• Aastrom Biosciences (Ann Arbor, Michigan) expanded the U.S. Phase I/II trial of its Tissue Repair Cells (TRCs) in the treatment of severe long bone non-union fractures to include the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at William Beaumont Hospital (Royal Oak, Michigan). The other two sites involved in the trial are Lutheran General Hospital (Chicago) and the University of Michigan Health System (Ann Arbor). TRCs are Aastrom's mixture of bone marrow stem and progenitor cells produced using single-pass perfusion technology in the AastromReplicell System.

• Corautus Genetics (Atlanta) said Circulation published preclinical results of the company's gene-transfer technology administered via drug-eluting stents. Data showed that VEGF-2 could be delivered to blood vessels using drug-eluting stents and that the delivery led to accelerated growth of healthy endothelial cells while reducing pathological thickening of the artery. Corautus' technology is being tested in a Phase IIb trial that is enrolling up to 404 patients with Class III or IV angina in about 25 cardiac medical centers in the U.S.

• FzioMed (San Luis Obispo, California) reported that it has received CE mark approval to market in Europe a new cosmetic dermal filler product based its polymer technology. FzioMed's cosmetic dermal filler is a sterile, clear, injectable gel for use in the non-surgical correction of facial wrinkles and folds especially around the nose and mouth. In studies, the gel was found to be biocompatible and easy to use as an intra-dermal, injectable filler. The dermal filler is fully synthetic and does not have the drawbacks experienced with dermal fillers derived from collagen or hyaluronic acid, the company said.

• Haemonetics (Braintree, Massachusetts) reported that its CardioPAT surgical blood salvage system has received FDA 510(k) marketing clearance. The CardioPAT system allows surgeons to recover blood lost by a cardiovascular surgery patient during and after the surgery, and make the blood available for transfusion back to the patient. The company said its CardioPAT system is ideally suited for providing autotransfusion to the off-pump, or beating heart cardiovascular surgery. Specifically, the CardioPAT system can salvage blood lost both in the operating room and during recovery in the post-operative intensive care unit. Additionally, the system combines the blood processing capability that is the hallmark of Haemonetics' cell salvage devices with a product platform that is small, mobile, and electronically monitors post-operative blood loss. The company said it would begin customer acceptance trials at three U.S. sites. Full market release is expected this year.

• Lifeline Systems (Framingham, Massachusetts) said its Lifeline CarePartner Telephone With Reminders provides seniors or disabled people immediate access to its Lifeline Personal Response Service when needed, and also offers features that it said enhance the quality of life for both users and caregivers. The telephone's key added feature is that it can be set up to record and play up six personalized daily, weekly or one-time reminders. Other features include: Dial Announce that clearly speaks each number as it is dialed, along with large backlit buttons to aid those with vision or dexterity impairments; Lifeline VoiceClock that clearly speaks the time of day with a press of a button; TelAssure that reminds users to check in with the response center at least once a month; adjustable high-volume speakerphone with hearing aid compatible handset and ringer volume controls; remote call answering; 24 hours of battery backup; and immediate access to the Lifeline Personal Response Service.

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