GE Receives FDA Clearance for More Comfortable MRI machine; AstraZeneca Will Cut 400 U.S. Jobs Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Thursday, 06 October 2011 19:15
Below is a look at some of the headlines for companies that made news in the healthcare sector on October 6, 2011.

GE Healthcare (NYSE:GE) today announced it has received FDA clearance of the Discovery* MR750w wide bore 3.0T system.

This new wide bore 3.0 Tesla MR system addresses patient demand for a better and more comfortable scanning experience. In particular, the new patient-friendly design accommodates patients who are usually difficult to scan, such as larger, claustrophobic, elderly or very young patients, or those who are in pain and require a larger imaging system.

Additionally, GE Healthcare’s Discovery MR750w, combines next-generation clinical applications and a full 50 x 50 x 50 cm field of view with excellent homogeneity and enables users to reduce exam time and scan large anatomies with fewer scans, compared to previous generation systems. It helps enable higher patient throughput and satisfaction.
AstraZeneca Plc (NYSE:AZN), the U.K.’s second- biggest drugmaker, plans to eliminate 400 positions in the U.S. as it prepares for competition from generic medicines.

AstraZeneca will cut the jobs at its Wilmington, Delaware, location along with some “field-based, nonsales roles,” the London-based company said today in a statement on its website. About 70 of the positions to be reduced will come from existing vacancies, the drugmaker said.

The company’s top seller, the cholesterol-lowering pill Crestor, will face added competition later this year after generic copies of Pfizer Inc. (PFE)’s Lipitor come on the market. Crestor, which generated $5.69 billion in sales last year, will lose patent protections in the U.S. as early as 2016. The job reductions come atop 550 AstraZeneca announced for Wilmington last year.

The move is “part of the company’s strategy to operate its business more effectively and efficiently to best serve patients in the United States,” AstraZeneca said in the statement. “The changes will enable the company to compete in a challenging environment, including pricing pressures and the continuing growth of generic medicines.”

Also Thursday:

Cannabis Science, Inc. (OTCBB: CBIS), a pioneering US biotech company developing pharmaceutical cannabis products, is pleased to announce manufacturing is underway for its upcoming release of the first Cannabis Science brand of products.

Celgene International Sàrl (Nasdaq:CELG) today announced that results from a clinical study of ABRAXANE (paclitaxel albumin-bound particles for injectable suspension) in combination with gemcitabine in 67 patients with previously untreated advanced pancreatic cancer were published in an online article by the Journal of Clinical Oncology ahead of print.

Corning Incorporated’s (NYSE:GLW) Board of Directors today declared a 50% increase in the company’s quarterly common stock dividend. Corning’s quarterly dividend will rise to $0.075 per share of common stock held, versus $0.05 per share previously.

Encorium Group, Inc. (ENCO.PK), a full service international clinical research organization (CRO) conducting studies in over 30 countries for many of the world's leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, today announced its financial results for 2010, preliminary financial results for the first six months of 2011 and its amount of new business awards for the first six months of 2011.

GE Healthcare (NYSE:GE) today announced it has received FDA clearance of the Discovery* MR750w wide bore 3.0T system with GEM (Geometry Embracing Method) Suite of Coils.

Generex Biotechnology Corporation's (OTCBB: GNBT) wholly-owned subsidiary Antigen Express, Inc. (, today announced that the Company will be present at the Second Annual "Cancer Immunotherapy: A Long-Awaited Reality" Conference on Thursday, October 6, 2011 at the New York Academy of Medicine in New York City.

GeNOsys, Inc. (OTCBB: GNYS) today announced it has, through its wholly owned subsidiary Health Innovations Inc., entered into two license agreement with Equity Labs, Inc.

Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq:GILD) and Boehringer Ingelheim today announced that the companies have entered into a licensing agreement, under which Boehringer Ingelheim has granted Gilead exclusive worldwide rights for the research, development and commercialization of its novel non-catalytic site integrase inhibitors (NCINIs) for HIV.

International Stem Cell Corporation (OTCBB:ISCO) today announced that its Board of Directors designated Dr. Andrey Semechkin, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, as a Co-Chairman with the Company’s founder, Kenneth Aldrich, and also named Kurt May as President and Chief Operating Officer, effective immediately.

Kinetic Concepts, Inc. (NYSE:KCI) today announced that on September 26, 2011, it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission a definitive proxy statement in connection with the definitive merger agreement under which a consortium comprised of funds advised by Apax Partners, together with controlled affiliates of Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and the Public Sector Pension Investment Board, will acquire KCI for $68.50 per share in cash.

Luminex Corporation (NASDAQ: LMNX) announced today that it has joined forces with the National Marrow Donor Program – Be The Match to raise awareness of the need for additional donors to increase the chances of finding a match for the growing number of patients awaiting life-saving bone marrow transplants.

Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today announced that Richard T. Clark, chairman, will retire from the company and the Merck board of directors effective Dec. 1, 2011.

Metiscan, Inc. (PINKSHEETS: MTIZ), publicly traded on the Pink Sheets , announced today that its Board of Directors has approved the Company's plan to change its name to Aclor International Holding, Inc.

Northwest Biotherapeutics (OTC.BB: NWBO) today announced that it has exceeded its Q3 projection of 15 clinical trial sites by the end of the quarter, with 17 sites at major medical institutions across the U.S. now open and active where patients can enroll in the Company's ongoing clinical trial of DCVax® immune therapy for Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most lethal form of brain cancer.

Nuvilex, Inc. (OTCQB:NVLX) announced SG Austria has appointed Dr. Stephen Rhind as a consultant to lead its business development activities and finalize pending contracts with major pharmaceutical companies that are currently in their pipeline.

OmniComm Systems, Inc. (OTCBB: OMCM), one of the fastest growing companies in the Electronic Data Capture (EDC) marketplace, today announced that its TrialMaster suite of applications has been licensed by McDougall Scientific, Ltd. (McDougall) to bolster its service offering to its customers.

OPTIMIZERx Corp. (OTCBB:OPRX) announced additional investment commitments of up to $10 million to further support the company's exciting growth opportunities relating to SampleMD's success in the market place.

RegeneRx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: RGRX)
today announced that it has received a notice of allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for its application claiming methods for treating, preventing, inhibiting or reducing tissue deterioration due to congestive heart failure disease using Thymosin beta 4 (Tβ4), its isoforms and fragments, and important analogs. The patent is projected to expire July 2027.

SpectraScience, Inc. (OTCQB: SCIE), a San Diego based medical device company, today announced that the Company will introduce for sale in Europe its redesigned WavSTAT4 Optical Biopsy System for colon cancer diagnosis during the United European Gastroenterology Week (UEGW), October 22-26 in Stockholm.

Synergetics USA, Inc. (NASDAQ: SURG), a medical device company that designs, manufactures and markets innovative surgical instruments for ophthalmic and neurosurgical applications, today announced that it expects to report record sales and net income from operations for the fourth fiscal quarter ended July 31, 2011.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NASDAQ: TEVA) announced today that it will release its third quarter 2011 financial results on Wednesday, November 2, 2011.

Tikcro Technologies Ltd. (Pink Sheets: TIKRF) (“Tikcro”) announced today that BioCancell, a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on developing targeted cancer therapies for solid cancer tumors, in which Tikcro holds approximately 26% on a fully diluted basis, has commenced enrollment of its Phase IIb pancreatic cancer clinical trial with a first treatment of the first patient.

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE: TMO), the world leader in serving science, announced today that it has established a new financial reporting segment, called Specialty Diagnostics, following its acquisition of Phadia, a global leader in blood tests for the clinical diagnosis and monitoring of allergies and autoimmune diseases.

Threshold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: THLD) today announced that Dr. Barry Selick, Threshold's Chief Executive Officer, is scheduled to present at the 2011 BioCentury NewsMakers in the Biotech Industry Conference in New York City on Friday, October 21, 2011 at 11:00 AM EDT.

Unigene Laboratories, Inc. (OTCBB: UGNE)
and Nordic Bioscience today announced their decision to establish a Joint Development Vehicle (JDV) to progress up to three of Unigene’s internally developed, proprietary calcitonin analogs through Phase 2 proof-of-concept in humans for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.

University General Health System, Inc. (PINKSHEETS: UGHS), a diversified, integrated multi-specialty health delivery system, in partnership with the City of Alvin, Texas, today announced an agreement to develop a 27,000-square-foot critical care hospital in Alvin.

Unigene Laboratories, Inc. (OTCBB: UGNE) today announced that Dr. Claus Christiansen, Chairman of Nordic Bioscience, purchased $1.5 million of Unigene’s common stock at a purchase price equivalent to the average share price over the previous 30 days through his Danish foundation, Den Danske Forskningsfond (DDF) with an option to purchase an additional $1.5 million before year end. DDF has an option for an additional equity investment of up to $3.0 million in the first half of 2012.

Verisante Technology, Inc. (TSX VENTURE:VRS) (OTCQX:VRSEF) (PINK SHEETS:VRSEF) (FRANKFURT:V3T), a leader in cancer imaging technology, announced today that it has filed an application with Health Canada for a Class II Medical Device License to market and sell Verisante Aura™, a non-invasive medical device for the detection of skin cancer, in Canada.

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