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Angiotech Pharmaceuticals announces launch of Quill SRS product codes for laparoscopic gynecology procedures

VANCOUVER, Aug. 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ANPI, TSX: ANP) today announced the launch of a series of new, proprietary Quill(TM) SRS product codes specifically designed for laparoscopic, or minimally invasive, gynecology procedures, including hysterectomies and myomectomies. In 2008, there were approximately 750,000 hysterectomies performed in the United States of which approximately 130,000 were performed laparoscopically. In addition, there were approximately 72,000 myomectomies performed in the United States to remove uterine fibroid tumors. Management estimates 6-8% annual growth in laparoscopically assisted hysterectomies through 2014.

Angiotech's proprietary Quill SRS barbed suture technology offers significant advantages in laparoscopic surgery whether performed manually by surgeons or through robotic assistance. The primary advantage of Quill SRS for laparoscopic procedures is the ability to close a wound using Quill without the surgeon having to tie knots. The exercise of tying knots can be very challenging and time consuming when surgeons are relegated to operating in a smaller surgical field as a result of electing to use a minimally invasive approach for the procedure. A second advantage is to minimize or eliminate the need for a third hand to maintain tension on the suture as typically required with a traditional suturing technique in order to deal with tissue recoil. A third advantage of Quill SRS is that the even distribution of tension and its ability to maintain the tension along the length of the suture also provides hemostatic benefits, often eliminating or minimizing the need for standard hemostatic sutures.

These and other novel elements of Angiotech's Quill SRS for laparoscopic and robotic-assisted surgery are expected to significantly reduce the time and difficulty of completing a wound closure in these types of surgical procedures, where tying sutures through small incisions using instruments, while having limited visibility of patient anatomy, can be one of the most difficult and tedious aspects of such procedures for physicians. Patients may also benefit through reduced surgical times, and therefore reduced time under anesthesia, and health care facilities and payors may also benefit from the potential to reduce operating room time needed, or the total cost of material needed, to complete such surgical procedures.

Angiotech's new Quill SRS product codes for laparoscopic gynecology procedures are available in our polydioxanone (PDO) suture material in size -0- with 7 cm by 7 cm and 14 cm by 14 cm lengths, and include our newly designed 36 mm needles.

The use of Quill SRS in laparoscopic gynecology surgery was first reported by James Greenberg, MD, and Jon Einarsson, MD, MPH, of the Centre for Women's Surgery at Brigham Women's/Faulkner Hospitals and Harvard Medical School Boston, Massachusetts in the Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology, in November of 2008. The results of this small feasibility study looked at the application of Quill SRS in myomectomy and total laparoscopic hysterectomy vaginal cuff closures. This publication was then followed by up by a podium presentation at the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists (AAGL) annual meeting in the fall of 2008 confirming that there were no post operative issues or complications from the use of Quill SRS in a patient series that had grown to 150 patients reviewed to that date. "Bidirectional barbed sutures greatly facilitate laparoscopic suturing. Further evolution and incorporation of this suture material into clinical practice seems inevitable," said Dr. Einarsson.

"Quill SRS helps surgeons overcome one of the largest obstacles in advanced minimally invasive surgery - tying knots laparoscopically. With this revolutionary technology, we should anticipate the introduction of the next generation of safer minimally invasive procedures," said Dr. Greenberg.

For more information about Quill SRS for laparoscopic gynecology procedures, please refer to our Quill SRS website located at and view our online movies demonstrating Quill SRS in use. All Quill SRS products are also available for purchase online by accredited surgeons at Angiotech's e-commerce site which can be accessed at

About the Quill(TM) Self-Retaining System (SRS)

The Quill SRS product line represents a revolutionary technology in wound closure made possible by bidirectional fixation within the wound. Its patented design allows the surgeon to begin closure at the midpoint of the wound and suture in two directions from the midpoint. Barbs within the Quill SRS product distribute tension across the wound and eliminate the need for knots.

    Forward Looking Statements

Statements contained in this press release that are not based on historical fact, including without limitation statements containing the words "believes," "may," "plans," "will," "estimates," "continues," "anticipates," "intends," "expects" and similar expressions, constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. All such statements are made pursuant to the "safe harbor" provisions of applicable securities legislation. Forward-looking statements may involve, but are not limited to, comments with respect to our objectives and priorities for 2009 and beyond, our strategies or future actions, our targets, expectations for our financial condition and the results of, or outlook for, our operations, research, development, product and drug development. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, events or developments to be materially different from any future results, events or developments expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Many such risks, uncertainties and other factors are taken into account as part of our assumptions underlying these forward-looking statements and include, among others, the following: general economic and business conditions, both nationally and in the regions in which we operate; market demand; technological changes that could impact our existing products or our ability to develop and commercialize future products; competition; existing governmental regulations and changes in, or the failure to comply with, governmental regulations; adverse results or unexpected delays in pre-clinical and clinical product development processes; adverse findings related to the safety and/or efficacy of our products or products sold by our partners; decisions, and the timing of decisions, made by health regulatory agencies regarding approval of our technology and products; the requirement for substantial funding to conduct research and development and to expand manufacturing and commercialization activities or consummate acquisitions; and any other factors that may affect performance. In addition, our business is subject to certain operating risks that may cause the actual results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements in this press release to differ materially from our actual results. These operating risks include: our ability to attract and retain qualified personnel; our ability to successfully complete pre-clinical and clinical development of our products; changes in business strategy or development plans; our failure to obtain patent protection for discoveries; loss of patent protection resulting from third party challenges to our patents; commercialization limitations imposed by patents owned or controlled by third parties; our ability to obtain rights to technology from licensors; liability for patent claims and other claims asserted against us; our ability to obtain and enforce timely patent and other intellectual property protection for our technology and products; the ability to enter into, and to maintain, corporate alliances relating to the development and commercialization of our technology and products; market acceptance of our technology and products; our ability to successfully manufacture, market and sell our products; the continued availability of capital to finance our activities; and any other factors referenced in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") and applicable Canadian regulatory authorities. For a more thorough discussion of the risks associated with our business, see the "Risk Factors" section in our annual report for the year ended December 31, 2008 filed with the SEC on Form 10-K, and our quarterly report for the three months ended March 31, 2009 filed with the SEC on Form 10-Q.

Given these uncertainties, assumptions and risk factors, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. Except as required by law, we disclaim any obligation to update any such factors or to publicly announce the result of any revisions to any of the forward-looking statements contained in this press release to reflect future results, events or developments.

About Angiotech Pharmaceuticals

Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a global specialty pharmaceutical and medical device company with over 1,500 dedicated employees. Angiotech discovers, develops and markets innovative treatment solutions for diseases or complications associated with medical device implants, surgical interventions and acute injury. To find out more about Angiotech (NASDAQ: ANPI, TSX: ANP), please visit our website at

SOURCE Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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