Alere Medical (San Francisco, California) and PacifiCare of California, a subsidiary of PacifiCare Health Systems (Santa Ana, California), have entered into a multi-year contract for Alere to provide technology-enabled disease management systems for congestive heart failure (CHF) patients and their physicians. Under the agreement, which may affect more than 5,000 PacifiCare members and their providers in California, Alere will supply its AlereNet system which provides an at-home technology enabling the collection and exchange of biometric and symptomatic information between patients and caregivers.

Avitar (Canton, Massachusetts) has formed a strategic partnership with Diagnostic Products GmbH (DIPRO; Ebreichsdorf, Austria). This commitment secures for Avitar exclusive rights to develop sales of DIPRO's Druglab product line in Europe (excluding Austria, Luxembourg and Switzerland), as well as rights to recruit Druglab's European distributors. Avitar also gains exclusive rights to distribute the product line in the U.S., while DIPRO becomes the exclusive European representative for Avitar's ORALscreen and HAIRscreen product lines.

BioMarin Pharmaceutical (Novato, California) said it exercised its option to acquire an exclusive global license to intellectual property covering Vibriolysin, an enzyme that has demonstrated efficacy related to debridement and wound healing in preclinical studies. The intellectual property includes European and U.S. issued patents and pending patents in Canada and Japan.

Caliper Technologies (Mountain View, California) and Structural GenomiX (SGX; San Diego, California) have formed a collaboration for development of a new application to perform high-throughput protein analysis that will run on Caliper's Automated Microfluidics System (AMS) 90 platform. The companies will work together to adapt Caliper's current protein sizing and analysis assay to a highly automated, sipper chip-based 96-well format. The new assay will be implemented on Caliper's AMS 90 platform and will be capable of processing hundreds of protein samples per chip per day.

Epix Medical (Cambridge, Massachusetts) and Schering AG (Berlin, Germany) have signed an agreement assigning Schering the exclusive rights to co-develop, make and market MS-325 in Japan. MS-325 is Epix's targeted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) agent, currently in Phase III clinical trials to determine its efficacy for the diagnosis of peripheral vascular disease. Schering obtained in June 2000 worldwide sales and marketing rights that excluded Japan, and now has sales and marketing rights for MS-325 worldwide. Schering will pay Epix $3 million up front and additional milestone payments. Epix Medical re-acquired the rights to the Japanese market for MS-325 from Daiichi Radioisotope Laboratories. Under the terms of that agreement, Epix will pay Daiichi $2.8 million in up-front fees and additional milestone payments, as well as royalty payments on net sales of MS-325 in Japan. Epix assumes responsibility for completing clinical development for FDA approval, and Schering leads clinical development activities for the product outside the U.S.

Matritech (Newton, Massachusetts) has entered into a distribution agreement with Timm Medical Technologies (Eden Prairie, Minnesota) under which Timm will become the sole U.S. distributor to the urology community of a non-instrumented, point-of-care format of Matritech's NMP22 test for bladder cancer. The terms of the multi-year agreement include an initial equity investment by Timm in Matritech, marketing fees, milestone payments and increasing minimum NMP22 purchases. The agreement is based on FDA clearance of the point-of-care format for the NMP22 test, which Matritech intends to file for this year.

Nellcor (Pleasanton, California), now part of Tyco Healthcare (Exeter, New Hampshire), has signed a five-year, sole-source purchasing agreement with the Novation (Irving, Texas) group purchasing organization under which Novation will market the full line of Nellcor pulse oximeters and sensors to its members. The contract will cover some 7,000 health care organizations that are members of VHA or the University HealthSystem Consortium, or who buy product through HealthCare Purchasing Partners International. Novation also reached a three-year agreement with Gibbons Surgical (Virginia Beach, Virginia) for its line of specialty surgical devices and other operating room products. The contract includes Gibbons Surgical's specialty devices for minimally invasive surgery, including its "reposable" trocars, cannulas and instruments for laparoscopy and thoroscopy. Novation also reached a multi-year agreement with Hologic (Bedford, Massachusetts), a provider of a broad array of radiographic solutions, for sale of its osteoporosis testing technology.

Philips Medical Systems North America (Shelton, Connecticut), a supplier of diagnostic imaging systems and related services, has entered into a marketing agreement with InSiteOne (Wallingford, Connecticut), a provider of online and nearline digital imaging storage and archiving services. Under terms of the agreement, Philips will incorporate InSiteOne's patent-pending InDex archive solution as part of its Inturis for Radiology picture archiving and communication system application service provider solution.