Endocardial Solutions (ESI; St. Paul, Minnesota) reached an agreement with the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (Rochester, Minnesota) for the development and licensing of an automated 3-D cardiac segmentation and modeling software product. The company has exclusive rights to cardiac electrophysiology mapping and navigation applications for this software which will be developed in collaboration with the Mayo Foundation's Biomedical Imaging Group (BIR), using advanced image-processing software technology already developed and commercialized by the BIR. The 3-D Cardiac Segmentation Software is designed as an open platform that allows physicians to obtain digital scans of a patient's heart from the computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance (MR) imaging system of any manufacturer using current industry standard (DICOM 3) and create a segmented 3-D digital image of any individual chamber of the heart. The 3-D Cardiac Segmentation Software will be introduced on ESI's new EnSite high-performance Intel Xeon computer workstation platform.

Endologix (Irvine, California) has signed an agreement with Edwards Lifesciences (also Irvine) for Edwards to distribute the Endologix PowerLink System in selected European markets, including Belgium, France, Germany and the UK. The PowerLink System is an endoluminal stent graft (ELG) for the minimally invasive treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA). Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The PowerLink System is a unibody self-expandable device, with a frame made of stainless steel alloy covered with an ePTFE graft. The one-piece bifurcated design featuring a fully supported stent cage was developed to overcome the shortcomings associated with earlier-generation ELG devices.

The Kendall SharpSafety division of Tyco Healthcare (Mansfield, Massachusetts) and Consorta (Rolling Meadows, Illinois), a group purchasing organization, have agreed to a three-year, sole-source contract for conventional needle and syringe products. Tyco Healthcare also is one of three approved manufacturers chosen by Consorta to supply safety needle and syringe products. The agreements become effective July 1 and have an aggregate estimated annual value of $12 million.

Longport (Swarthmore, Pennsylvania) has signed a distribution agreement with Advanced Vital Services (AVS; Boston, Massachusetts) to supply high-resolution ultrasound scanners. AVS has placed orders with Longport for scanners valued at about $250,000, to be delivered within the next two months and forecasts an additional requirement of 50 to 100 systems in the next 12 months. ACS has been using Longport's ultrasound technology in a number of its skilled nursing facilities in the U.S. for the last several months.

Repro-Med Systems (Chester, New York) reported a distribution agreement with Omni Biomed (Knoxville, Tennessee). Omni Biomed services hospitals, physicians, clinics and home and long-term care markets in the Southeast U.S. The agreement covers the Freedom60 Syringe Infusion System and the Res-Q-Vac Airway Suction System.

R2 Technology (Sunnyvale, California), specializing in medical computer-aided detection (CAD), reported a three-year agreement with MedAssets HSCA (St. Louis, Missouri), a group purchasing organization. MedAssets is extending its contract with R2 for the provision of the R2 ImageChecker CAD system to its members, which total more than 22,000 healthcare providers nationwide. The ImageChecker was the first CAD system approved by the FDA for screening mammography and the first system approved for use with screening, diagnostic and digital mammography. The agreement includes the ImageChecker DM system for higher-volume facilities, the ImageChecker DX for medium-volume groups and the ImageChecker LX, which is designed for lower-volume mammography practices.

Royal Philips Electronics (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC; Washington), a non-profit membership association representing the interests of volunteer fire, EMS and rescue services, unveiled an exclusive, joint marketing agreement to raise awareness of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) among volunteer firefighters and the communities in which they work, increase support for local NVFC members and assist volunteer fire departments in acquiring automated external defibrillators (AEDs) necessary for treating SCA. As part of the agreement, Philips, the manufacturer of HeartStart defibrillators, and the NVFC will provide volunteer fire departments and individual firefighters with discounted NVFC memberships, as well as savings on resuscitation supplies and training materials.

Vital Images (Minneapolis, Minnesota), a medical imaging software company, has signed an integration agreement with Sectra (Linkoping, Sweden), a provider of picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) throughout the world. Under this agreement, Vital Images' Vitrea 2 software for advanced 3D visualization and analysis will be integrated with Sectra's PACS solutions.

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