A Medical Device Daily

Implant Sciences (Wakefield, Massachusetts), a manufacturer of products for medicine and national security, reported receiving a $750,000 Phase II grant from the National Institutes of Health (Bethesda, Maryland) for the continued development and clinical evaluation of a radioactive plaque to treat cancerous tumors of the thoracic and lumbar spine. The award provides funding over the next 24 months.

Specifically, the plaque is designed to treat the sarcoma cells on the dural surface without a harmful dose to the spinal cord. This follow-on award is a result of a previous award in April 2002 of a $100,000 Phase I grant titled "Novel Brachytherapy Plaque for Dural Irradiation."

This is the second phase of a program during which a prototype device was employed in treating seven patients at Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston). Radiation oncologists who used the device during Phase I identified a number of improvements that should be implemented in connection with this Phase II grant. The improvements should include the incorporation of more anatomically correct features into the device and development of methods to efficiently manufacture this intra-operative radioactive device, Implant Sciences said.

The resultant plaque and its dosimetry will be evaluated for clinical utility through a human trial in collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital.

Anthony Armini, PhD, CEO of Implant Sciences, said, "With this grant, we believe we now have the opportunity to add a potential new product to our current suite of brachytherapy products for the treatment of cancer. More importantly, this award provides additional funding for the company."

In other award news:

• Affiliated Computer Services (ACS; Dallas), a provider of business process and information technology outsourcing solutions, said that it has signed a three-year agreement with hospital system Sutter Health (Sacramento, California) and Memorial Hermann Healthcare System (Houston, Texas) to utilize its MIDAS+ DataVision, clinically focused analytic tools and services.

ACS Healthcare Solutions, a business unit of ACS, said it "continues to strengthen its position" in the market.

ACS Healthcare Solutions' MIDAS+ DataVision is a set of analytic tools and services designed for chief medical officers and other clinical and administrative professionals.