Healthcare Industry News:  Parkinson’s disease 

Devices Neurology Regulatory

 News Release - January 24, 2011

St. Jude Medical Announces Australian TGA Approval of Athena Programmer for the Management of Deep Brain Stimulation Therapy

New Athena platform with large full-color touch screen allows optimization of deep brain stimulation therapy through advanced programming and data management features

ST. PAUL, Minn.--(Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network)-- St. Jude Medical, Inc. (NYSE:STJ ), a global medical device company, today announced regulatory approval from the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) of its Athena™ programmer, a deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapy management system.

This easy-to-use platform offers clinicians a powerful interface that enables them to set or adjust deep brain stimulation parameters to optimize each patient’s therapy. The system also has the most comprehensive data management capacity of any DBS programmer on the market, which aids clinicians in the organization and storage of important patient information.

“The Athena programmer is an innovative new product designed to help physicians manage the unique challenges associated with programming deep brain stimulation systems,” said Chris Chavez, president of the St. Jude Medical Neuromodulation Division. “We are excited to be able to offer this programming platform to physicians in Australia as part of our newly introduced family of deep brain stimulation products.”

Designed as a tablet PC, the Athena programmer can be utilized through an interactive touch screen or through a keyboard, depending on the clinician’s preference. The system’s unique features include:

* Measuring 22.6 cm, the Athena programmer screen is the largest and only full-color touch screen, which allows clinicians to see all lead and programming information at one time

* Programmer’s database provides a full history of programming sessions for up to 1,000 patients with 200 sessions for each patient

* Capability that permits data export for analysis, printing, emailing and importing into electronic medical records

* Programming session notes can be easily accessed in subsequent sessions through a convenient notes section

The Athena programmer is also approved in European Union countries and is in the submission process for additional markets. It can be used to program the Libra™, LibraXP™, and Brio™ DBS systems which are also approved for use in Australia and European Union countries.

Deep brain stimulation is used to manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, a neurological disorder that progressively diminishes a person’s control over his or her movements and speech. Parkinson’s disease affects an estimated 6.3 million people worldwide, according to the European Parkinson’s disease Association.

For more than 30 years, the St. Jude Medical Neuromodulation Division has developed new technologies to manage chronic pain and other neurological disorders. Today more than 75,000 patients in 40 countries have been implanted with St. Jude Medical neurostimulation systems.

About St. Jude Medical

St. Jude Medical develops medical technology and services that focus on putting more control into the hands of those who treat cardiac, neurological and chronic pain patients worldwide. The company is dedicated to advancing the practice of medicine by reducing risk wherever possible and contributing to successful outcomes for every patient. St. Jude Medical is headquartered in St. Paul, Minn. and has four major focus areas that include: cardiac rhythm management, atrial fibrillation, cardiovascular and neuromodulation. For more information, please visit

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that involve risks and uncertainties. Such forward-looking statements include the expectations, plans and prospects for the Company, including potential clinical successes, anticipated regulatory approvals and future product launches, and projected revenues, margins, earnings and market shares. The statements made by the Company are based upon management’s current expectations and are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include market conditions and other factors beyond the Company’s control and the risk factors and other cautionary statements described in the Company’s filings with the SEC, including those described in the Risk Factors and Cautionary Statements sections of the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended October 2, 2010. The Company does not intend to update these statements and undertakes no duty to any person to provide any such update under any circumstance.

Source: St. Jude Medical

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