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March 2009

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First European implants of St Jude Medical's deep brain stimulation system for Parkinson’s Disease. 27 March 2009

German medical technology sector withstanding economic crisis
Only 4% of companies in the German medical technology sector have reduced their workforce as a result of the global financial crisis, according to a survey conducted by the German Medical Technology Association, BVMed. 27 March 2009

Smart Cells establishes base in Italy
London-based Smart Cells International, the UK's longest-established cord blood stem cell processing and storage organisation, has established a base in Milan, Italy, with a joint venture with Laborest, one of Italy's leading pharmaceutical businesses. 25 March 2009

Smart Surgical Appliances secures investment for minimally invasive surgery device
SSA plans to use the investment to make further technical and regulatory progress on their lead device, the SmartBougie, an oesophageal dilator that measures the elasticity in the external walls of the oesophagus. 25 March 2009

Social networking site for the scientific community
LabRoots Inc. has launched its social networking site for the scientific community,, where scientists and engineers from around the world can build relationships with other scientists and increasing their influence within the scientific community. 25 March 2009

ICW master patient index passes large scale interoperability test
InterComponentWare (ICW) has successfully demonstrated the interoperability of it Master Patient Index iat the IHE North American Connectathon, the only large-scale interoperability testing event for the healthcare industry. 25 March 2009

Agfa delivers digital imaging systems to Basque Healthcare Service
Agfa HealthCare has successfully delivered the first phase of of a contract to supply imaging systems at several of the Basque Healthcare Service's 28-site Osakidetza facilities in Spain, including a go-live of its centralised radiology information system (RIS) across the facility's network. 25 March 2009

Systech to integrate serialisation expertise with Axway’s track and trace system
Axway and Systech International will partner to offer integrated systems for pharmaceutical supply chain integrity to ensure customer readiness for upcoming European and Turkish regulatory compliance. 25 March 2009

Allium's bulbar stent provides option to treat patients with strictures
Allium Group's urethral bulbar stent enables urologists who are not experts in urethral reconstructive surgery to treat patients with recurrent strictures by inserting the urethral bulbar stent as an office outpatient procedure. 25 March 2009

Domainex in collaboration to develop novel breast cancer drug targets
Domainex has announced a collaboration on drug-discovery programmes with the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre and The UK Institute of Cancer Research to identify and develop inhibitors of two recently validated breast cancer targets, tankyrase and IKK-epsilon. 23 March 2009

Cranfield's first health conference to focus on translational and regenerative medicine
Professor Lord Robert Winston is to head a world-class line-up of science professionals and academic speakers at Cranfield Health’s first conference for biomedical scientists and health professionals in June this year. 23 March 2009

German healthcare group selects Varian linear accelerators for radiotherapy
The HELIOS Kliniken Group is acquiring nine linear accelerators from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR), the majority of them equipped with RapidArc technology. The new machines will replace older models and add capacity that will give more patients access to the most advanced cancer care. 23 March 2009

Mixed messages from prostate cancer screening studies
Early data reported from the US PLCO study found there was no early mortality benefit from annual prostate cancer screening. Alternatively, long-term data from the ERSPC study show that screening reduced the rate of mortality by 20%. 23 March 2009

Prostate cancer screening could cut deaths by 20%
Screening for prostate cancer can reduce deaths by 20%, according to the results of the European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC), the world's largest prostate cancer screening study. 23 March 2009

febit's next-generation DNA sequencing paves the way for personalised medicine
febit has launched its new DNA sequence-capture technology HybSelect. Biomedical studies have demonstrated superb enrichment factors and deep sequencing coverage for a broad range of human genes and genomic regions. 23 March 2009

Proof-of-concept for breast cancer diagnostics shown for ExonHit's RNA splicing platform
Paris-based ExonHit Therapeutics has reported the publication in Lancet Oncology of a study conducted by Institut Gustave Roussy, which describes the identification of a deregulated cell function in breast cancer through the analysis of alternative RNA splicing. 23 March 2009. Francais

Minimally-invasive surgery needs more data on outcomes
Minimally-invasive oncologic surgery procedures can be beneficial, but physicians need to be prudent when recommending the option to their patient. There is little data from randomized controlled clinical trials to provide any insight into outcomes or survival rates. 23 March 2009

Virtual colonoscopies show value for some patients, but polyps will be missed
Research findings from meta-analyses performed by the US ECRI Institute suggest that CT colonography appears most promising for screening asymptomatic, average-risk patients; however, it will miss some important polyps and cancer that would have been detected by colonoscopy. 23 March 2009

23andMe launches Parkinson's disease community for genetics research
23andMe Inc has launched a Parkinson's disease genetics initiative in collaboration with The US Parkinson's Institute and Clinical Center (PI) and The Michael J Fox Foundation (MJFF) and with funding from Google co-founder Sergey Brin. 23 March 2009

Bioabsorbable coronary stent shows promise in two-year study
A study published online in The Lancet from the ABSORB clinical trial demonstrates that Abbott's bioabsorbable drug eluting stent successfully treated coronary artery disease and was absorbed into the walls of treated arteries within two years. 21 March 2009

Freezing prostate cancer as effective as surgery
Male lumpectomy, a minimally invasive interventional radiology treatment for prostate cancer, is as effective as surgery in destroying diseased tumours according to studies released at a meeting of the the Society of Interventional Radiology. 19 March 2009

Généthon produces first batch of HIV-derived vectors in Europe for gene therapy trial
French laboratory Genethon has produced a batch of lentiviral vectors derived from the human immunodeficiency (HIV) virus for a gene therapy trial in humans with the rare immune deficiency Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome. 19 March 2009  Francais Deutsch Italiano

Touch Bionics’ founder steps down
Touch Bionics, developer of the world’s first commercially available bionic hand, has announced that Director of Research and Non Executive Director, David Gow, was stepping down from the business to concentrate on his expanding role within NHS Lothian’s SMART Centre in Edinburgh. 17 March 2009

The Vertual systemVertual's virtual training system cuts radiotherapy training costs
A virtual environment for radiotherapy training produced by Hull, UK-based Vertual is dramatically cutting training costs and helping improve cancer survival rates. 17 March 2009

GE develops wireless sensing platform for neonatal and home health monitoring
GE Global Research, the technology development arm of GE (NYSE: GE), has announced that it has adapted its sensors for home security into an innovative, intelligent wireless medical sensing platform. If successful, this new platform could dramatically improve neonatal and home patient monitoring. 15 March 2009

More research needed in EU on surgery for non-transmittable diseases
For most non-transmittable conditions, surgery remains an indispensable remedy and yet, little recognition has been given in terms of support for research and development. More needs to be done. This is the main conclusion of a seminar held at the European Parliament earlier this month. 15 March 2009

Magnetic resonance imaging shows what people store in short-term memory
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), can show what information people are holding in memory based only on patterns of activity in the brain. By analyzing blood-flow activity researcher were able to identify the specific colour or orientation of an object that was intentionally stored by the observer. 15 March 2009

Siemens obtains full rights to the hospital information system
Siemens Medical Solutions is taking over all use and exploitation rights to the software, a clinical information system integrated with the SAP healthcare software. The system was jointly developed by the partner and forerunner companies of Siemens Medical Solutions GSD GmbH and the Austrian T-Systems. Deutsch

Leading experts in Nanomedicine and Biomedical Informatics meet on 16 and March 17 in Madrid  (Español). 12 March 2009

St Jude Medical receives EU approval for neurostimulation system for chronic angina
St Jude Medical's Genesis neurostimulation system is for managing a form of chest pain known as chronic angina pectoris, or chronic angina. It helps to control angina pain by sending mild pulses of electricity from a device implanted in the torso to nerves located along the spinal cord. 12 March 2009

Siemens to showcase nuclear medicine innovations at BNMS 2009
Siemens has announced it will be presenting its latest product advancements at the British Nuclear Medicine Society’s Annual Meeting from the 27-29 April 2009 at the Manchester Central Convention Complex. 12 March 2009

Philips introduces digital radiography system for smaller clinics
Royal Philips Electronics has launched the Essenta DR Compact, a fully digital x-ray system that delivers high quality on a moderate budget. It can be used for all general radiography examinations and is aimed at mid-sized hospitals, imaging centres, private clinics and orthopaedic clinics. 12 March 2009

Dräger receives double design award for medical devices
Two Dräger products have received the iF product design award in 2009: The Ponta beam system and the Infinity C700 for IT workstation. The iF product design award is one of the most important design competitions worldwide. 12 March 2009

StemCells to acquire drug discovery technology of Stem Cell Sciences
StemCells, Inc. is to acquire the operating subsidiaries and certain related assets of Stem Cell Sciences (SCS), a Cambridge, UK-based company focused on commercializing applications of stem cell technologies for drug discovery and regenerative medicine research. 10 March 2009

Lab21 acquires Biotec Laboratories
Lab21 Ltd of Cambridge, UK, has announced that it has purchased the majority shareholding of another UK company Biotec Laboratories Ltd, a clinical diagnostic company with particular emphasis on infectious diseases. 10 March 2009

High-throughput screening finds chloroquine effective against lethal viruses
Two highly lethal viruses that have emerged in recent outbreaks have been found using high-throughput screening techniques to be susceptible to chloroquine. Chloroquine is a long-established drug used to prevent and treat malaria. 6 March 2009

Diagram of an antibody binding to a flu virus surface proteinCommon weak point in flu virus strains could lead to universal flu vaccine
Two recent studies have discovered a common Achilles’ heel in a wide range of seasonal and pandemic influenza A virus strains. Two teams of researchers have found a common attachment site for human antibodies that provides a constant region of the flu virus for scientists to target in an effort to develop a so-called universal flu vaccine. 6 March 2009

Philips Brilliance Workspace CT work-station named category leader by KLAS
Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) has announced that its Brilliance Workspace computed tomography (CT) workstation was recognized in the 2008 Top 20 Best in KLAS Awards: Software & Professional Services report. 6 March 2009

Magnetic nanoparticles navigate therapeutic genes through body and measure effectiveness
Scientists of the German metrology institute, the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) in a joint study with the University of Bonn, have developed a highly sensitive method that uses magnetic nanoparticles to navigate therapeutic genes to the desired cells in a body and also measure the efficiency of gene transfer to the cells. 6 March 2009 Deutsch

Gene therapy shows promise as HIV treatment
Researchers at the UCLA AIDS Institute has found that cell-delivered gene transfer has the potential to be a once-only treatment that reduces viral load, preserves the immune system and avoids lifelong antiretroviral therapy. 5 March 2009

Tunable gel for distributing nanoparticles wins student $30,000 prize
A PhD student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the US has developed a new method for harnessing the enormous potential of nanoparticles, which could lead to a new generation of medical devices, drug-delivery technologies, and other applications of nanomedicine. 5 March 2009

Biotech sector needs to embrace economic reality, says Amgen
The biopharmaceutical industry must embrace the challenges posed by the current financial downturn and transform its way of conducting business in order to survive, says Dr Ran Zheng, Plant Manager of Clinical Operations at Amgen. 4 March 2009

Michelson Diagnostics raises £350K for clinical trials and growth
The money will be used to support multi-centre clinical trials of its new hand-held multi-beam optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging probe, and also aid international commercial growth. 4 March 2009

Study on role of hormone oxytocin in causing autism
A research team at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in the US will test whether impaired social behaviours in autism are linked to levels of the hormone. Preliminary research has hinted that autism may be associated with oxytocin deficits 2 March 2009

Yorkshire attracts major investment in healthcare technologies
The Yorkshire and Humber region in northeast England has accounted for nearly 10% of first-round investments in healthcare technology in the UK, according to figures revealed at the launch of a new Access to Finance programme for local healthcare technology companies. 2 March 2009

GE Healthcare launches Centricity PACS suite in Asia
GE Healthcare, has launched a suite of Centricity systems targeted for hospitals and outpatient imaging centres in Asia. The suite offers web-based portability, instantaneous image reporting and scalable business processes. 2 March 2009

Abbott completes takeover of Advanced Medical Optics
Abbott has announced that it has completed its acquisition of Advanced Medical Optics (AMO), which is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Abbott with the new name Abbott Medical Optics Inc. 2 March 2009

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