Exactech (Gainesville, Florida) said it signed a letter of agreement to enter into a distribution arrangement with Waldemar Link GmbH & Co. (Hamburg, Germany) and its U.S. subsidiary Link Orthopedics. Under the distribution agreement, Exactech will distribute the Link hip, knee and surgical instruments in the U.S. and Canada. Exactech also will distribute Link's S.T.A.R. ankle under Link's ongoing investigational device exemption. The definitive distribution agreement will have a two-year initial term, with options for renewal. Exactech develops orthopedic implant devices, related surgical instruments and biologic materials and provides services to hospitals and physicians.

Guidant (Indianapolis, Indiana) and Remon Medical Technologies (Caeseria, Israel), a privately held company, have established a cooperative development and supply agreement to incorporate Remon's patented interactive sensor technology into Guidant's Ancure Endograft System, a less-invasive method for repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). The application of Remon's technology to endovascular treatment will allow physicians to monitor the pressure within the excluded AAA, where there is an increased risk of rupture. Guidant and Remon also said they are joint recipients of a grant from the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation for development of this product by the two companies. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

I-Flow (Lake Forest, California) said that the Premier group purchasing organization has signed a three-year agreement to purchase I-Flow's ON-Q Pain Management System and Soaker Catheter for post-surgical pain relief for its alliance of hospitals and other health care providers. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The Premier contract is the first national purchasing agreement to be completed by I-Flow since the company regained the exclusive worldwide distribution rights for its ON-Q Pain Management System on Jan. 1.

MDdatacor (Atlanta, Georgia) a provider of clinical information management products for physician practices and the health care industry, signed a U.S. sales and marketing agreement with Dianon Systems (Stratford, Connecticut), a national provider of cancer and genomic diagnostic services. Dianon will market MDdatacor's clinical database services to its urology and gastroenterology physician customer base. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Respironics (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), a manufacturer of medical devices used for the treatment of patients suffering from respiratory disorders, has entered into a two-year agreement with Broadlane (San Francisco, California), a provider of supply chain management services to the health care industry. The agreement provides Broadlane customers with access to Respironics' line of noninvasive ventilation products and related accessories at preferred prices and terms. Respironics products now available to Broadlane customers include the Esprit Ventilator and the BiPAP Vision Ventilatory Support System, which provide an alternative to invasive procedures that require the intubation of respiratory patients.

SaluMedica (Atlanta, Georgia), a privately held company, said it has granted exclusive rights to MBA (Gijon, Spain) to distribute the SaluBridge Nerve Cuff products in Spain, Italy, and Portugal. MBA is a health care distribution network in Europe. This agreement comes on the heels of SaluMedica's authorization to apply the CE mark to its SaluBridge Nerve Cuff. SaluMedica will continue to be responsible for product manufacturing and associated costs of the device, the company's first product, which was released for sale in the U.S. in October 2001. While finalizing domestic distribution arrangements, SaluMedica will continue to sell the device directly in the U.S.

Smith & Nephew Endoscopy (Andover, Massachusetts), a subsidiary of Smith & Nephew (London), has entered into a strategic alliance agreement with Computer Motion (Goleta, California), to interface that firm's Hermes Control Center with Smith & Nephew Endoscopy's portfolio of medical products. Hermes Control Center is a centralized system that enables surgeons to have direct control over a network of operating room-specific equipment such as cameras, light sources, tables and digital acquisition systems.

Somanetics (Troy, Michigan) signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Tyco Healthcare Group Canada (THGC), a subsidiary of Tyco Healthcare (Exeter, New Hampshire), under which THGC will market and sell Somanetics' Invos Cerebral Oximeter system throughout Canada. The Invos Cerebral Oximeter is a noninvasive and continuous monitor of changes in regional oxygen saturation of the blood in the brain. Tyco Healthcare is the exclusive distributor of the Invos system in 39 other international markets, including Europe.

Z-KAT (Hollywood, Florida) has entered into a strategic alliance with Biomet (Warsaw, Indiana) for exclusive co-development and distribution of image-guided surgical applications in all of Biomet's business fields. Z-KAT develops image-guided software, intelligent instrumentation and human-interactive robotic technologies for minimally invasive musculoskeletal and neurological surgeries. Biomet and its subsidiaries make products used primarily by musculoskeletal medical specialists in both surgical and non-surgical therapy.