June 2008 GWB Technology Column

Trans1 Launches New Spine Product

TranS1 Inc., a publicly-traded Wilmington-based medical device company focuses on minimally invasive surgical approaches to treating degenerative disc disease in the lower lumbar region of the spine.  The company has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market its AxiaLIF 2L, a two level lumbar fusion system, in the United States. The AxiaLIF 2L is designed to treat degenerative disc disease at both the L5-S1 and L4-L5 lumbar discs through a single, one and a half inch incision.

“The AxiaLIF 2L(tm) enables spine surgeons to perform, for the first time ever, a multi-level lumbar fusion with no disruption of functional, supportive soft tissue structures,” stated Rick Randall, President and CEO of TranS1. “From a business perspective, the AxiaLIF 2L(tm) significantly expands the patient population eligible for TranS1’s novel, least invasive treatments for low back pain and increases the potential product revenue TranS1 can realize from each surgical procedure.”

Randall added, “Our early clinical experience with the AxiaLIF 2L outside of the U.S. reveals the same positive patient outcomes experienced with our AxiaLIF single level product: early release from the hospital, rapid return to normal lifestyle activities and dramatic long-term reduction of disabling leg and back pain.”

The approval came three days before Trans1 released its operating results for the first quarter of 2008, in which the company announced that first quarter revenues increased 92 percent to a company record of  $6.0 million compared to the first quarter of 2007 and surgeons performed 673 TranS1 procedures performed in the quarter.

AT&T Prepares for Hurricane Season

With a “more active than average” Atlantic hurricane season predicted for 2008, AT&T Inc.  has announced that they are making special preparations for the season.
“We have continued to improve the reliability of our wireless services in hurricane-prone areas by installing more backup generators at critical sites, moving facilities to less vulnerable areas and improving our recovery efforts. We are committed to keeping our customers connected, and we have taken steps to ensure our wireless networks are ready,” said Alison Hall, vice president and general manager of AT&T’s wireless operations in the Carolinas.
AT&T’s preparations include the creation of mobile command centers and cell sites as well as plans to use natural gas in some of the permanent generators so to eliminate the need to refuel.  AT&T also has created a self-sufficient base camp, complete with sleeping tents, bathrooms, kitchen, laundry facilities, on-site nurse and more than 10,000 meals ready-to-eat (MREs) for technicians in the case of an emergency.
In the event of  a hurricane, AT&T recommends that consumers have, in addition to their wireless phone,  at least one corded phone that is not dependent on electricity in case of a power outage because cordless telephones usually have receivers that are electrically charged and won’t work if  a home losses power.   Additionally, if you are forced to evacuate your home, AT&T recommend you forward your home number to your wireless number.  Because all forwarding is done at the telephone central office,  you will get incoming calls from your landline phone even if your local telephone service is disrupted at your home.

GE-Hitachi Selects Wilmington for Laser Enrichment SIte

Global Laser Enrichment (GLE), a subsidiary of GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH), has announced it has selected GEH’s Wilmington headquarters site for a potential commercial uranium enrichment facility. The planned GEH plant would result in the creation of hundreds of new technical, operational and support jobs at the site between now and 2012.
“This is a key milestone in GLE’s development process,” said Tammy Orr, President and CEO of Global Laser Enrichment. “With the selection of the Wilmington site for a potential commercial facility, we can now move forward with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) licensing process.”
GEH has exclusive rights to develop, commercialize and launch this third-generation uranium enrichment technology on a global basis, under a 2006 agreement with the original developer, the Australian company Silex Systems Ltd.
Before moving ahead with full-scale production plans however, GLE will first evaluate the results of a demonstration test loop, which is currently under construction, and obtain an NRC license to build and operate the commercial plant. Commercial licensing activities are currently underway to support a projected start-up date of 2012.
The cutting-edge laser enrichment isotope separation technology allows GEH to become further integrated in the nuclear fuel cycle; already, Wilmington–based Global Nuclear Fuel-Americas (GNF-A), a joint venture of GE, Hitachi and Toshiba, is involved in the fuel cycle. GNF’s site currently receives low enriched uranium, which is then used to fabricate fuel bundles for commercial nuclear power plants.  The commercial GLE enrichment facility could potentially become a supplier of low enriched uranium to the Wilmington GNF fabrication facility.
No new types of hazardous materials will be added to the GEH plant site. Should GEH choose to build the commercial facility, the GLE plant will take up approximately 200 acres of the approximately 1,600-acre site.

Wilmington Golfers Use New Technology to Keep Score

Golfers at the Wilmington Industrial Development 2008 Annual Golf Tournament at the River Landing Golf Course in Wallace were given an opportunity to use an innovative mobile digital golf scoring technology from eGolf Score.  The service, combines hosted software with mobile phones and allows either individuals or teams to track their score, monitor other teams/individual’s scores, give real-time results,  and track handicaps and other pertinent information on the course and in the game.  The company can load course information, including yardage, images and par,  into the system prior to an event,  provides on-course displays and publishes scores in real time on event websites.   The mobile device, video leaderboard and website provide a venue to display sponsor messages and information about the event, said Joe Kaplan, company CEO and Founder.  eGolf Score also provides a personal version of the software that users can install on  Blackberry or Windows mobile devices to track individual progress and statistics.    Kaplan said that in the future the company is looking to expand the feature set to possibly include GPS functions and additional social networking and collaboration features.