AeroGen (Sunnyvale, California) has signed a distribution agreement with Puritan Bennett under which Puritan Bennett will market, worldwide, a private-label customized version of AeroGen's InLine nebulizer for use with Puritan Bennett ventilators. The nebulizer is designed to provide improved delivery of drugs to the lungs of patients on ventilators who require pulmonary drug therapy. AeroGen will receive an up-front payment, followed by milestone payments as commercialization objectives are met. The product, which will be marketed under Puritan Bennett's trade name VersaMist, has been developed by AeroGen's wholly owned subsidiary in Galway, Ireland. AeroGen will be responsible for manufacturing the product in Ireland and transferring it to Puritan Bennett at an agreed-upon price. Puritan Bennett said that the product is targeted for introduction in the U.S. in late 2001, subject to obtaining 510(k) regulatory clearance. Puritan makes specialty medical products that help sustain breathing in respiratory critical care patients. AeroGen makes inhaler and nebulizer products for the treatment of respiratory diseases, and currently has products in the clinical and preclinical stages of development.

Cygnus (Redwood City, California) signed a U.S. market research agreement with Lifescan (Milipitas, California), a Johnson & Johnson company, for the GlucoWatch Biographer. Lifescan will have exclusive access, for a limited period of time, to data from a pilot marketing program to be conducted in the U.S. by Cygnus for the GlucoWatch Biographer, a frequent, automatic and non-invasive glucose monitoring device. The agreement also calls for Cygnus to have exclusive access to any market research conducted by Lifescan relating to the GlucoWatch Biographer. In addition, the agreement provides Lifescan a right of first refusal with respect to a Comprehensive Collaboration Agreement from the signing of the agreement to at least 60 days after market research data has been received by Lifescan. Neither Cygnus nor Lifescan has any obligation to enter into such an agreement. If the FDA approves the premarket approval application for the system, Cygnus anticipates conducting a pilot marketing program in the U.S. The pilot marketing program is expected to include about 100 to 150 people using the Biographer and participating in extensive market research. Cygnus makes noninvasive diagnostic medical devices using biosensor technologies.

dj Orthopedics (San Diego, California), a maker of orthopedic recovery products, has entered into an exclusive marketing agreement with Innovative Medical Device (IMD; Newton, Massachusetts) for the OrthoPulse product, a noninvasive technology used for the treatment of bone growth stimulation using pulsed electromagnetic fields. This transaction will initiate significant expansion of dj Orthopedics' business platform through an increased customer base and extended product offering, said the company.

drkoop.com, Inc. (Austin, Texas), an Internet health and wellness network, and I-trax (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), a developer of integrated clinical solutions, have established a portfolio of secure, community-based communication and care coordination services that will be licensed to health systems, employer groups, physicians and health care providers. Consumers may also subscribe directly to these services to manage their family's health issues with confidential access, tracking, sharing and storing of on-line health information for themselves and family members. The agreement contemplates a joint performance of $42 million in cumulative aggregate net sales through the first 36 months. Generally, the two companies will share revenues on approximately a 50/50 basis in the integrated delivery network market and with drkoop.com customers. Other markets will also be available to the companies, and revenue sharing will vary based on product mix. I-trax will be able to market through drkoop.com's health and wellness network.

Exactech (Gainesville, Florida), maker of orthopedic joint implants, has entered into a joint venture to sell and market bone and joint restoration products including artificial knees and hips and associated product lines in the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China (Taiwan). Exactech and InVigor Biotechnology have jointly formed Exactech Asia Ltd., a Hong Kong-registered company with branch offices in Shanghai and Taipei. Exactech and China-based InVigor Biotechnology each will own 50% through their own wholly owned subsidiaries. The new company will be managed by David Lin, who will be based in Shanghai. InVigor Biotechnology, a wholly owned subsidiary of InVigor Capital Group, manufactures bioabsorbable materials and medical instruments and equipment.

The Functional and Molecular Imaging business (nuclear medicine/PET) of GE Medical Systems (Waukesha, Wisconsin) has signed a three year, multi-unit strategic partnership agreement with Mobile P.E.T. Systems (San Diego, California), a mobile provider of positron emission tomography PET scanner systems and patient services worldwide. This strategic partnership agreement includes purchase commitments from Mobile P.E.T. Systems for both the GE Advance NXi PET scanner and PETtrace Cyclotron units. Physicians and their patients soon will have more immediate access to an industry-leading diagnostic tool for optimum cancer detection and staging. With this agreement, GE Healthcare Financial Solutions will provide Mobile P.E.T. Systems with $50 million in lease financing to facilitate its expansion.

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