Healthcare Industry News:  AtriCure 

Devices Cardiology

 News Release - May 15, 2007

ESTECH COBRA(R) Devices and Patented ''Box Lesion'' Acknowledged as Key Elements in Successful Cardiac Ablation at Recent American Association for Thoracic Surgery 87th Annual Meeting

ESTECH Atrial Fibrillation Device, AFfirm(TM), Recognized as Standard of Care for Confirming Successful Treatment Of Atrial Fibrillation

SAN RAMON, Calif.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--ESTECH announced today compelling data supporting the use of its AFfirm device as reported by researchers at the recent American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) and Surgical Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation (STAF) meetings, May 5-9, in Washington, DC, demonstrating "Conduction Block" is a marker for successful treatment of Atrial Fibrillation (AF).

Experts in the treatment of Atrial Fibrillation agree surgeons must demonstrate an acute success of the cardiac ablation procedure by testing the lesions they make, similar to what Electrophysiologists do with their catheter based treatments. David Swanson, Ph.D., ESTECH Chief Technology Officer and inventor of surgical ablation noted, "The ESTECH AFfirm Bipolar Pacing Probe, indicated for the treatment of AF, is a quick, easy way to verify the ablation procedure has been successful. Conduction Block confirmed with the AFfirm probe should be the standard of care."

At the STAF Meeting, three year data was presented on the COBRA Temperature Controlled RF technology as compared to basic RF (Medtronic Inc. - MDT, NYSE, and AtriCure, Inc. - ATRC, NASDAQ) and Microwave (Boston Scientific - BSX, NYSE) with peer reviewed published data on 3,821 patients. These studies reveal that while other technologies have good results (80%+) at one year, at the two year follow up results drop below 60%, and in more difficult permanent and persistent patients, the results with Boston Scientific Microwave technology drop as low as 30%. Dr. Swanson commented, "Frequently, published papers report an inflated device cure rate by adding in additional treatments, e.g., the RF or Microwave treatment is supplemented by subsequent treatments/interventions such as catheter ablation, cryotherapy, or Cox cut and sew maze, thus inaccurately attributing success to failed RF or Microwave technology. ESTECH will assess the true, long term success of Cardiac Ablation with the COBRA AFfirm Registry and will report on only one intervention per patient (vs. two or three) using the COBRA Technology, with a three year follow- up."

In other reports at STAF, Drs. Stefano Benussi, Milan, Italy, and Adam Saltman, Maimondes Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY, referenced studies in more difficult patients with persistent or permanent AF, where the COBRA results, with only one intervention using only the COBRA technology to treat the patient, show an industry leading 82% three year freedom from AF (next best technology showed 54% freedom from AF at 3 years). The COBRA technology combines the superior results of temperature controlled RF with ESTECH's patented box lesion and suction applied, cooled RF resulting in the only device capable of reliably creating transmural lesions on a beating heart in a single application; confirmed with the AFfirm Bipolar Pacing Probe.

The patented (ref USPTO 7,115,122 and 6,241,754) ESTECH "Box Lesion" was advocated in numerous presentations (Drs. Crayton Pruitt, Ottavio R. Alfieri & Stefano Benussi) at STAF and AATS. Surgeons have long held a cure rate advantage over catheter based approaches. The surgical approach for cardiac ablation was first described by Dr. David Swanson in 1993. In most cases more lesions are created to increase the treatment success, and ESTECH's COBRA products are well suited to deliver the most complete treatment.

At AATS, Drs. Crayton Pruitt and Robert Lazzara, from Tampa, Florida, presented their early results on the Cobra Adhere XL. Dr. Lazzara commented, "By using a combination of the COBRA Adhere XL, which utilizes patented temperature control, internal cooling, and suction technology for RF ablation, followed with the AFfirm Bipolar Pacing Probe to confirm conduction block, we believe our ability to successfully treat patients in a totally thorascopic technique is greatly improved."

About ESTECH

Headquartered in San Ramon, CA, ESTECH offers tools for least invasive techniques and traditional approaches to the procedures cardiac surgeons do every day--coronary artery bypass, valve surgery, ablation and surgical treatment of congestive heart failure.

www.estech.com

About David Swanson, Ph.D.

Dr. Swanson is an inventor on over 240 patents issued by the US patent office. The San Jose Mercury News has identified him as one of the top 10 inventors in California. Before joining ESTECH, Dr. Swanson worked for Boston Scientific/EP Technologies for 14 years. While there he held various positions including Senior Director of R&D and Head of Intellectual Property. Previously, Dr. Swanson led the Tachyarrhythmia Research and Technology Group at Cardiac Pacemakers, Inc. Dr. Swanson holds a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering and a MS degree in Physiology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and a B.S. degree in Physics from Northern Illinois University.

About the Advanced Center for Atrial Fibrillation

St. Joseph's Hospital Advanced Center for Atrial Fibrillation provides a range of educational materials and free consultations with an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) for individuals who have previously been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation to discuss potential non-drug treatment options

www.sjbhealth.org/body.cfm?id=1104


Source: ESTECH

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