Nothing says savings like a good partnership

January 21, 2010
Greg Freiherr

In an elaborate corporate quadrille, partnerships are formed, licenses bought, and subsidiaries acquired. Meanwhile executives move into and out of their positions.

Nothing says savings like a good partnership

Why invent the wheel when there are perfectly good ones available for the picking? Among the companies looking for an edge through corporate teamwork are:

  • Carestream has signed Technology Partners to a comarketing agreement. Under the agreement, billing software developed by Technology Partners will be integrated into Carestream’s RIS/PACS. The two companies will also promote each other’s wares to their respective installed bases.

  • Mammography Reporting System will build “risk flags” into its breast cancer tracking software to warn patients who are at risk of hereditary breast cancer. These flags will come from the BRACAnalysis breast cancer predisposition test, developed by Myriad (NasdaqGS: MYGN). The test assesses the risk of breast or ovarian cancer based on the detection of BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. The flags will enable staff at mammography screening centers to identify patients who can benefit from hereditary breast cancer testing. Research cited by the two companies indicates that up to 6% of women undergoing screening mammography-some 2.4 million women-are at high risk of developing hereditary breast cancer.

 

GE buys license to novel nuc probe

GE Healthcare (NYSE: GE) will evaluate a novel molecular imaging technology that homes in on dead cells in the brain and heart. The probes bind to dead and dying cells, indicating acute cell injury and cell death. When the active component of this molecule is attached to a radioactive tracer, it can be used in nuclear medicine imaging procedures, such as PET or SPECT scans, to produce 3D images of where cell death is occurring.

The ability to image dead and dying cells could allow oncologists to rapidly monitor tumor response to a specific therapy. Another potential application is for rapid diagnosis of myocardial infarction. Under the licensing agreement with the Medical College of Wisconsin, GE will have the option to commercialize the technology, which was invented by Ming Zhao, Ph.D., an assistant professor of biophysics at the Medical College.

 

Acquisition pans out for Barco

Earlier this month Barco completed its acquisition of a Philips (NYSE: PHG) subsidiary, FIMI, which specializes in dedicated modality monitors, patient monitoring, and mobile point-of-care devices. Barco paid €19 million ($28 million) plus an additional earn-out of €10 million ($15 million) over the next five years. Barco executives hope that expanding their current display offerings with FIMI products will open new sales opportunities while enhancing the company’s position in the medical display market. FIMI started making monitors in 1977 and has been active in the medical imaging market for more than 20 years.

People coming and going

Steve West has taken the reins as the new CEO of MDS Nordion (TSX: MDS; NYSE: MDZ), replacing Stephen DeFalco. West has been president of MDS Nordion for the past seven years. Senior vice president of finance Peter Dans will become chief financial officer effective Feb. 1, 2010, replacing Doug Prince, who is scheduled to step down as CFO in March. The executive changes are part of a corporate restructuring that includes the sale of the company’s analytics and pharma services businesses. The restructuring was prompted last year by shareholder dissatisfaction over the low stock price. That continued with the current reactor shutdown in May at the Chalk River facility, necessitated by a reactor leak. Current plans call for the reactor to restart operations in March.

John Bowers has joined hand-carried ultrasound pioneer SonoSite as senior vice president of strategic development and patient safety innovations. Bowers previously served as president and CEO of Northstar Neuroscience of Shoreline, WA.

Chris Duca has stepped up to become president of medical equipment distributor Virtual Imaging, a subsidiary of Canon USA. Duca previously served at the company as vice president and COO. He replaces the retiring founder of Virtual Imaging, Tim Martinso

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