CV Therapeutics and Incyte Genomics (both Palo Alto, California) expanded an earlier research agreement to focus on identifying genes involved in the development of atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. Under the new agreement, CVT will develop biological models to study genes implicated in cardiovascular disease, and the company will supply mRNA from these models to Incyte, which will analyze them using microarray technology and generate RNA expression data.

Karo Bio AB (Huddinge, Sweden) entered its largest collaboration to date, with American Home Products (AHP; Madison, New Jersey) to focus on a drug to prevent and treat atherosclerosis. The deal could bring Karo Bio as much as $100 million. The deal entails an up-front payment, research and development funding, and milestone payments linked to development and global approvals. Karo also would receive royalties in the 7% to 15% range and an in-market bonus if certain sales goals are met. The joint research program initially will center on the liver X receptor. By affecting the receptor, it is possible to stimulate the production of a specific transport protein that dissolves cholesterol buildup in arteries.

U.S. Medical (Denver, Colorado), a provider of new and pre-owned capital medical equipment (CME) to hospitals, physicians, veterinarians and other medical professionals, said that it has signed an exclusive agreement with TomTec Imaging Systems (Munich, Germany) to become the U.S. distributor of four new ultrasound products for the physician in private practice. The four products involved are 3D Smart-Scan workstation, Echo-Com workstation, Echo-Com Review software and TomTec ultrasound tutorial products. These products can be easily retrofitted to most existing ultrasound systems, thereby, said the companies, adding a variety of new diagnostic features. TomTec's product line encompasses a wide range of 2-D and 3-D technology for acquisition, analysis and reconstruction of ultrasound data. The product line is applicable to the fields of adult and pediatric cardiology as well as OB/GYN and radiology and vascular imaging.

VHA (Irving, Texas) has signed agreements with two companies to help member health care organizations that choose to reprocess and reuse medical devices. Alliance Medical (Phoenix, Arizona) and Vanguard Medical Concepts (Lakeland, Florida) will offer complete reprocessing services, helping participating VHA members reduce costs and biohazardous waste, while complying with federal regulatory requirements for medical device reprocessing.