Industry news: BrainLAB, DeJarnette, Eclipsys, Siemens, TechniScan, Varian

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A U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has upheld the dismissal of the patent infringement lawsuit filed by Medtronic against its competitor BrainLAB AG in 1998. The court affirmed the decision of a lower US District Court in Denver, Colo. that BrainLAB image-guided surgery and radiotherapy products have not infringed on any of the patents brought up in the suit.
In September of 2005, a district court came to the conclusion that BrainLAB had in fact infringed on four patents held by Medtronic and ordered BrainLAB to pay $51 million. Medtronic still has the option to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

DeJarnette Research Systems has promoted Brian Baker to North American service manager. Baker will be responsible for the delivery of all of the company’s field services. Baker previously served the company as migration manager.
The company has also promoted Eric Finegan to vice president of Customer Service and Quality Affairs, with responsibility for all customer service worldwide, including manufacturing and field service.
According to DeJarnette, the changes are the result of a 57 percent rise in sales in 2006. In addition to the promotions, the company said plans to increase its migration services business internationally.

Eclipsys Corporation has earned another top ranking for Full IT Outsourcing in the 2006 Top 20: Year-End Best in KLAS Awards. In 2005 Eclipsys was also named ‘Best in KLAS’ for full IT outsourcing professional services. In mid-2005, Eclipsys outsourcing services also earned the top ranking for customer satisfaction of healthcare outsourcing services based on KLAS' Professional Services Full IT Outsourcing Study 2005. The study also revealed that 100 percent of Eclipsys outsourcing customers stated they would buy outsourcing services from Eclipsys again and would recommend the company’s outsourcing services to peers, the company said.

Siemens Medical Solutions has unveiled its new research facility in Los Angeles dedicated exclusively to the development of molecular imaging biomarkers called the Siemens Medical Solutions Molecular Imaging (MI) Biomarker Research facility. Siemens said this is the latest step for the company in becoming a full-service diagnostics company, integrating in vivo and in vitro imaging diagnostics capabilities. Siemens recently launched Siemens Medical Solutions Diagnostics as the in vitro complement to the portfolio following acquisitions of Bayer Diagnostics and Los Angeles-based Diagnostic Products Corporation.

The facility will be dedicated solely to the discovery and development of new imaging biomarkers to spur the growth of in vivo molecular diagnostics, the company said. Imaging biomarkers are molecules that are specifically designed to seek out disease indicators that may appear in individual cells or tissue in the organism and that may provide early warning signs of disease.

Salt Lake City-based developer of ultrasound technology for breast imaging TechniScan Medical Systems announced the successful completion of its Series D Preferred financing of $6.4 million. The recent funding comes on top of a $2.8 MM Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI)/National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded in late 2006, the company said. TechniScan is a private company that grew out of the University of Utah’s Department of Bioengineering.

“TMS is rolling into its commercialization phase with significant funding from the private sector and important support from NCI/NIH, whose SBIR funding was awarded to fewer than one in nine companies in 2006,” TMS CEO and President David C. Robinson. 

TechniScan’s UltraSound CT (USCT) provides diagnostic information that could help radiologists distinguish between cancers and benign conditions. Additionally, the technology uses a breast cancer diagnostic exam that is not painful or uncomfortable. This new imaging system is intended to aid physicians in diagnosing breast cancer in conjunction with traditional mammography by providing detailed information about the anatomy and tissue properties of the breast in ways not previously possible. The goal of the USCT system is to characterize the ultrasound properties of normal, benign and malignant tissues in the breast which could enable physicians and radiologists to more easily recognize the presence of cancer and provide more effective management, the company said.

Physicians at Piedmont Hospital in