Healthcare Industry News: Parkinson's Disease
News Release - April 24, 2006
Medtronic Announces Clinical Trials Strategy for Neurological and Urological TherapiesNew Research Investments Will Focus on Building Class I Evidence for Range of Treatments That Use Division's Core Technologies
MINNEAPOLIS--(HSMN NewsFeed)--April 24, 2006--Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE:MDT ), today announced its plans to increase significantly its investment in clinical trials of the company's neurological and urological therapies, which have already been used to treat more than 300,000 people worldwide since the 1980s. The new trials will be designed to establish higher levels of evidence for the therapies' efficacy and cost-effectiveness.
During its next fiscal year, which begins May 1, Medtronic will invest in at least six new major clinical trials of therapies that use its neuromodulation or radio-frequency technology to treat a range of neurological and urological conditions. These trials will be designed to establish Class I evidence for treatments of Parkinson's Disease, depression, chronic pain, severe spasticity, overactive bladder and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Ongoing trials of separate treatments for obesity and epilepsy will continue. The amount of the investments was not disclosed.
Class I evidence is defined as clinical data that demonstrates substantial benefit versus risk of a therapy for specific patient populations.
"Clinical trials that establish Class I evidence pave the way for most treatments that are recognized as standards of care," according to Dr. Richard E. Kuntz, M.D., president of the Medtronic division that includes the company's neurological and urological therapies. (Dr. Kuntz joined Medtronic as a senior vice president in October 2005 after 15 years as a clinical trialist and interventional cardiologist.) "Our strength lies in the breadth and depth of the therapeutic technologies that we have spent decades developing. With the advent of evidence-based medicine, we must now set to work establishing the highest level of clinical evidence to ensure that more patients who can benefit from our neurological and urological therapies actually get them routinely as part of standard medical practice."
All of Medtronic's approved neurological and urological therapies have become an established part of medical practice to some degree, Kuntz explained, particularly among the pioneering physician thought leaders who know the power of these therapies and their well-established safety records. To achieve acceptance by more of the mainstream medical community and bring these therapies to more people, the clinical trials strategy announced today focuses on establishing the highest level of evidence for efficacy and cost-effectiveness of current and promising indications for the division's core technologies:
- Deep brain stimulation for the treatment of Parkinson's Disease (Activa® Therapy), epilepsy (Intercept® Therapy) and depression
- Spinal cord stimulation for the treatment of chronic back and leg pain, including failed back surgery syndrome
- Sacral nerve stimulation (InterStim® Therapy) for the treatment of overactive bladder (urinary urge incontinence and urgency frequency)
- Transurethral needle ablation (Prostiva® Therapy) for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or enlarged prostate
- Intrathecal baclofen (ITB(SM) Therapy) for the treatment of severe spasticity of cerebral origin (stroke, cerebral palsy)
"As the pioneer and leader in most of these therapeutic technologies, we believe in establishing Class I evidence to drive the treatments they deliver toward the standards of care for clearly defined patient populations," said Dr. Kuntz. "We are confident that the rigors of these trials will allow us to set the standards of proof for new indications and new technologies by which others will be judged."
Medtronic, Inc. (www.medtronic.com), headquartered in Minneapolis, is the global leader in medical technology - alleviating pain, restoring health, and extending life for millions of people around the world.
Any forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties such as those described in Medtronic's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended January 27, 2006. Actual results may differ materially from anticipated results.
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