Angiotech Pharmaceuticals (Vancouver, British Columbia) and Baxter International's (Deerfield, Illinois) Baxter Healthcare unit will enter into a strategic alliance entitling Baxter to worldwide sales, marketing and distribution rights for the surgical sealant CoSeal and the surgical anti-adhesive Adhibit. The worldwide rights exclude Japan and certain other unspecified territories. Angiotech said the companies have entered into an interim agreement, whereby Baxter will immediately initiate sales and distribution of CoSeal. They will negotiate further agreements to support the strategic alliance, it noted. Angiotech said it expects the deal to include an up-front fee of C$12 million and further payments up to C$22 million, as well as "a payment of revenue on sales of these products at a percentage in the low double-digits." CoSeal is a synthetic vascular sealant used to form a strong seal to prevent fluid leaks after surgical procedures. Adhibit is a fully synthetic sprayable barrier, which binds to tissue and prevents surgical adhesions.

Beckman Coulter (Fullerton, California) said it has entered into a reagent development and distribution agreement with Cell Signaling Technologies (CST). Under the agreement, Beckman Coulter will distribute existing CST reagents and newly co-developed cell signaling reagents optimized for use in flow cytometry. In addition, the companies will co-develop multiplex panels of activation-state specific antibodies to explore, define and monitor major regulatory circuits controlling cell growth, differentiation and cell death using flow cytometry. Elias Caro, president of Beckman Coulter's Biomedical Research Division, said, "This collaboration supports our strategy to integrate the sciences of genomics and proteomics with the study of cellular function cytomics." Founded in 1999 by scientists from New England Biolabs, Cell Signaling Technology, develops activation-state-specific antibodies. These antibodies report protein activity and play a role in defining the cell's major regulatory circuits and the mechanisms underlying cell function and disease.

Global Medical Products Holdings (GMPH; Laguna Hills, California) said its ECOM Shanghai International Trading Co. subsidiary has signed a distribution agreement with B. Braun Medical Ltd. (Sheffield, UK), a unit of German-based B. Braun. The agreement provides to ECOM the distribution rights to vena cava filters and vascular grafts made by B. Braun's Aesculap (Tuttiligen, Germany) unit. The agreement was initiated several months ago when it was learned that Boston Scientific (Natick, Massachusetts) might transition their distribution of products to an internal direct sale distribution center. In early January, ECOM was notified by BSC International Trading (Shanghai) CO. Ltd. of that intent and that the current agreement with Boston Scientific would terminate on March 31. The new agreement with B. Braun expands the distribution to not only more products but to an expanded territory which encompasses the Hua Dong area of China. This includes the areas of Shanghai, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Hubei, Henan, and Anhui.

Impac Medical Systems (Mountain View, California), a provider of information technology solutions for cancer care, has formed a partnership with the Mattson Jack Group (MJG), a consulting firm specializing in decision support for the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, to introduce CancerMetric, a new, web-based oncology informatics tool using MJG's web interface. Powered by Impac's National Oncology Database (NODB), SEER Data and MJG's modeling algorithms, CancerMetric is designed to improve knowledge and understanding of cancer treatment and trends, improves accuracy and consistency of cancer market information, and accelerates market understanding. The Mattson Jack Group is a consultancy formed in 1986, working exclusively in healthcare.

PDI (Upper Saddle River, New Jersey) and Boston Scientific (Natick, Massachusetts) said Boston Scientific has retained PDI Medical Devices & Diagnostics (PDI MD&D), a PDI division, to build and manage a team of up to 17 nurses who will provide clinical support for certain Boston Scientific hospital products. The team will be provided through PDI InServe, a business unit of PDI MD&D. PDI InServe is a supplier of supplemental field-staffing programs whose teams are composed of medical technologists, nurses and other clinical professionals who educate users on product applications and provide hands-on product training to promote customer satisfaction. PDI is a commercial sales and marketing provider to the biopharmaceutical and medical devices and diagnostics industries.

Zargis Medical (Princeton, New Jersey), which is developing an acoustic signal-processing technology for the screening and diagnosis of congenital and valvular heart disease, said it has signed a licensing agreement with Johns Hopkins University (JHU; Baltimore, Maryland) and its Applied Physics Laboratory (APL). APL is a division of Johns Hopkins devoted to research and development projects and their commercialization. Zargis will have exclusive access to JHU's database of heart sounds. According to the company, this will not only enable Zargis to expedite the validation of its acoustic technology, but also to accelerate its clinical adoption. The technology is based on a signal processing system and algorithms that analyze heart sounds acquired through a digital stethoscope.