Endocardial Solutions (ESI; St. Paul, Minnesota) reached an agreement with the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (Rochester, Minnesota) for the development and license 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 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 or magnetic resonance 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. This 3-D Cardiac Segmentation Software will be introduced on ESI's new EnSite high performance Intel Xeon computer workstation platform, and will enable physicians to view and display actual 3-D images of a patient's cardiac anatomy, which is important in the diagnosis and treatment with ablation therapy of cardiac arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation. Future versions of the EnSite Digital Image Fusion technology will enable electrophysiologists to easily import, display and register these segmented cardiac images with the EnSite System, and then navigate and visualize any conventional electrophysiology catheter in the registered 3-D image of the patient's cardiac chamber anatomy using ESI's EnSite NavX nonfluoroscopic navigation technology.

Endologix (Irvine, California) has signed an agreement with Edwards Lifesciences (Irvine, California) 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. Financial terms 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. Endologix has filed a premarket approval submission with the FDA to market the PowerLink System and expects to receive approval in the second half of this year.

International Medical Innovations (IMI; Toronto, Ontario), a developer of predictive medicine products, together with its wholly owned Swiss subsidiary, unveiled an exclusive worldwide non-Canadian licensing agreement with McNeil Consumer Healthcare (Guelph, Ontario), a Johnson & Johnson (New Brunswick, New Jersey) company, for IMI's non-invasive cardiovascular risk assessment technology. McNeil and its worldwide affiliates will market and distribute IMI's predictive tests for coronary artery disease under the brand name PREVU Coronary Heart Disease Predictor. IMI will sell products to McNeil and receive an ongoing royalty on McNeil's sales of those products. IMI also will receive a $3 million up-front payment as well as a series of milestone payments of up to roughly $15.75 million. This amount is in addition to $3.3 million in milestone payments from IMI's existing Canadian license agreement. The agreement applies to all current and future formats of the test, which are being jointly developed by McNeil and IMI, in all fields of use, including the medical, laboratory and home use markets. The term of the agreement is for the lifetime of all patents, with a minimum of 10 years. IMI will continue to lead the clinical program, focusing on expanding the scientific support for the product and on identifying potential new market opportunities. It also will retain control over manufacturing and product development. IMI's technology measures the level of sterol in the skin by generating a color-change reaction to generate a quantifiable result.

Lifestream Technologies (Post Falls, Idaho), a developer and marketer of consumer cholesterol monitors and professional screening instruments, said that Walgreens (Deerfield, Illinois) has agreed to distribute the Lifestream Cholesterol Monitor at its more than 4,400 retail locations nationwide. Lifestream has developed a line of cholesterol monitors for consumers and healthcare professionals that provide test results in three minutes.

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. The NVFC and Philips will jointly provide learning opportunities to increase awareness of SCA and defibrillation, and it will encourage the development and growth of community public access defibrillation programs to further enhance the emergency response system.

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