CardioDynamics (San Diego, California), maker of Impedance Cardiography (ICG) technology and manufacturer of BioZ noninvasive digital cardiac function monitoring systems, has signed a distribution agreement with SunTech Medical Instruments (Raleigh, North Carolina), a developer of motion-tolerant noninvasive blood pressure monitoring products and technology. SunTech's new ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) monitor, a compact, lightweight instrument that may become an at-home extension of the BioZ by providing a cost-effective solution for monitoring a patient's blood pressure outside the clinical environment, will be sold by CardioDynamics' U.S. direct sales force and its distributors throughout North, Central and South America.

Endovasc (Montgomery, Texas), said a confidentiality agreement that gave GlaxoSmithKline (London) a temporary exclusive right to review and discuss scientific developments associated with Angiogenix, Endovasc's small nicotine isomer product, was terminated. The company said it has received interest from other companies and decided discussions with GlaxoSmithKline "were not moving forward the way we thought they could and further discussions would be counterproductive."

The French biotechnology company Genfit SA (Lille, France) signed a research collaboration agreement with the pharmaceutical division of Kowa, a Japanese conglomerate whose activities span a number of industries. The collaboration is aimed at the development of a new anti-atherosclerotic drug based on research carried out by Genfit into a natural mechanism that eliminates cholesterol from arterial walls. It calls for the companies to identify innovative therapeutic strategies for enhancing the anti-atherosclerotic mechanism as an alternative to current therapies. The five-year deal provides for Kowa to make an up-front payment to Genfit for the purchase of a license and to provide it with annual research funding, as well as potential milestone payments and royalties.

Guidant (Indianapolis, Indiana), a developer of treatments for cardiac and vascular disease, and Genzyme Biosurgery (Cambridge, Massachusetts), a division of Genzyme Corp., unveiled a cross-license agreement related to certain patents for products used in "off-pump" or beating-heart cardiac bypass surgery. Genzyme will make a one-time license fee payment to Guidant and pay ongoing royalties on the sale of these products. Guidant also will obtain a license to certain Genzyme patents. Genzyme Biosurgery's products and pipeline are concentrated in the orthopedic and heart disease markets and in broader surgical applications.