the attributes of nanodetection technology offer significant performance.