AmeriNet (St. Louis, Missouri), the largest membership-based health care group purchasing organization in the U.S., has signed a six-year agreement with Dade Behring (Deerfield, Illinois) for several clinical diagnostics product lines and services, including Dade's Stratus CS cardiac makers.

CardioDynamics International (San Diego, California) said it has expanded its distribution alliance with GE Marquette Medical Systems (Milwaukee, Wisconsin). Eighteen countries have been added to GE Marquette's distribution on CardioDynamics' BioZ System, including Russia, Portugal, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and French-speaking Africa. The alliance originally was announced in August 1999 for five European countries and expanded in October 1999 to include U.S. distribution rights. The BioZ System is now part of GE Marquette's CardioIntelligence cardiology management program.

Drew Scientific Group plc (Barrow in Furness, U.K.) has signed an exclusive distribution contract with Fisher Scientific (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) for U.S. marketing of the DS30 Homocysteine Testing System for cardiovascular disease through the Fisher HealthCare unit. Michael Asher, Drew chief executive, said the agreement "provides us with excellent and comprehensive access to the U.S. market – the biggest, most developed market in the world for homocysteine testing products." Drew manufactures and supplies diagnostics systems and related consumables for cardiovascular, diabetes and blood component testing.

Genentech (South San Francisco, California) and Actelion Ltd. (Allschwil, Switzerland) have signed a $75 million co-promotion deal for Actelion's heart failure drug, tezosentan. Genentech will pay Actelion licensing fees and milestone payments for the U.S. rights to co-market tezosentan and will take the lead in marketing, while Actelion is responsible for development of the drug. Genentech will pay $15 million in up-front licensing fees and will provide up to $75 million in milestone payments, a convertible loan and an equity investment in Actelion's upcoming initial public offering, expected in April.

MUSE Technologies (Albuquerque, New Mexico), developer of perceptual computing software, has entered into an agreement with Guidant (Indianapolis, Indiana) to provide a sophisticated cardiology training simulator to Guidant's European headquarters. MUSE's wholly owned subsidiary, Virtual Presence (London), will undertake custom software development work to adapt an existing training system into a new system, the Interventional Cardiology Training Simulator.

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