|Eaton Provides Power Supply Option for Laboratories|
|Events such as the rolling blackouts that occurred throughout California during the first few weeks of 2001, and the massive power outages that took place in the eastern portion of the United States during the summer of 2003, demonstrate the country’s dependability on an overloaded power source. These events also highlight the vulnerability of environments, such as laboratories and hospitals, if the main power source should become unavailable.
In an effort to give peace of mind to facilities that rely on an undisturbed power supply, industrial manufacturer Eaton Corp recently announced the availability of its Powerware 9155 double conversion online, 8,000 to 15,000 VA uninterruptible power system (UPS).
The Powerware 9155’s slim and modern tower design produces a high level of protection from power disturbances in critical equipment while saving valuable space in server rooms.
By delivering a 0.9 output power factor, Eaton’s Powerware 9155 easily can accommodate high power factor load requirements and is well-suited for modern servers and computer loads. Front access for all services and operations provides increased installation flexibility, increases serviceability, and reduces repair time. Its multi-lingual LCD display and wide range of connectivity options make power management easy for IT and facility managers.
“The Powerware 9155 represents a significant technology leap that resets the industry standards in customer value and product performance,” says Mark Ascolese, vice president, sales and marketing of Eaton’s power quality solutions operation. “This new product is the result of listening carefully to what customers want and devoting more than 40 years of accumulative power-protection knowledge to significantly exceed what the industry has to offer today.”
The Powerware 9155 features a double conversion online architecture that ensures immediate transfer to backup power in the event of a power outage, and offers 22 minutes of backup time at 10kVA. The system also addresses next-generation power requirements by providing a high efficiency of 90%, which reduces utility costs and produces cooler operating conditions. Eaton’s Powerware 9155 UPS is available in 8kVA, 10kVA, 12kVA, and 15kVA capabilities, and features a scalable design that allows users to pay as they grow to meet current and future load requirements.
Eaton’s Powerware 9155 provides critical protection from all nine of the most common power problems facing businesses, including power failures, power sags, power surges, under voltages, over voltages, transient switches, line noises, frequency variations, and harmonic distortions.
Contact: Eaton Corp (800) 356-5794; www.powerware.com
|Alzheimer’s Disease Pathway Poster Now Available
Sigma-RBI, a division of Sigma-Aldrich Corp, has put together an Alzheimer’s disease (AD) poster, detailing the most current information on the disease. The poster, which is to be used as a tool for researching neurodegenerative and Alzheimer’s diseases, details the pathways and interactions involved in the progression of the disease, from the cleavage of amyloid precursor protein by secretases, to the final stages of neuronal cell death via apoptosis.
The poster features detailed illustrations of the most up-to-date information available in the fight against AD. More than 200 Sigma-Aldrich Alzheimer’s products are highlighted throughout the poster, including kits for beta-Amyloid, beta-Secretase, and Tau detection, antibodies to amyloid, tau, secretases, and cytokines, amyloid peptides, and inhibitors.
Contact: Sigma-Aldrich Corp (800) 521-8956; www.sigma-aldrich.com
|Hayes Clinical Laboratory to Purchase Automated LIS
The Hayes Clinical Laboratory, a reference lab located in Boynton Beach, Fla, has signed an agreement with MediSolution to purchase its MediLab® automated laboratory information system, and MediAR+®, a patient-accounting solution that enables users to improve cash flows and collections. According to the terms of the agreement, MediSolution will provide Hayes Clinical Laboratory with an integrated LIS and financial system that will give them the tools to track important patient tests and results, and to improve client-specific reporting, accounting, and billing processes.
MediAR+ will be integrated at the database level with MediLab. The MediAR+ system contains an electronic workflow engine that enables Hayes to improve its accounts payable and inventory-management systems, automate every stage of the billing and collection process, improve cash flows, and reduce collection times. The ability to customize rules and processes ensures that laboratory staff will only have to respond to exceptions while facilitating timely collections.
“[Using the MediAR+ system], we will now have the ability to adjust to client requirements and improve our patient outreach,” says Chad Fredrich, president, Hayes Clinical Laboratory.
Contact: MediSolution (602) 269-8373; www.medisolution.com
|Medi-Cal Approves Reimbursement for TB Test|
|Declared a global epidemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1993, tuberculosis (TB) is the largest microbial killer in the world, responsible for more than 2 million deaths each year. According to the WHO, the airborne disease is adapting to misused medications, allowing it to grow stronger and become more multidrug-resistant.
In response to these growing dangers, Cellestis Inc developed Quanti-FERON®-TB GOLD, an indirect test for M tuberculosis infection. The company announced late last year that the test has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). And just recently, Medi-Cal has agreed to reimburse customers for the modern alternative to the 115-year-old tuberculin skin test (TST).
The TST test, despite its widespread use, is notoriously unreliable due to false-positive and false-negative results. The QuantiFERON-TB GOLD blood test detects immune responses to specific proteins associated with TB infection. According to sources at Cellestis, QuantiFERON-TB GOLD is well-poised to set a new standard of care for TB control.
“One of the greatest problems in combating this disease has been the lack of a solid detection strategy,” says Tony Radford, PhD, CEO of Cellestis Inc. “We believe QuantiFERON-TB GOLD will meet this previously unmet medical need and become the gold standard for tuberculosis screening.”
While the overall TB incidence in the United States is slowly decreasing, TB is resurfacing in several hot-spot metropolitan areas, such as San Francisco, where 231 active TB cases were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2003. As an international city with large immigrant and migrant populations, as well as a high number of individuals with immunosuppressive diseases such as HIV/AIDS, the San Francisco metropolitan area has one of the highest TB rates in the US. An untold number of individuals are infected with TB in its dormant, or latent phase, and are at risk of developing active TB disease and becoming highly contagious. Therefore, the accurate identification of people with latent TB infection is important to prevent the disease from spreading further.
“Medi-Cal reimbursement of QuantiFERON-TB GOLD is a tremendous achievement because it opens the door for wider adoption in California, a state with several TB hot spots,” says Radford. “The urgent need for a new tool to more accurately identify individuals who are infected and those who are at risk of developing tuberculosis has been reinforced by a state that is a bellwether for the rest of the country.”
QuantiFERON-TB GOLD is an effective and quick blood test for gamma interferon, a protein that indicates an immune response. The technology was first approved for TB by the FDA in 2001 and was named as one of the most significant new indications to impact patient care in the 2002 FDA annual report.
Contact: Cellestis Inc (800) 519-4627; www.cellestis.com
|Experimental Vaccine Believed to Block Cervical Cancer
According to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition, more than 12,200 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, and more than 4,100 die each year from the disease. While these are daunting figures, there has been recent progress made in the fight against cervical cancer.
Researchers from the University of Washington in Seattle presented data 2 years ago showing that an experimental vaccine against one strain of the human papilloma virus (HPV) blocked new infections. Recently, new data from the same group was released showing that the vaccine provides protection for at least 4 years and demonstrates, for the first time, that it prevents cancer development.
The vaccine is directed against HPV-16, one of 20 common papilloma viruses. According to the study, HPV-16 currently infects 20% of the US population and is the cause of half of all cases of cervical cancer.
Researchers at the University of Washington gave the current single-virus vaccine in three doses to 755 women age 16–23. An additional 750 women received a placebo. After nearly 4 years, seven of the women who received the vaccine developed HPV-16 infections, compared to the 111 infections diagnosed among those who received the placebo. None of those who received the vaccine showed signs of cervical intraepithelial neoplasias, localized lesions that, if not detected and removed, can lead to cervical cancer. Of those who received the placebo, 24 developed lesions.
The experimental vaccine is made of virus-like particles that are grown in yeast. The particles consist of all the surface proteins of the virus, but none of its genetic information.
Contact: National Cancer Institute (800) 422-6237; www.nci.nih.gov
|Life Sciences Internet Forum Launched|
|With the time frame of launching a drug in the marketplace averaging 17 years and costing several hundred million dollars, the need for finding cures and bringing new drugs to the market fast is evident. These factors have provoked scientists to continuously look for ways to maximize resources, find answers to questions, and save time.
Scientists now can globally exchange ideas, solve problems, and develop collaborative relationships for the advancement of science and technology, thanks to Scientist Solutions, a newly launched company that provides a free discussion board and a centralized networking forum for those in the industry. Full-time scientists who are active in the biotech, pharmaceutical, and academic communities moderate each life science discipline, such as immunology, genetics, cell biology, proteomics, neuroscience, and biochemistry, for peer discussions.
According to the company, the Scientist Solutions Board, which can be found at www.scientistsolutions.com, is the first multidisciplinary and scientist-moderated entity that exists for the exchange of information among scientists throughout the world.
“Based on years of selling products into the biotech industry, it was clear that the life sciences field could be more efficient in accessing information to facilitate the research process,” says Marcia Allen, president of Scientist Solutions. “We’ve recruited a team of experts, including scientists, doctors, marketers, and technology specialists, to help fill this void and build a Web site that uses a powerful, yet easy-to-use interface for exchanging information.”
The Scientist Solutions Board features links and shortcuts to other helpful sciences sites, enabling scientists to gather useful information outside of the forum when needed. The viability of the Web site is based on scientist participation, as well as the sale of a limited number of advertising sponsorships to suppliers and manufacturers.
Contact: Scientist Solutions (858) 715-6666; www.scientistsolutions.com
Focus Technologies: New Name and Organizational Strategies
Earlier this year, Focus Technologies completed the process of officially changing its name to Focus Diagnostics Inc.
“We made the decision to change our name because we felt that Focus Diagnostics is more descriptive of the services and products offered by our entire company,” says Charles Harwood, Jr, CEO of Focus Diagnostics.
The company name is not the only change for Focus in 2005. The health care and life sciences company also plans to increase research and development in its health care diagnostic group by more than one third to nearly $7 million. According to Harwood, much of this increase in investment is aimed at accelerating the development of new diagnostic products.
Contact: Focus Diagnostics Inc (714) 220-1900; www.focusdx.com
|Trestle to Acquire Interscope Technologies|
|Trestle Holdings Inc recently announced that it has entered into a nonbinding letter of intent to acquire the assets of Interscope Technologies in exchange for Trestle stock. The acquisition is subject to the execution of definitive agreements and certain other processes, including customary closing conditions.
“Interscope Technologies has been developing key software applications for improving the workflow of clinical and biopharma pathology, especially in data-management applications for use in anatomic pathology, toxicology, and genomic environments. These applications support the direction Trestle has embarked on to deliver integrated solutions and services to pathologists working in clinical and drug-development applications,” says Maurizio Vecchione, CEO of Trestle. “With this acquisition, we expect to accelerate the deployment and scaling of such solutions, specifically for our newly announced ePathNet™ family of services. Interscope workflow products should allow us to increase our range of applications.”
Anthony Taddey, CEO of Interscope Technologies, says, “This transaction will create an integrated solutions provider that should be positioned to deliver scalable services throughout the clinical and biopharma markets. We believe that the combination of Trestle’s market leadership and existing telepathology solutions, combined with Interscope’s new workflow solutions and systems, should prove to be compelling for our customers.”
Contact: Trestle Holdings Inc (800) 823-3203; www.trestlecorp.com
|Grant Enables Web-Based Assessments of Hospital Safety
ECRI, a nonprofit health services research agency, has been awarded a grant from The Commonwealth Fund to evaluate the effect of state medical error reporting on hospital cultures of safety.
The Institute of Medicine defines “culture safety” as an integrated pattern of individual and organizational behavior based upon shared beliefs and values that minimizes patient harm that may result from the delivery of care.
According to sources at ECRI, the organization will implement a rapid-assessment, Web-based program to compare the relative impact of state mandatory reporting systems. ECRI anticipates that the study results will provide early evidence that might guide federal and state policy decisions about the nature and type of mandatory reporting systems.
“This project takes advantage of a natural experiment as states implement quite different approaches to hospital safety reporting,” says Mary Jane Koren, MD, senior program officer at The Commonwealth Fund. “It’s certainly a unique opportunity for policy makers to be able to evaluate and compare the impact of their mandates on provider behavior. The results of the survey will undoubtedly influence other states as they develop ways to help hospitals to improve patient safety.”
ECRI began the project earlier this year and has already issued the initial survey. A follow-up survey, scheduled to take place 18 months after the program’s implementation, will measure any changes in the overall culture of safety. The final analysis will include changes in mean scores over time within hospitals and average changes between states.
Contact: ECRI (610) 825-6000; www.ecri.org
Frost & Sullivan Presents Innovation of the Year Award
Based on work done in developing and commercializing the VIDAS® D-Dimer Exclusion™ assay, bioMérieux Inc recently received Frost & Sullivan’s 2004 Product Innovation of the Year Award for clinical diagnostics. The award is presented annually to a company that demonstrates excellence in new products and technologies within the industry by launching a novel product that has a profound impact.
“Following an exhaustive review process, this award is bestowed on the company that successfully develops a product that is believed to provide a unique set of benefits over existing products on the market,” says Dhiraj Ajmani, health care industry manager with Frost & Sullivan.
bioMérieux’s VIDAS D-Dimer Exclusion is the only rapid automated enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the exclusion of a diagnosis of both deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism in outpatients when used in conjunction with a pretest probability assessment. The test has more than 99% negative predictive value, and provides results within 1 hour.
According to bioMérieux, approximately 75% of patients suspected of having venous thromboembolism (VTE) actually do not have the condition but could be subjected to a series of expensive and potentially risky tests to rule it out. They could even undergo unnecessary treatment because the condition can be difficult to diagnose. A new algorithm based on clinical pretest probability and D-Dimer testing has been shown to be safe. It reduces the cost of diagnosing VTE, reduces the length of stay in emergency departments, and saves money on staff and resources. Using the VIDAS D-Dimer Exclusion, clinicians can safely and reliably rule out DVT and PE in 30% to 40% of suspected outpatients.
Contact: bioMérieux Inc (919) 620-2000; www.biomerieux-usa.com
|ChemWell Analyzer Wins Recognition
Awareness Technology Inc of Palm City, Fla, designer and manufacturer of lab instruments, has been selected to receive the 2005 Governor’s New Product Award for its ChemWell 2910 automatic laboratory analyzer. This award, sponsored by the Florida Engineering Society in cooperation with the Governor’s office, recognizes companies with the foresight to bring new products to the marketplace. This is the 19th year of the program and the first time the award will go to a company in the clinical diagnostic industry.
The ChemWell 2910 combines two fully automatic instruments: a continuous-loading biochemistry analyzer and a user-programmable enzyme immunoassay (EIA) system. This benchtop instrument performs a number of processes, including dispensing and diluting reagents, incubating, washing, optical reading, calculating, and reporting results.
Mary Freeman, president of Awareness Technology, will accept the award, which will be presented by Mark Mongeau, PE, president of the Florida Engineering Society. State winners are eligible to compete for the national new product award.
Contact: Awareness Technology Inc (772) 283-6540; www.awaretech.com
|ITC Signs Agreement With AXON Lab AG|
|International Technidyne Corp (ITC), a subsidiary of Thoratec Corp, has signed an agreement with AXON Lab AG, based in Baden-Dattwil, Switzerland. AXON Lab AG will be ITC’s exclusive distributor of the ProTime® blood coagulation monitoring system in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
The ProTime system is used to monitor blood coagulation of patients taking oral anticoagulant medications, such as warfarin, marcumar, and falithrom. Under the terms of the agreement, AXON Lab AG will market the ProTime instrument and disposables and help ITC establish a strong local presence for utilization of the ProTime monitoring system in physicians’ offices and for home testing.
“ITC is proud to welcome AXON Lab AG to the ProTime team as our partner in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland,” says Lawrence Cohen, company president. “AXON Lab AG provides significant sales presence, market credibility, and experience in managing all of the needs related to reaching patients, training, and reimbursement. This relationship has great potential to significantly expand the ProTime device market share in Europe, and specifically in the decentralized and home testing arena in Germany.”
The ProTime microcoagulation system was cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for patient self-testing in the United States in 1997. In 2001, ITC introduced the enhanced ProTime3 for professional and home use worldwide. The system consists of a small, battery-powered instrument, disposable test cuvette, and the Tenderlett® Plus incision device. A small amount of blood from a finger stick is all that is needed to perform a test, and a result is available within minutes. Built-in quality controls help patients and health care professionals remain confident the system is working properly and that the test was performed correctly.
Contact: ITC (800) 631-5945; www.itcmed.com
|Ventana Announces Multi-Year Agreement With LabCorp
Ventana Medical Systems Inc has signed a multiyear agreement with Laboratory Corp of America to place Ventana’s BenchMark® XT advanced tissue-staining system in the company’s laboratories nationwide.
“We are committed to providing physicians with access to the latest technological advances in diagnostic testing,” says Myla P. Lai-Goldman, MD, executive vice president, medical director, and chief scientific officer at LabCorp. “After a thorough evaluation of Ventana’s BenchMark XT tissue-staining system, we believe this fully automated technology will help us continue to provide the highest level of quality clinical and anatomical pathology services.”
The BenchMark XT advanced tissue-staining system fully automates the process of staining tissue samples. Users can run simultaneously immunohistochemistry (IHC) testing for protein detection, and in situ hybridization (ISH) and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) testing for DNA and RNA detection. This capability adds significant flexibility and substantial throughput improvements for medium to large laboratories.
Contact: Ventana Medical Systems Inc (800) 227-2155; www.ventanamed.com
|Abbott and Nihon Kohden Enter Agreement|
|Abbott and Nihon Kohden Corp have entered into an agreement for the commercialization of automated hematology diagnostic instruments for use in hospital laboratories and physician offices. Under the terms of the agreement, two five-part differential hematology instruments, which are designed to offer red and white blood cell analysis, will be manufactured by Nihon Kohden and distributed by Abbott under the CELL-DYN Pearl™ brand name. Abbott obtains exclusive distribution rights for the two instruments in the United States and Canada, and nonexclusive distribution rights for the instruments in other countries, with the exception of China and Japan.
“A key part of the agreement was the commitment both companies have to improving patient care through scientific advances in medical technology. Nihon Kohden’s innovative technology in blood analysis complements Abbott’s capabilities and proprietary technology,” says Harold Flynn, divisional vice president and general manager, Abbott Hematology. “This agreement will allow us the opportunity to expand our instrument offering for smaller hospitals, large clinics, and physician offices.”
Abbott expects to file the necessary market authorization submissions for CELL-DYN Pearl instruments later this year.
Nihon Kohden, based in Japan with subsidiaries in the United States, Europe, and Asia, is a manufacturer, developer, and distributor of patient monitors, EEGs, EP/EMGs, ECGs, defibrillators, hematology analyzers, and other medical equipment.
Contact: Abbott (800) 323-9100; www.abbott.com
|CeMines and Children’s Hospital Cooperate in Research Project
CeMines Inc, a life sciences company specializing in molecular research and development of minimally invasive clinical diagnostics and targeted therapeutics for cancer, and The Children’s Hospital of Denver, announced a joint clinical research project targeted at achieving significant improvements in the diagnosis and monitoring of childhood leukemia. The joint research project, sponsored by CeMines, is based on CeMines Molecular FingerPrinting™, a minimally invasive diagnostic process.
“The Children’s Hospital of Denver and CeMines have undertaken this important joint initiative to adapt and improve our technology for the identification and analysis of specific mRNA structural anomalies. This is a novel application for CeMines, and we look forward to improving legacy procedures by introducing new methods of diagnosing and monitoring childhood leukemia,” says Roger Attick, CEO of CeMines. “Leukemia accounts for about 25 percent of all childhood cancers and affects approximately 2,200 young Americans each year. CeMines is honored to join hands with The Children’s Hospital of Denver as we develop the world’s most advanced leukemia diagnostic test available in medicine today.”
Contact: CeMines Inc (303) 526-3700; www.cemines.com