Healthcare Industry News:   Biosense Webster 

Devices Cardiology

 News Release - January 13, 2011

Biosense Webster Successfully Completes First Clinical Atrial Fibrillation Ablation Cases in the European Union Using the THERMOCOOL(R) SMARTTOUCH(TM) Contact Force Sensing Catheter

THERMOCOOL(R) SMARTTOUCH(TM) Catheter from Biosense Webster Enables Contact Force Sensing in the Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation

WATERLOO, Belgium, January 13, 2011 -- (Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network) -- Biosense Webster, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company, and a worldwide leader in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac arrhythmias, announced the successful completion of the first clinical cases with the new THERMOCOOL(R) SMARTTOUCH(TM) Contact Force Sensing Catheter in the European Union, following recent CE-marking of the product.

The THERMOCOOL(R) SMARTTOUCH(TM) Catheter is the most advanced catheter developed by Biosense Webster to date. During cardiac ablation, the THERMOCOOL(R) SMARTTOUCH(TM) Catheter enables the measurement of catheter tip contact force and direction inside the heart. The force and contact information is graphically displayed on the CARTO(R) 3 Mapping and Navigation System with the CARTO(R) 3 SMARTTOUCH(TM) Software Module thus creating the only fully integrated solution in the electrophysiology market which combines contact force, 3D mapping and navigation capabilities.

Dr. Paolo Della Bella*, from the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, Italy, performed the first human cases with the THERMOCOOL(R) SMARTTOUCH(TM) Catheter and CARTO(R) 3 System and says: "This is a breakthrough technology. The additional force reading parameter gives me the confidence that it improves my ablation procedure to better serve my patients' symptoms and quality of life."

The THERMOCOOL(R) SMARTTOUCH(TM) Catheter combines Biosense Webster's market-leading irrigated ablation technology and the accurate visualization, for which the CARTO(R) 3 System is renowned globally, with innovative force-sensing capabilities. By displaying precise contact force and direction information, the THERMOCOOL(R) SMARTTOUCH(TM) Catheter provides an important new parameter for the mapping and ablation of complex cardiac arrhythmias, such as Atrial Fibrillation (AF).

"THERMOCOOL(R) SMARTTOUCH(TM) Catheter brings important new force reading information to physicians when performing cardiac ablation, and will provide them with a new and important measure that can help further improve procedural outcomes. This breakthrough technology continues our commitment to bringing advanced tools to the Cardiac Electrophysiology community, so that they may better serve their patients," said Shlomi Nachman, Worldwide President, Biosense Webster, Inc.

About Atrial Fibrillation and cardiac ablation

Atrial Fibrillation is the most prevalent arrhythmia, and is a leading cause of stroke among people 65 years and older. Worldwide, it is estimated that 20 million people have Atrial Fibrillation, yet only 100,000 are treated with ablation every year. The public health implications of Atrial Fibrillation are a growing concern because those with Atrial Fibrillation are at an increased risk of morbidity and mortality as well as a reduced quality of life.

Most patients with Atrial Fibrillation today are treated with anti-arrhythmic drugs (AADs), even though about half of them are refractory to these drugs. During cardiac ablation, energy is delivered through the catheter to those areas of the heart muscle causing the abnormal heart rhythm. This energy "disconnects" the pathway of the abnormal rhythm. Cardiac ablation is the standard of care for "simple" arrhythmias, like Wolff-Parkison-White Syndrome and atrioventricular nodal re-entry tachycardia (AVNRT), and is increasingly being used for more complex arrhythmias like ventricular tachycardia and Atrial Fibrillation.

* Dr. Della Bella is compensated for his services as a member of the company's scientific advisory board and provides other consulting services.

About Biosense Webster, Inc.

Biosense Webster, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company, pioneered electrophysiology diagnostic catheters more than 30 years ago and continues to lead the industry as an innovative provider of advanced diagnostic, therapeutic and mapping tools. As the leader in navigation systems and ablation therapy, Biosense Webster, Inc.'s technology includes the largest installed base of navigation systems worldwide in leading hospitals and teaching institutions. With its proprietary products the company is changing the way electrophysiologists diagnose and treat arrhythmias. Biosense Webster, a Division of Johnson & Johnson Medical SA, Waterloo, Belgium, is the European authorized representative of Biosense Webster, Inc.

Source: Biosense Webster

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