RANCHO CORDOVA, CA /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Volcano Corp. announced that it is collaborating with MediGuide Ltd., a privately held company with development offices in Haifa, Israel, in the development of advanced imaging and navigational technologies for use in a broad range of cardiovascular and endovascular applications. The initial focus of the alliance will be on interventional cardiology. The parties are negotiating a definitive agreement that will include a collaboration development agreement and nonexclusive global distribution rights.
Volcano and MediGuide initially plan to develop Guided IVUS (GIVUS), a product that will integrate MediGuide's Medical Positioning System (MPS) with Volcano's Intravascular Ultrasound (IVUS) System. This combination of technologies will expand the 2D aspect of the existing IVUS image into a 3D image designed to provide more useful clinical information, allow for easier interpretation of the image by interventional cardiologists, and improve the clinical utility of the image.
MediGuide's MPS system enables the real-time tracking of miniature sensors integrated into therapeutic and diagnostic medical devices. These "MPS-ready" devices will allow physicians to accurately track real-time progression of the devices as they are manipulated through the human anatomy while continuously registering their exact location and orientation using advanced diagnostic systems, such as Volcano's IVUS system. This enhanced imaging capability will help physicians to assess the condition of the artery and treatment options while reducing exposure to x-radiation and usage of dye.
In addition to opportunities in interventional cardiology interventions, the alliance will explore opportunities to develop "MPS-ready" devices for imaging in the heart in conjunction with delivery of percutaneous structural heart therapies.
"Led by advances in catheter-based technology, interventional medicine is evolving to treat more complex vascular and structural heart disorders that have historically been targets for more invasive surgical techniques," said Scott Huennekens, president and CEO of Volcano. "When combined with Volcano's integrated IVUS consoles, advanced catheter designs, and software technologies, such as VH IVUS, MPS is expected to both enable and enhance these less-invasive therapies by providing better information and precision."
"We are very pleased to be establishing a strong partnership with Volcano," said Gera Strommer, president and CEO of MediGuide. "This will complement our strong working relationship with both Philips and Siemens in applying leading edge navigation technology to the cath lab environment for a broad set of interventional and surgical tools."
According to Martin B. Leon, MD, chairman of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation and Associate Director of the Center for Interventional Vascular Therapy (CIVT) at Columbia University Medical Center, New York City, access to this newly available information should help with routine interventions in a number of ways. "Having ready access to these 3D reconstructed images should allow for more precise measures of obstructive lesion length and a better understanding of the location, shape, and orientation of lesions. By adding and co-registering the grayscale and VH IVUS images, we gain important additional information about luminal integrity, size and shape, and the presence, quantity, and composition of the plaque. Assuming this can be done quickly with modest training, this combination of technologies should allow state-of-the-art stent placement to be performed by a wide array of institutions. It may also allow for a reduction in the amount of radiation exposure to patients and medical personnel by reducing the number of X-ray angio views performed."
Dr. Leon continued, "With the availability of drug eluting stents, we are performing increasingly complex interventions, and with this added complexity comes the need for more and better information on the location and morphology of lesions. The products anticipated from a Volcano-MediGuide partnership have the potential to improve patient care significantly."
"Furthermore," Dr. Leon continued, "as we continue our research into the future treatment of angiographically silent or insignificant vulnerable plaques, this type of easy-to-access composite coronary imaging technology from Volcano and MediGuide will be absolutely essential. Without a rapid, reliable way to synchronize our findings on X-ray angiography with the essential information from IVUS, it is difficult to see how we would guide any therapeutic intervention in a nonobstructive plaque."
Volcano Corp. (VOLC), which completed its IPO in June 2006, offers a broad suite of devices that facilitate endovascular procedures. Volcano's products enhance the diagnosis of vascular and structural heart diseases and guide optimal therapies. The company's IVUS product line includes ultrasound consoles that can be integrated directly into virtually any modern cath lab and single-use phased-array and rotational IVUS imaging catheters. Volcano also has unique advanced functionality options, such as VH tissue characterization and IVUS and angiography co-registration. Volcano also provides functional measurement consoles and single-use pressure and flow guide wires. Currently, more than 2000 Volcano IVUS and FM systems are installed worldwide, with nearly half of its revenues coming from outside the U.S. For more information, visit the company's Web site.
MediGuide is a medical-device company developing innovative tracking and imaging technologies for use in minimally invasive surgical procedures. Located in Haifa, Israel, MediGuide has developed a highly sophisticated navigation system. Medical Positioning System (MPS), which enables real-time tracking of therapeutic and diagnostic medical devices, such as catheters and stents equipped with miniature MPS sensors. MPS provides clinicians with 3D information about the structure of the coronary arteries and enables clinicians to more accurately assess and locate lesions and to deploy therapeutic devices. For more information, please refer to the company's Web site.