Healthcare Industry News:  SPIRIT II 

Devices Interventional Cardiology Regulatory

 News Release - January 30, 2006

Guidant Receives European Approval for Drug Eluting Coronary Stent

Company Achieves CE Mark Approval Ahead of Schedule
XIENCE V Launch Slated for Second Quarter

INDIANAPOLIS & BRUSSELS, Belgium--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Jan. 30, 2006--Guidant Corporation (NYSE:GDT ) today announced that the company has received Conformite Europeene (CE) Mark approval for the XIENCE(TM) V Everolimus Eluting Coronary Stent System. This regulatory certification allows Guidant to begin marketing the drug eluting stent in the 25 countries of the European Union. In addition, the CE Mark Approval is used to support market registrations in other regulated countries including those within Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe.

"This early approval represents a significant milestone in Guidant's drug eluting stent program and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to advancing the field of cardiovascular therapy through innovative solutions," said John M. Capek, Ph.D., president, Vascular Intervention, Guidant. "The development of XIENCE V represents years of hard work and dedication by our employees and by trial investigators. We look forward to bringing this next-generation therapy to physicians and patients."

The XIENCE V Everolimus Eluting Coronary Stent System utilizes Guidant's most advanced coronary stent system, the highly deliverable cobalt chromium MULTI-LINK VISION®, which is available on the preferred rapid-exchange platform. Everolimus has been shown to reduce tissue proliferation in the coronary vessels following stent implantation.

"Completion of the CE Mark approval process for XIENCE V follows on the heels of impressive clinical results from the SPIRIT FIRST trial, which demonstrated the benefits of an everolimus drug eluting stent," said Prof. Patrick W. Serruys, M.D., of the Thoraxcenter, Erasmus University Hospital, Rotterdam, who served as the study's principal investigator. "With this approval, physicians in Europe will have an excellent treatment option for patients requiring a drug eluting stent."

Guidant is ramping up manufacturing and building inventory to supply ongoing clinical trials and to support the European launch of XIENCE V beginning in the second quarter of 2006.

In November, Guidant announced completion of enrollment in only four months of SPIRIT II, a 300-patient, randomized clinical trial evaluating XIENCE V. The single-blind, prospective, randomized, non-inferiority study further evaluates the XIENCE V compared to the TAXUS® Express 2(TM) Paclitaxel-eluting coronary stent system for the treatment of coronary artery disease.

Guidant's 1,380-patient SPIRIT III global clinical trial is evaluating the XIENCE V Stent System in the United States and Japan. The randomized U.S. cohort, which will support U.S. Premarket Approval submission, has enrolled more than 70 percent of the required patients and is expected to complete enrollment later this quarter.

Guidant Corporation pioneers lifesaving technology, giving an opportunity for better life today to millions of cardiac and vascular patients worldwide. The company develops, manufactures and markets a broad array of products and services that enable less invasive care for some of life's most threatening medical conditions. For more information visit

This release includes forward-looking statements concerning XIENCE V. The statements are based on assumptions about many important factors, including satisfactory enrollment and completion of the clinical trial, associated regulatory processes and timelines, and other factors identified on Exhibit 99 to the company's most recent filing on Form 10-Q. Actual results may differ materially. The company does not undertake to update its forward-looking statements.

Source: Guidant

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