2016: The year's biggest Medical Device Network stories

UK launches new bowel cancer home testing kit and Abbott agrees to buy St Jude Medical for $25bn. Medicaldevice-network.com wraps up the key headlines from 2016.


UK introduces new home testing kit for early bowel cancer detection

The UK Department of Health announced the introduction of a new bowel cancer home testing kit across England.

The introduction of the new kit, which could potentially save hundreds of lives, has been confirmed by UK Public Health Minister Jane Ellison.

A successful pilot programme involving 40,000 people had prompted the UK National Screening Committee to recommend the test to be introduced across the nation.

Abbott to acquire St Jude Medical for $25bn

US-based pharmaceuticals and health care products firm Abbott signed a definitive agreement to acquire medical device company St Jude Medical for $25bn.

Under the agreement, St. Jude Medical shareholders will receive $85 per share of Abbott common stock with $46.75 in cash.

The acquisition is projected to add 21 cents next year and 29 cents in 2018 to Abbott's adjusted earnings per share.

Stanford University researchers develop blood test for better and cheaper lung cancer management

Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine in California, US developed a blood test to offer an inexpensive way to manage lung cancer.

The test can detect genetic profiles of tumour cells sifted from the bloodstream which can thereby emerge as an important tool for the clinic and the lab.

The new development is expected to provide better information on the next chemotherapy or targeted therapy to use when tumours starts resisting previous drugs; and secondly show new ways to study progression of tumours.

Wyss Institute led researchers develop paper-based diagnostic system to detect Zika virus

A team of international, multi-institutional researchers led by Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University synthetic biologist James Collins developed a rapid paper-based diagnostic system for strain-specific detection of the Zika virus.

Claimed to be low-cost, the diagnostic system aims can apply the test in the field to test blood, urine, or saliva samples.

In the wake of a rapid spread of the Ebola virus, Collins and his team, along with collaborators from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, Harvard Medical School (HMS), University of Toronto, Arizona State University (ASU), University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison), Boston University (BU), Cornell University, and Addgene, in 2014, developed the diagnostic test for embedding synthetic gene networks.

Canon agrees to buy Toshiba Medical Systems for $5.9bn

Japan-based Canon entered into an agreement with Toshiba to acquire Toshiba Medical Systems (TMSC) for around JPY665.5bn ($5.94bn).

The companies have signed a share transfer agreement to make TMSC a subsidiary of Canon.

Canon secured exclusive negotiation rights to acquire TMSC as part of Toshiba's aim to restructure its operations following an accounting scandal.

Sight Diagnostics and USAMRD-K to jointly develop latest malaria diagnostic technology

Israel-based medical device company Sight Diagnostics (SightDx) will collaborate with the US Army Medical Research Directorate Kenya (USAMRD-K) for the development and testing of SightDx’s latest malaria diagnostic technology.

Under the collaboration, SightDx will develop and produce a portable malaria and complete blood count (CBC) reader which will be calibrated and validated through clinical trials at the USAMRD-K Field Station in Kisumu, Kenya.

SightDx CEO Yossi Pollak said: "We are very excited about the partnership with USAMRD-K.

FDA grants 510(k) clearance for CardiacAssist’s new TandemLung oxygenator

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted 510(k) clearance for CardiacAssist's new medical device, the TandemLung oxygenator, which acts as an artificial lung to infuse oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the blood.

The device uses a patent-protected and optimised radial flow design, coupled with advanced polymethylpentene (PMP) fibres to transfer oxygen into the blood for patients requiring cardiac or respiratory support.

The TandemLung oxygenator is intended for use in adult patients for extracorporeal circulation during cardiopulmonary bypass for up to six hours.

Johnson & Johnson to acquire Abbott Medical Optics for $4.32bn

Johnson & Johnson signed a definitive agreement to acquire Abbott Medical Optics (AMO), a wholly owned subsidiary of Abbott Laboratories, for $4.32bn in cash.

AMO posted sales of $1.1bn in 2015.

The acquisition will include ophthalmic products in three business segments including cataract surgery, laser refractive surgery and consumer eye health.

Fisher Center scientists develop 3D visualisation of brain defects causing Alzheimer's disease

Fisher Center scientists have created imaging technology that enables 3D visualisation of brain defects that cause Alzheimer's disease.

The technology, which has been funded by the Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research Foundation, enables visualisation of amyloid plaques, as well as other alzheimer's hallmarks, such as tau, vasculature and microglia activation, in a large volume, in an entire mouse brain with the potential of application on frozen human brain samples.

Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research Foundation president and CEO Kent Karosen said: "We are proud that the funding we provide has resulted in innovative, never before seen imaging of what causes Alzheimer's disease.

University of Washington researchers unveil implantable Wi-Fi devices

Researchers at the University of Washington (UW) introduced a technology which will enable devices such as brain implants, contact lenses and other electronic wearable devices to communicate with regular devices such as smartphones and watches.

The interscatter communication transforms Bluetooth signals into Wi-Fi transmissions over the air.

An interscatter device such as a smart contact lens converts Bluetooth signals emitted from the regular devices such as a smartwatch, into Wi-Fi transmissions which can be detected by a smartphone.

Macrogen and Silicon Biosystems to develop new genomic cancer assays

Silicon Biosystems Menarini entered a collaboration with South Korea-based Macrogen to develop new clinical assays and procedures for precision medicine in cancer.

As part of the deal, Silicon Biosystems' DEPArray digital-sorting technology will be combined with Macrogen's next-generation sequencing capabilities to develop tests certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) of 1988 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) of the US.

The combination of Macrogen's whole-genome, whole-exome and targeted sequencing capabilities with the DEPArray's technology is expected to help resolve cellular heterogeneity of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) biopsies and fine-needle aspiration (FNA) samples.

Boston Scientific and Accenture develop new digital health solution for chronic cardiovascular diseases

US-based medical device firm Boston Scientific, along with Accenture, developed a new cloud-based and data-driven digital health solution, Advantics Care Pathway Transformation, to help improve patient outcomes and reduce costs.

The new solution has been designed to be used in hospitals to treat patients with chronic cardiovascular diseases.

The Advantics solution will allow providers to make more proactive and informed decisions based on insights into the patient population in order to improve the care a patient experiences from hospital stay through post-discharge care and in-home support.