Healthcare Industry News:  acute myocardial infarction 

Devices Interventional Cardiology Regulatory

 News Release - September 19, 2006

Medtronic Micro-Driver Coronary Stent Approved in Japan

Sales Begin of Japan's First Cobalt-Chromium Stent Designed for Small Blood Vessels

MINNEAPOLIS--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Sept. 19, 2006--Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE:MDT ) today announced that it has received Japanese regulatory approval and will begin sales of the Micro-Driver coronary stent system, the first Cobalt-Chromium stent designed for small blood vessels requiring stents smaller than 3 millimeters in diameter. Micro-Driver is an extension of the popular Medtronic DriverŪ stent, the most implanted bare metal stent in Japan for patients with larger blood vessels.

Immediately following Micro-Driver approval, Dr. Shinsuke Nanto of Kansai Rosai Hospital implanted the stent. "We have faced difficulties in delivering stents through tortuous and calcified vessels to distal lesions," said Dr. Nanto. "The patient I treated was sent in critical condition with a tortuous distal lesion, but I delivered the Micro-Driver stent easily. This stent is useful for urgent coronary intervention."

Cobalt-Chromium is the preferred stent technology in Japan, with more than 75 percent of the coronary stent market. Stents made from this alloy are stronger and denser than stainless steel stents, but provide excellent flexibility, deliverability (crossability) and vessel support following angioplasty procedures. With the approval of Micro-Driver, Medtronic will be the only company in Japan to offer Cobalt-Chromium stents in sizes ranging from 2.25 mm to 4mm, and the only manufacturer to offer Cobalt-Chromium stents in three sizes in the small vessel category (2.25 mm, 2.5 mm and 2.75 mm). The Driver stent has been commercially available in Japan since 2004.

"We are very pleased to bring this new stent technology to the physicians and people of Japan," said Steve La Neve, president of Medtronic Japan. "The Micro-Driver stent offers physicians expanded treatment options, with a wider range of sizes for their patients that could lead to better clinical outcomes."

Each year approximately 280,000 coronary stents are implanted in Japanese patients. Drug-eluting stent (DES) technology has captured about 65-70 percent of the overall stent market, but the use of bare metal stents serves a valuable role among implanting physicians. With its small size and rounded modular design, the Micro-Driver stent may be particularly appropriate for procedures in which drug-eluting stents aren't able to reach challenging lesions, or for patients suffering from acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Dr. Nanto previously was the principal investigator of a multi-center clinical trial (the DRASTIC Study) that evaluated the Driver bare metal stent in a Japanese clinical setting. Results from that trial demonstrated low Target Lesion Revascularization rates for patients receiving urgent stent implants, and offered evidence that the Driver stent platform is an excellent bare metal choice when DES is not ideal.

About Medtronic

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 Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended April 28, 2006. Actual results may differ materially from anticipated results.


Source: Medtronic

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