Bioject Medical Technologies (Portland, Oregon), a developer of needle-free drug delivery systems, has signed a second agreement with Amgen (Thousand Oaks, California), a biotechnology company. The new agreement follows an initial clinical supply and license agreement with Amgen signed in March 2000 involving Bioject's Iject needle-free injection system. The new contract broadens Amgen's potential use of Bioject's needle-free injection systems, and includes product licensing and commercial supply terms. Bioject will provide Amgen with an exclusive license for use of a modified version of the Bioject B2000 needle-free injection system for certain undisclosed therapeutics. Bioject's needle-free injection systems enable medications and vaccines to be injected into the skin or muscle without the use of needles. Financial terms of the agreement include payments to Bioject of an up-front fee of $1 million, as well as a development milestone and other payments. The payments will support Bioject's ongoing product development, clinical supply and manufacturing expenses. In addition, the agreement outlines transfer pricing for Bioject's modified B2000 system.

dj Orthopedics (Vista, California), a designer, manufacturer and marketer of products and services for the orthopedic sports medicine market, has signed of a three-year contract with HealthTrust Purchasing Group (HPG; Nashville, Tennessee), a group purchasing organization that serves more than 800 health care facilities nationwide. Under the agreement, dj Orthopedics will sell its entire line of ProCare soft goods products at a contracted price for distribution to HPG member facilities.

Lumenis (Yokneam, Israel) and Boston Scientific (Natick, Massachusetts) have extended their strategic cooperation signing an exclusive agreement to distribute Lumenis' holmium lasers and accessories in Japan. The agreement relates to Lumenis' Versa Pulse holmium lasers and accessories which are used for the treatment of a variety of urological disorders, including stone disease (kidney, ureteral and bladder). The agreement gives Boston Scientific exclusive rights to sell Lumenis' holmium lasers, laser fibers and accessories in Japan. Lumenis, formerly ESC Medical Systems, makes laser and intense pulsed light devices. Its systems are used in a variety of aesthetic, surgical and ophthalmic applications.

Novation (Irving, Texas) and Encision (Boulder, Colorado) have completed a three-year supplier agreement for Encision's AEM laparoscopic instruments for use in minimally invasive surgery. Novation is the purchasing arm of VHA and UHC hospital groups and is the largest supply cost management company in health care, managing more than $17 billion in annual purchases for 7,000 health care organizations nationwide. As part of the agreement, Novation hospitals receive certain financial incentives to convert to Encision's AEM surgical instruments and further financial benefits when Novation purchases reach volume thresholds during the first 12 months of the agreement.

RITA Medical Systems (Mountain View, California), a maker of minimally invasive products to treat patients with solid cancerous or benign tumors, has signed a co-promotion agreement with Aloka (Wallingford, Connecticut), a diagnostic ultrasound imaging company. Ultrasound is the method used most often to visualize and guide the placement of RITA's radiofrequency (RF) ablation devices during medical procedures. Under the terms of the agreement, each company's U.S. sales force will undergo training on the other's products to help them identify potential common customers. RITA and Aloka also will seek opportunities to cooperate in formal physician training programs, co-sponsor trade show receptions, as well as display products and/or promotional materials at each other's booths at industry shows and conferences. Each company will retain direct control of the sales process for their respective products.

St. Jude Medical (St. Paul, Minnesota) and Catholic Healthcare West (CHW; San Francisco, California) unveiled a comprehensive purchasing agreement for St. Jude's cardiac rhythm management products tailored for Catholic Healthcare West's 41 member hospitals in California, Arizona and Nevada. Catholic Healthcare West is the largest Catholic health care system and one of the largest integrated hospital delivery networks in the U.S. The agreement covers a broad range of cardiovascular products and technologies from St. Jude Medical, including pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators. The agreement also provides access to all existing and future bradycardia and tachycardia technologies from St. Jude.

SonoSite (Bothell, Washington) and Broadlane (San Francisco, California), a provider of supply chain management services to the health care industry, have signed a two-year purchasing agreement to provide Broadlane customers access to SonoSite hand-carried ultrasound systems. Broadlane's customer base of more than 300 acute care hospitals and more than 1,400 sub-acute care facilities will have access to SonoSite's hand-carried ultrasound systems. The agreement provides the SonoSite 180Plus system for general imaging, including applications in emergency medicine, interventional radiology, obstetrics and gynecology, radiology, surgery and vascular imaging. The SonoHeart Plus device will be provided for applications in cardiology.

Source: The BBI Newsletter.