A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC; Hackensack, New Jersey) and BioVeris (Gaithersburg, Maryland) jointly reported that HUMC has purchased BioVeris' M-Series M1M Analyzer, an instrument able to detect biological agents, such as anthrax, botulinum neurotoxins, ricin and staphylococcal enterotoxins.

With the M1M Analyzer and BioVeris' tests, HUMC said it has enhanced its ability to provide accurate and rapid response detection services for harmful biological agents.

HUMC plans to deploy the instrument in its emergency/ trauma department as directed by its Disaster Committee. BioVeris technicians will work closely with HUMC to train its staff in using the instrument.

"The M1M Analyzer provides civilian first responders, such as hospitals like HUMC, firefighters and police the same technology being used by the U.S. government for homeland security," said Richard Massey, Bio-Veris' president and CEO. "HUMC and other first responders using our analyzer should be better prepared to respond to a variety of situations. These include environmental catastrophes, water and food source contamination, viral or bacterial outbreaks, or bioterrorist at-tacks."

BioVeris currently provides a range of detection products and services to customers across the life sciences, biodefense and industrial markets.

SpectRx (Norcross, Georgia) is partnering with Emory University (Atlanta) as part of a grant to Emory from the Georgia Research Alliance (GRA) to support FDA pivotal clinical trials for a new non-invasive cervical cancer detection device.

The $64,700 matching grant will be used for the clinical trial of the SpectRx-developed technology at Grady Memorial Hospital (also Atlanta) under the guidance of Lisa Flowers, MD, of Emory.

"We believe that the grant from GRA is a further validation of the potential of this exciting technology," said Mark Faupel, PhD, president of Guided Therapeutics, the SpectRx subsidiary company commercializing the noninvasive cervical cancer technology.

"This new technology offers the potential to overcome many of the barriers to early detection of cervical cancer that exist today," he said. "It could eliminate the anxiety of waiting days for test results and many of the false positive results that are a burden on the patient and the healthcare system."

Launched last year, the Georgia Research Alliance Innovation Fund is designed to foster long-term partnerships between Georgia companies and the state's research universities. The main criteria for selection as an Innovation Fund participant is the company's potential for developing new technologies that will grow the state's economy.

The non-invasive cervical cancer detection device uses proprietary technology to identify cancers and pre-cancers painlessly and non-invasively by analyzing light reflected from the cervix. The device creates an image of the cervix that highlights the location and severity of disease.

SpectRx is a diabetes management company developing and providing solutions for insulin delivery and glucose monitoring.

In other grants/contracts news:

etrials Worldwide (Morrisville, North Carolina), a provider of eClinical software for the collection, cleaning, integration and review of data in the clinical trial process, reported signing an agreement with the Cardiovascular Research Foundation (CRF; New York), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting advances in cardiovascular medicine, specifically interventional cardiology, and the diagnosis and treatment of endovascular disorders.

The agreement is for a global Phase III study that includes 200 study sites and more than 3,000 patients. Project implementation is currently under way and patient enrollment will begin in the current quarter.

"In order to best gain insight and elevate the quality of care provided to patients with cardiovascular disease, we strive to provide the best tools and processes to our investigators to help guide critical research and novel devices from conception to approval," said Victor Yick, president of CRF. "We selected the etrials platform for this study because [it] saves valuable time and enables us to work within an accelerated timetable for a rapid implementation."

CRF will use etrials' eClinical platform, which is designed to enable study personnel to capture and share study information via electronic case report forms. The platform also will enable investigators to utilize an interactive voice response system that will manage clinical supplies, automate patient randomization, collect patient data, coordinate subject visit tracking and manage investigator sites via the telephone, as well as analytics tools to run standard and custom clinical reports.

Pharmaceuticals (New Haven, Connecticut) said it expanded its ability to provide genetic tests for variants of cardiac ion channel proteins involved in drug-inducted cardiac arrhythmias after receiving exclusive commercial rights to a patent held by Vanderbilt University (Nashville, Tennessee).

The patent claims screening patients for susceptibility for drug-induced cardiac arrhythmias by testing for the presence of common polymorphism in KCNE1.