Cardiocom (Minneapolis, Minnesota) reported that Ucare Minnesota, a non-profit health maintenance organization, renewed its multi-year agreement with the disease management company to provide systems for remote daily home monitoring of Ucare's congestive heart failure (CHF) patients. Ucare's studies show that the Cardiocom system improved quality of care and member satisfaction, and reduced inpatient admissions for CHF. To ensure that its members with CHF have an effective method of daily weight and symptom monitoring, UCare Minnesota has provided them with Cardiocom's interactive monitoring devices. Cardiocom provides remote monitoring products and nursing services for congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, diabetes patients and obesity. Founded in 1997, Cardiocom manufactures medical equipment to monitor and manage chronic disease patients at home.
Forest Laboratories (New York) and Paion (Aachen, Germany) have entered into an agreement for development and marketing of Paion's desmote- plase product in the U.S. and Canada. Desmoteplase, a plasminogen activator, or blood clot-dissolving agent, is under development in the U.S. and Europe for treatment of acute ischemic stroke. Positive results from a Phase II study showed that the compound has the potential to treat patients up to nine hours after the onset of stroke symptoms. The only currently available clot-dissolving agent must be administered within three hours of symptom onset; however, the majority of stroke patients arrive at the hospital outside that treatment window. At present, only 11% of ischemic stroke patients are eligible for the treatment and fewer than 4% actually receive it. Desmoteplase, with a longer treatment window, could expand the number of patients who receive clot-dissolving therapy. The companies entered into the agreement on June 30, and Forest made an undisclosed up-front payment to Paion on that date. Paion will receive milestone payments and a royalty based on sales, and Forest will fund all continuing clinical development activities for the U.S. and Canadian markets. Forest will be responsible for regulatory and sales and marketing activities in the U.S. and Canada and will have development and marketing rights to other indications of the product in these territories. Paion retains commercial rights in Europe, Japan and the rest of the world. The companies reported that they will be finalizing discussions with the FDA regarding study protocols to serve as the basis for a new biologics license application filing. It is anticipated that a Phase IIb study will be initiated in 3Q04.