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Abbott Launches VOYAGER(TM) NC Coronary Balloon Catheter
Date:3/10/2009

Latest Innovation in Balloon Technology, Designed to Optimize Treatment of Patients with Coronary Artery Disease

ABBOTT PARK, Ill., March 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Abbott (NYSE: ABT) today announced the launch of VOYAGER(TM) NC Coronary Dilatation Catheter, a next-generation balloon dilatation catheter with high-pressure capability designed to optimize the treatment of patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) during angioplasty procedures. VOYAGER NC is now available in the United States, Europe and select countries in Asia and Latin America.

Featuring Abbott's proprietary technology, the new VOYAGER NC system can be used for both pre-dilatation and post-dilatation procedures. Physicians can use VOYAGER NC to navigate tortuous anatomy and open up lesions before a stent is delivered, or expand a stent more precisely against the vessel wall after it is implanted.

The VOYAGER NC Coronary Dilatation Catheter is the latest innovation in Abbott's broad portfolio of minimally invasive medical devices to treat coronary artery disease. It is available in a wide variety of diameters (from 2 mm to 5 mm) and lengths (from 6 mm to 25 mm) on a rapid exchange delivery system.

"When choosing a dilatation catheter, one of the key attributes interventional cardiologists look for is the ability to accurately deliver the balloon to the target lesion, particularly in challenging coronary anatomy," said Dean J. Kereiakes, M.D., medical director, The Christ Hospital Heart and Vascular Center in Cincinnati, OH. "VOYAGER NC delivers on its promise as a high performance balloon dilatation catheter with high-pressure capability, frequently making difficult cases easier, even when treating the most challenging lesions."

Proprietary technological advancements that Abbott engineered into the VOYAGER NC balloon dilatation catheter include:

  • A specialized tip with a smooth, rounded shape designed to deflect off stent struts and enhance balloon delivery through stents.
  • Flexible tungsten markers designed to help physicians navigate through arteries and properly position the balloon within a treatment area.
  • Bi-layer balloon material designed to make the balloon thinner and more flexible, enabling controlled balloon growth.

"Precise delivery of interventional medical devices, especially when treating challenging lesions, is critical to successful outcomes in patients, and VOYAGER NC has excellent deliverability," said Charles Simonton, M.D., FACC, FSCAI, divisional vice president, Medical Affairs, and chief medical officer, Abbott Vascular. "The launch of VOYAGER NC underscores Abbott's ongoing commitment to bring innovative technologies to market from our broad, vascular pipeline."

VOYAGER NC is the latest offering out of Abbott's vascular pipeline. Products currently in development include a bioabsorbable drug eluting stent, a peripheral drug eluting stent, and Abbott's next-generation drug eluting stent, to be called the XIENCE PRIME(TM) Everolimus Eluting Coronary Stent System. XIENCE PRIME builds on the proven performance of Abbott's market-leading XIENCE V(TM) Everolimus Eluting Coronary Stent System and the MULTI-LINK(R) family of stents. XIENCE PRIME is a pipeline product currently in development at Abbott.

About Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease and the leading cause of death worldwide.(1) It occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the heart become narrowed or blocked by a buildup of "plaque" - cholesterol or other fatty deposits that build on the inner wall of the artery. Over time, this plaque build up results in a reduction of blood flow to the heart, which can cause chest pain. If the artery becomes completely blocked, usually by a blood clot, oxygen is prevented from reaching the heart which can result in a heart attack and/or damage to the heart tissue.

About Angioplasty

In angioplasty procedures, a balloon is fed through a catheter and used to prop open an artery that has become narrowed or blocked. In cases where stenting is appropriate, a stent mounted on a balloon is inserted and inflation of the balloon expands the stent against the blocked artery wall to hold the vessel open. The balloon is then deflated and the catheter is withdrawn.

Stent treatment of arteries holds them open and improves blood flow to the heart. In cases where post-dilatation is needed, a high-pressure balloon is inflated inside a stent to help better place the stent against the vessel wall. More than two million balloon angioplasty procedures are performed per year globally,(2) including nearly 1.3 million procedures annually in the United States.(3)

About XIENCE V

XIENCE V was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and launched in July 2008, and was launched in Europe and other international markets in October 2006. XIENCE V is an investigational device in Japan and is currently under review by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency.

Everolimus, developed by Novartis Pharma AG, is a proliferation signal inhibitor, or mTOR inhibitor, licensed to Abbott by Novartis for use on its drug eluting stents. Everolimus has been shown to inhibit in-stent neointimal growth in the coronary vessels following stent implantation, due to its anti-proliferative properties.

Additional information about XIENCE V, including important safety and effectiveness information, is available online at www.xiencev.com.

About Abbott Vascular

Abbott Vascular, a division of Abbott, is one of the world's leading vascular care businesses. Abbott Vascular is uniquely focused on advancing the treatment of vascular disease and improving patient care by combining the latest medical device innovations with world-class pharmaceuticals, investing in research and development, and advancing medicine through training and education. Headquartered in Northern California, Abbott Vascular offers a comprehensive portfolio of vessel closure, endovascular and coronary products.

About Abbott

Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The company employs more than 72,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries.

Abbott's news releases and other information are available on the company's Web site at www.abbott.com.

(1) World Health Organization. Deaths from Coronary Heart Disease. http://www.who.int/cardiovascular_diseases/en/cvd_atlas_14_deathHD.pdf. Accessed December 4, 2008.

(2) The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions. Timeline: 20 Years of Progress in Interventional Cardiology. http://www.scai.org/pr.aspx?PAGE_ID=5188. Accessed December 4, 2008.

(3) American Heart Association. Angioplasty and Cardiac Revascularization Statistics. http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4439. Accessed November 25, 2008.


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