AccuMed International and Ampersand Medical (both Chicago, Illinois) revised a prior agreement and settled past disputes involving a prior license agreement. The new pact gives Ampersand access to AccuMed technology and patent rights for Ampersand's point-of-care systems for cervical and ovarian cancer screening. Also, AccuMed has agreed to technology consultation and will sell a guaranteed minimum number of its AcCell work stations to Ampersand for use in upcoming FDA clinical trials. AccuMed has received an up-front licensing fee and will receive an up-front payment as a part of a 4% royalty on Ampersand sales. AccuMed has also received additional shares in Ampersand. In related news, Accumed signed a multi-year patent and technology license agreement with BCAM International (Melville, New York), the parent company of LungCheck. The agreement provides BCAM with analytical instruments for a program for earlier detection and diagnosis of lung cancer. BCAM will have exclusive use of the AccuMed technology in the field of morphological, cytochemical, cytogenetic, and quantitative sputum cytology, including DNA, MAC (malignancy-associated changes) and other genetic or molecular diagnostics for early lung cancer detection or therapy.

Affymetrix (Santa Clara, California) and Amdec (New York), an organization comprising medical schools, academic health centers, and research institutions in the New York area, have entered into an academic access agreement. Participating institutions will have access to Affymetrix' standard and custom GeneChip arrays, instrumentation, and software to monitor gene expression for R&D activities. Participating institutions are Albert Einstein College of Medicine; Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons; Joan & Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University; Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; Mount Sinai School of Medicine; New York University School of Medicine; North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System; Rockefeller University; State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn; State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences; State University of New York at Stony Brook University Hospital and Medical Center; and University of Rochester School of Medicine.

C.R. Bard (Murray Hill, New Jersey) has entered into agreements with Olympus Europe and KeyMed for the European, Middle East, and African distribution of Bard's disposable gastrointestinal (GI) and endoscopic accessories for GI procedures. The products will be available immediately through Olympus Europe and KeyMed – both wholly owned subsidiaries of Olympus Optical (Tokyo) – and will be manufactured by Bard Interventional Products (Billerica, Massachusetts). The product lines covered include biopsy forceps, biliary accessories, polypectomy snares (used to remove polyps in the colon), and other endoscopic products to diagnose and treat GI disorders. Bard makes products for urology, oncology, vascular, and surgical specialty applications.

GE Marquette Medical Systems (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) has signed a three-year contract with Consorta Catholic Resource Partners (Chicago, Illinois) to provide patient monitoring systems and services to Consorta's 900 members in the U.S. The agreement, effective April 1, will include 289 acute care facilities and more than half of all Catholic hospitals in the nation. GE Marquette will provide patient monitoring solutions, including the Solar family of advanced vital signs monitors, the Eagle configured monitors, and the portable Dashmonitor for continuous patient monitoring during transport via ambulance or aircraft.

Laser Vision Centers (St. Louis, Missouri) has signed its eighth limited partnership agreement with Eye Associates of New Mexico (Albuquerque, New Mexico), covering four of its facilities in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Farmington, and Clovis. A fixed laser will be located at the Albuquerque facility and a LaserVision Roll On/Roll Off system will service the other sites. LaserVision will now also provide its services to the Albuquerque facility that the company said will add 1,000 additional procedures in 2000 and about 1,800 in 2001.

Orquest (Mountain View, California) and Biopharm GmbH (Heidelberg, Germany) entered into an agreement to apply advances in biotechnology and matrix chemistry for developing products for spine, fracture, dental, and cartilage repair. Biopharm will contribute MP52, a recombinant growth factor, while Orquest will contribute materials and know-how for developing and assembling combinations of growth factors and matrices. The first product, HealosMP52, is expected to enter clinical studies shortly in the U.S. and Europe for spinal fusion, in collaboration with Sulzer Spine-Tech.

Palomar Medical Technologies (Burlington, Massachusetts) has signed an agreement with M&M Co./Mutoh, the largest medical distributor in Japan. Mutoh will support the Palomar SLP1000 (super long-pulse) diode laser system for hair removal throughout Japan and be responsible for customer service, education and communication, display and demonstration, and physician order placement. Palomar makes laser systems for hair removal and other cosmetic laser treatments and is the first company to obtain clearance using laser systems from the FDA for permanent hair reduction.