• Medline Industries (Mundelein, Illinois) reported the launch of a new sleep apnea at-home prescreening test, SleepStrip. The company said the FDA-cleared test will allow physicians to expedite diagnosis and treatment for patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). SleepStrip offers physicians an easy, inexpensive way to triage patients to be sure that the most critically impaired get the polysomnography study immediately, and can prescreen designated patients to alert physicians to the possibility that a patient suffers from sleep apnea. SleepStrip is applied by the patient at home just before going to sleep. During the patient's normal sleep pattern, the electro-chemical and microprocessor controlled technology measures fluctuations in airflow. After no less than five hours of sleep, a mathematical algorithm converts these airflow measurements into a quantitative output when the strip is removed. This provides the physician with an indication of whether the patient may have OSA and how severe it may be. SleepStrip is manufactured by SLP Ltd. (Tel-Aviv, Israel).

• Ophthonix (San Diego) reported being issued a seventh patent covering a manufacturing method for eyeglasses, which it said supports its entrance into an $8.4 billion spectacle lens market with a vision correction solution that in the company's view “promises to dominate the industry.“ Andreas Dreher, PhD, co-founder and president of Ophthonix, said that the process uses the low- and high-order refractive measurements taken by the Ophthonix Z-View Aberrometer and allows them to be programmed into the company's optical material. The material is sandwiched between two lens surfaces and then radiation cured to different indexes of refraction. “This enables the manufacturing of a lens that matches exactly the varying and specific optical requirements produced by the Z-View,“ Dreher said. Ophthonix is a venture-funded ophthalmic company that develops vision assessment and correction technologies to enhance visual acuity.

• Pall (East Hills, New York) said it was invited by the Advisory Committee for Blood Safety and Availability of the Department of Health and Human Services to present the latest data on its prion reduction technology in Bethesda, Maryland. The company has been developing the Leukotrap Affinity Prion Reduction Filter to remove infectious prions, associated with several fatal neurodegenerative diseases including variant Creuztfeldt-Jakob disease and leukocytes from blood prior to transfusion in a single step. The company expects to launch the product commercially in Europe in a few months. Hal Baker, senior vice president of Pall Medical, reported that the filter's surface modification technology provides the dual benefit of concurrently reducing leukocytes (log 5) and infectious prions (below the limit of detection of the Western blot assay). The new filter removes 99% of vCJD infectious agents, both cell- and non-cell-associated, and also removes all types of prions.

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