• Biomerica (Newport Beach, California) said a study published in the current issue of The Annals of Internal Medicine concludes that the single in-office fecal occult blood test used by most doctors is a poor screening method for colorectal neoplasia and that tests given to patients to do on their own at home were more reliable. Biomerica's screening test, EZ Detect, is the simplest at-home test available to detect fecal occult blood. EZ Detect is the only FDA-cleared test that does not require handling of the stool or dietary restrictions. The EZ Detect pad is tossed into the toilet after a bowel movement. A change in the pad's color to blue/green, which will appear within two minutes, indicates the presence of blood in the stool.

• CoreValve (Paris/Irvine, California) reported that it has been issued U.S. patent No. 6,830,584, protecting the company's device for replacing a cardiac valve by percutaneous route, the CoreValve Percutaneous ReValving System. With ReValving, the company said heart valve replacement can be performed non-surgically in a cardiac cath lab, resulting in less trauma to the patient and substantial cost-savings to the healthcare system compared to open-heart surgery to replace diseased heart valves.

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