Cardiac Science (Irvine, California), a manufacturer of public access defibrillators, said it is now working in conjunction with the American Red Cross (Washington) national organization and local Red Cross chapters across the country to make Powerheart automated external defibrillators (AEDs) available to businesses, government facilities and individuals in their communities. The relationship provides the Red Cross the opportunity to increase public access to defibrillation by providing AEDs and accessories, in conjunction with Red Cross lifesaving training courses, to workplaces and communities. Cardiac Science President and CEO Raymond Cohen said, "The Red Cross is the single largest CPR and AED training organization, training nearly 12 million people each year in these and other lifesaving skills. They are a natural collaborator for Cardiac Science, and we believe that allowing the Red Cross to facilitate the placement of Cardiac Science AEDs in conjunction with their training will increase the odds of surviving cardiac arrest in the communities they serve."

EP Medsystems (West Berlin, New Jersey), a manufacturer of cardiac electrophysiology products used to diagnose and treat certain cardiac rhythm disorders, reported the addition of the Alert Systems for internal cardioversion to the portfolio of products under contract for Premier (San Diego, California) members. The Alert System delivers programmable low-energy biphasic electrical impulses directly to the inside of a patient's heart to convert atrial fibrillation to a normal rhythm. The electrical impulses are delivered via the Alert catheter, a specially designed catheter used in tandem with an energy source called Alert Companion. EP Medsystems said the Alert System is the only approved catheter-based internal cardioversion system for the treatment of atrial fibrillation in the U.S.

eResearchTechnology (eRT; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), a provider of centralized electrocardiographic (ECG) collection and interpretation services, said it has received an agreement for more than $825,000 in cardiac safety monitoring and services from an unnamed top 10 pharmaceutical company for one of its drug candidates in late-phase clinical development. The agreement covers a Phase III study for which eRT is providing comprehensive support to 20 sites including the provision, training and ongoing assistance required for effective use of equipment designed to facilitate the digital capture of cardiac safety data that is subsequently provided to eRT for analysis. eRT will manage collection, measurement, interpretation, review, and distribution of cardiac safety data through its EXPeRT workflow--enabled data-handling technology, the first solution in production that was designed to meet emerging international regulatory guidance and technical standards.

Guidant (Indianapolis, Indiana) and ResMed (Poway, California) said they would work together to develop products that diagnose and treat sleep-disordered breathing and cardiac rhythm disorders. The agreement calls for the companies to collaborate on research and market development. Guidant specializes in cardiac devices such as pacemakers, defibrillators and stents, while ResMed makes devices for the diagnosis, treatment, and management of sleep-disorder breathing problems. The companies said they plan to co-market to each other's physician partners and customers, and to collaborate on research and development projects, clinical studies and doctor and patient education. The companies said their two areas of specialty involve patients with significant overlap. Medical research has shown a link between sleep-disordered breathing problems and high blood pressure, which can lead to other cardiovascular diseases.

Joint Purchasing Corp. (JPC; New York) said it has entered into a three-year sole-source agreement with Medrad (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), a provider of vascular injection systems, magnetic resonance (MR) accessories and services that enable and enhance imaging procedures of the human body. Among the injection systems offered under the agreement are Medrad's Mark V Provis Injection System for cardiovascular procedures, the Vistron CT and EnVision CT Injection Systems and the Spectris MR Injection System. JPC assists healthcare providers in the implementation of cost control and resource management strategies. Medrad is an affiliate of Schering AG (Berlin, Germany).

Zealand Pharma A/S (Glostrup, Denmark) has entered into a development and license agreement with Wyeth (Madison, New Jersey). The two companies will co-develop ZP123, Zealand's drug candidate for the treatment of arrhythmias and other cardiovascular diseases. ZP123 is a peptide that acts specifically on protein channels called gap junctions; in the heart, these channels are responsible for conducting electrical impulses between cells to maintain the heart's normal rhythm. Gap junction modulation may represent a completely novel mechanism of action for the treatment of cardiovascular disorders. The two companies will collaborate to conduct preclinical studies, while Wyeth would conduct future clinical development. Under the terms of the agreement, Zealand will receive research funding and milestone payments as well as royalties on potential future sales, assuming successful development and approval of a final product. As part of the agreement, Zealand has granted Wyeth an exclusive option for a broad collaboration program to identify additional drug candidates based on gap junction modulation as a mechanism of action.