The Wall Street Journal has announced this year’s winners of the paper’s annual Technology Innovation Awards, and we’re glad to see that a medical device won the overall Gold and a lab-on-a-chip snatched the Bronze.
The Gold winner is EZ-IO, a bone drill from Vidacare Corporation out of San Antonio, Texas that we wrote about back in March of 2006. The device creates an entry point to feed IV fluids through the bone for patients with collapsing veins.
The EZ-IO® Product System by Vidacare® consists of a small battery-powered device and two beveled, hollow drill-tipped needles that were specifically designed to provide safe, controlled vascular access via the intraosseous (IO) route to patients of all ages in emergent situations when vascular access is challenging or impossible. The two needles apply to patients of the weight ranges 3 – 39kg and 40kg or greater. The EZ-IO product system creates a stable port into the intraosseous space accessing the central vascular system within seconds, causing minimal trauma to the patient. The greater than 40kg needle was specially designed with a beveled drill tip to quickly and easily penetrate through the hard exterior of adult bones while the 3 – 39kg needle is shorter in length permitting easy access through the softer bones of pediatric patients. This design provides the EZ-IO product system with superior control, a stable, secure port, and effectiveness unparalleled by the alternate IO products on the market today.
The Bronze went to Phylochip developed at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, a device that can “detect up to 32,000 unique versions of the 16s RNA gene, which is found in all bacteria.” We have covered this technology previously: see our flashbacks below.
From the device info page:
APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
* Monitoring airborne bacteria for bioterrorism surveillance
* Tracking microbial changes in the atmosphere due to climate change
* Detecting harmful and beneficial organisms in water or soil samples
* Monitoring bacterial populations during environmental bioremediation
* Identifying bacteria and archaea in medical samples without culturing
* Enabling source tracking of pathogens by public health agencies
* Quickly and accurately identifies microbes in complex samples
* Analyzes microbial DNA samples from any environmental source
* Simultaneously detects most known microorganisms (>8000 strains tested in parallel)
* Offers the option to analyze the rRNA to determine the most metabolically active organisms in a sample
* Detects low-abundance organisms that would be missed by conventional culturing or sequencing
* Identifies microorganisms most responsive to changes in environmental parameters
* Reduces the chances of misidentifying a specific microorganism
The winner of the Medical/Biotech category is Rosetta Genomics out of Rehovot, Israel for its miRNA analysis device that can identify the presence of cancer in a given sample.
From Rosetta Genomics:
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are recently discovered, naturally occurring, small RNAs that act as master regulators and have the potential to form the basis for a new class of diagnostics and therapeutics. Since many diseases are caused by the abnormal activity of proteins, the ability to selectively regulate protein activity through microRNAs could provide the means to treat a wide range of human diseases. In addition, microRNAs have been shown to have different expression in various pathological conditions. As a result, these differences may provide for a novel diagnostic strategy for many diseases.
Building on its strong IP position and proprietary platform technologies, Rosetta Genomics is working on the application of these technologies in the development of a full range of microRNA-based diagnostic and therapeutic tools, focusing primarily on cancer and various women’s health indications. The first test based on the company’s technology, differentiating squamous from non squamous non small cell lung cancer, is now approved through Columbia University Medical Center’s High Complexity Molecular Pathology Laboratory. In Addition, the company expects two additional microRNA diagnostic tests applying its technology will be validated and submitted for regulatory approval by licensed clinical laboratories in the United States in 2008.
In the Healthcare-IT category, the winner is GlaxoSmithKline for the company’s Molecular Clinical Safety Intelligence software that helps identify whether a given compound has safety concerns for humans, and so provides guidance whether to pursue it as a potential pharmaceutical. We were not able to find any information about the software besides Wall Street Journal’s own description:
U.K.-based GlaxoSmithKline PLC won for new software that helps researchers screen potential drugs for possibly adverse medical reactions while the drugs are still in the earliest stage of development. This helps pharmaceutical researchers avoid spending time and resources on promising drugs only to find after several years that the drugs can’t be marketed because they’re potentially harmful.
The software, called Molecular Clinical Safety Intelligence, matches the chemical profiles of drugs in development and of potentially useful compounds against information about adverse reactions to drugs that are already on the market. It was developed at GSK’s research and development center in North Carolina for use by the company’s own researchers.
More from The Wall Street Journal…
Complete list of winners…
Product page: EZ-IO Product System
Device page: PhyloChip: DNA Microarray for Rapid Profiling of Microbial Populations
Rosetta Genomics platform technologies…
Flashbacks: The EZ-IO® Product System Gets Energized; Drawing The Genetic Map of Europe; In the Works: IT-Enabled Prototype Psychiatric Pharmacogenomics Tool; AmpliChip