Agena Bioscience Inc., of San Diego, launched the Massarray SARS-CoV-2 variant panel, a research use only product for the detection and discrimination of the U.K. (B.1.1.7), South Africa (B.1.351), Brazil (P.1) and Denmark (Cluster 5) strains.

Avalon Steritech Ltd., of Hong Kong, and Softbank Robotics Group Corp. (SBRG), of Tokyo, launched Avalon Robotics, a joint venture to develop public health care and hygiene solutions based on artificial intelligence (AI), automation and robotics. Avalon Robotics will be operationally managed by Avalon and initially focused on bringing biodecontamination capabilities to SBRG’s Whiz, an autonomous AI-based cleaning robot.

Biobeat Technologies Ltd., of Petah Tikva, Israel, reported a collaborative pilot study with Nuvance Health’s Vassar Brothers Medical Center in New York to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of using Biobeat’s continuous monitoring devices with hospitalized acute cerebrovascular accident patients.

San Jose-based Cipherome Inc. said it is conducting a pilot study on its Xentinel Lighthouse with the Dhr Health Institute for Research and Development in Texas. The Lighthouse tool allows physicians to predict how a patient will respond to drug therapies based on that patient’s genetic makeup. The study is open to adults who have been prescribed Plavix (clopidogrel), Effient (prasugrel) or Brilinta (ticagrelor) after a percutaneous coronary intervention with at least one stent placement.

Electrocore Inc., of Rockaway, N.J., entered an agreement with Medistar 2 Pty. Ltd., of Milton, Australia, in which Medistar will serve as the exclusive distributor of the Gammacore Sapphire, a noninvasive vagus nerve stimulator for headache disorders, in Australia. The initial term of the agreement is three years and contains customary terms and conditions, including minimum purchase commitments.

Epsilon Imaging Inc., of Ann Arbor, Mich., reported a partnership with Siemens Healthineers AG, of Erlangen, Germany, to offer Syngo Dynamics users Echoinsight visualization and analysis with strain imaging. This integration enables clinicians to access strain imaging with automated cardiac function measurements based on American Society of Echocardiography guidelines. With this partnership, Siemens Healthineers is an official global reseller of Echoinsight.

Hillrom Inc., of Batesville, Ind., provided an update on its planned acquisition of Seattle-based Bardy Diagnostics Inc. Due to Medicare administrative contactor Novitas Solutions’ unexpected rate reduction for the long-term cardiac monitoring category, Hillrom asserted that a “company material adverse Effect” has occurred and, therefore, the closing conditions have not been satisfied. Bardy Diagnostic subsequently filed a complaint against Hillrom in the Delaware Court of Chancery.

MBF Bioscience, a provider of image analysis tools headquartered in Willison, Vt., has completed its acquisition of Vidrio Technologies LLC, of Ashburn, Va., for an undisclosed price. Vidrio produces software and hardware components for laser scanning and two photon microscopes.

Irving, Texas-based McKesson Corp. said it has begun distributing the COVID-19 vaccine received from Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Raritan, N.J., one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical companies of Johnson & Johnson. The Janssen vaccine received emergency use authorization from the FDA on Feb. 27, 2021, and is the first one-shot COVID-19 vaccines to be authorized for use in the U.S.

Medable Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., has teamed up with Seqster, a San Diego-based software-as-a-service health care platform, to integrate real-time, real-world data streams into decentralized clinical trials.

Micro-X Ltd., of Adelaide, Australia, said the Australian Stroke Alliance, of which Micro-X is a member, has been awarded AU$100 million (US$77.7 million) from the federal government’s Medical Research Future Fund, Frontier Health Program across three projects for the development of technologies to improve diagnosis and treatment of stroke, epilepsy and lung disease. Within that award, Micro-X was funded $8 million to develop a lightweight brain CT scanner.

Madison, Wis.-based Moxe Health Corp. said it has entered a strategic relationship with 3M Health Information Systems Inc., of Salt Lake City, to offer Moxe’s data platform, including having its Digital Release of Information (ROI) solution available across 3M’s customer base of hospitals, physician groups and health systems.

Tokyo-based Nihon Kohden Corp. is rebranding Nihon Kohden Uslab, its Irvine, Calif.-based research and development subsidiary, to Nihon Kohden Digital Health Solutions Inc. The name change reflects the company’s evolution toward creating a digital health ecosystem to complement its capital equipment offerings with the aim of helping customers achieve better patient outcomes and reduce health care costs.

Rebus Biosystems Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif., reported the launch of its Rebus Esper spatial omics platform. The platform leverages Rebus’ patented synthetic aperture optics (SAO) technology, a super-resolution technique that allows routine quantitative analysis of tens of millions of cellular features across hundreds of thousands of cells.

Saama Technologies Inc., of Campbell, Calif., is collaborating with Austin-based Oracle Corp. to integrate Saama’s artificial intelligence-enabled applications with the Oracle Health Sciences Clinical One platform, with the goal of accelerating clinical trials.