Angiotech Pharmaceuticals (Vancouver, British Columbia), a specialty pharmaceutical company focusing on drug-coated medical devices and biomaterials, said it has licensed a portfolio of biomaterial, drug delivery and medical device technologies from Poly-Med (Anderson, South Carolina). The agreement will expand Angiotech's relationship with Poly-Med, a developer of biomaterial technologies, which it initially formalized in a June 2001 licensing agreement. The collaboration grants Angiotech exclusive rights to several of Poly-Med's key technologies, including a portfolio of absorbable and biodegradable polymers and drug delivery technologies that are potentially useful in several areas of interest to Angiotech, including tissue repair, orthopedic surgery and vascular surgery.

Philips Medical Systems (Andover, Massachusetts) has signed a long-term strategic alliance with Fletcher Allen Health Care (Burlington, Vermont), which in alliance with the University of Vermont College of Medicine is Vermont's only academic health center. Philips will provide cardiovascular imaging equipment and software, enterprise-wide PACS, radiology equipment, as well as patient monitoring systems, services and other products. Among other equipment, the Allura Xper FD10, the latest development in interventional X-ray systems suited for the catheterization lab, will be installed and used during cardiovascular procedures.

Zeon Medical (Tokyo) has concluded an exclusive distribution agreement for the sales and marketing in Japan of Pathway Medical Technologies' (Redmond, Washington) aspiration atherectomy device, the CardioPath System. Zeon plans to start clinical trials in the second half of 2004 for the approval of the CardioPath System in Japan. The system consists of a small console and a disposable catheter that removes and aspirates all types of coronary blockages, ranging from hard calcium to soft plaque or thrombus. Using a principle known as "differential cutting," healthy elastic tissue deflects away from the tip while the diseased inelastic material is removed and aspirated.

Zoll Medical (Chelmsford, Massachusetts), a manufacturer of non-invasive cardiac resuscitation devices, reported receiving a three-year, multi-source contract with group purchasing organization Premier (San Diego, California), authorizing Zoll's direct sales force and physician-marketplace distributors to sell Zoll's line of external defibrillators to Premier's member organizations, including more than 1,500 hospitals and about 4,000 clinics and surgical centers.