• Angiosonics (Morrisville, North Carolina ) will collaborate with the Cleveland Clinic Foundation (Cleveland, Ohio) in a project to identify optimal dosing parameters for the use of therapeutic ultrasound in reducing arterial restenosis. Angiosonics reports having both experimental and clinical data to suggest that therapeutic ultrasound energy can be used to inhibit restenosis and enable vessel wall healing. Analysis of six-month follow-up data following therapeutic ultrasound thrombolysis for treatment in the setting of acute myocardial infarction shows a lower-than-normal restenosis rate of approximately 20%. Although the product used for this patient population was not designed for anti-restenosis therapy, the company said it was "encouraged about the feasibility of using therapeutic ultrasound for both dissolution of intra-vascular blood clots, and prevention of those same vessels from re-narrowing." The goals of the Cleveland Clinic project are to both optimize the anti-restenosis effect of the current Acolysis Ultrasound Thrombolysis System, as well as to identify features for a definitive product for the prevention of arterial restenosis.
  • Arrhythmia Research Technology (ART; Austin, Texas) has completed an agreement with GE Marquette Medical Systems (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) for which GE Marquette will pay to ART $1.06 million in lieu of royalties due to ART with respect to sales of the CardioLab product. With this payment, all obligations of ART and Prucka Engineering (PEI; Sugar Land, Texas) under a 1994 agreement relating to the distribution of PEI's CardioLab system will terminate. GE Marquette acquired PEI in 1999 and assumed PEI's obligation to pay royalties to ART until Dec. 31, 2002. ART intends to use the proceeds of the buy-out for general corporate purposes and may use some of the proceeds to further develop its patented signal averaged ECG technology and to identify new opportunities for its Micron Products unit's sensor business. ART sells equipment used in the cardiovascular field for diagnosing and treating patients with irregular heartbeat and irregular electrical conduction patterns of the heart.
  • Data Critical (Bothell, Washington), a developer of wireless communication for health care, said it has expanded an agreement with Edwards Lifesciences (Irvine, California) to co-market its WebChart Internet-based patient charting tool. Edwards will pre-purchase licenses for Data Critical's WebChart CardioVascular product and make them available to the company's cardiovascular customers. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. "Edwards' continued commitment to WebChart further validates our efforts to penetrate vertical markets such as cardiac surgery," said Jeffrey Brown, president and CEO of Data Critical, noting that the expanded agreement doubles Edwards' initial commitment, announced last October. WebChart Cardiovascular automatically captures Society of Thoracic Surgeons outcomes data. Edwards clients who purchase WebChart also will have access to unwired Dr.com, the company's wireless Internet platform for delivering clinical information to mobile health care professionals.
  • EP MedSystems (EPMD; Mount Arlington, New Jersey) has entered into a sales and marketing agreement with Witt Biomedical (Melbourne, Florida), a private company that makes physiologic monitors and cardiology networks for the companies to develop and market a combination cardiology workstation. EPMD is developing new cardiac electrophysiology workstations while Witt makes cardiac hemodynamic workstations. Randy Rolston, EPMD vice president of sales and marketing, commented on the alliance: "Our joint goal is to provide a systems approach that concurrently provides hemodynamic and electrophysiologic monitoring in the newest Windows environment. A number of features can be integrated into a joint system, including data management, image archival products, our EP stimulator, our defibrillation unit and an ultrasound unit. This unit should provide a comprehensive ergonomic tool for patient management." EP MedSystems makes cardiac electrophysiology products used to diagnose and treat certain cardiac arrhythmia disorders. EPMD estimates that there are approximately 2 million people in the U.S. with atrial fibrillation.
  • Valentis (Burlingame, California) has entered into an agreement with Eurogene (London) to develop a nitric oxide synthase gene medicine for the prevention or treatment of restenosis following bypass graft surgery. The companies will share research costs and potential revenues related to the delivery and expression of a gene encoding the intracellular enzyme eNOS. An eNOS gene medicine developed through the collaboration could enter clinical trials within a year following successful preclinical studies, Valentis said.
  • The new StatLock PICC Plus catheter securement device made by Venetec International (San Diego, California) will be featured in catheter kits from Arrow International (Reading, Pennsylvania). StatLock PICC Plus is designed to improve patient safety and comfort while protecting against accidental needlesticks from premature catheter restarts and suture needles. Catheters can be released from the PICC Plus anchoring pad without an instrument such as a hemostat, simply by lifting up the transparent StatLock "gull wings" and raising the catheter from the posts. StatLock PICC Plus works with both sliding and fixed catheter posts and eliminates the need to suture such catheters into place. Arrow is a supplier of central vascular access catheterization products.

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