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BTX ALLOWED U.S. PATENT FOR ELECTROPORATION BALLOON CATHETER FOR THE TREATMENT OF ENDOTHELIAL CELLS

 SAN DIEGO, Nov. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- BTX announced a patent application has been allowed that enables site-specific drug delivery for the treatment of restenosis. Called the Crandell Catheter, it was co-invented by Lois J. Crandell, chief executive officer and president of BTX, and Gunter Hofmann, founder, chairman and chief scientific officer. The method for treatment would be to combine balloon angioplasty with electroporation-mediated drug delivery in a single device and in a single procedure. Potential applications for the Crandell Catheter would include the treatment of severely blocked arteries for both the coronary and the carotid arteries.
 According to the American Heart Association statistics, "In 1990, heart and blood vessel disease killed more than 930,000 Americans. More than two of every five Americans dies of cardiovascular disease. Of the current U.S. population of about 250 million, more than 70 million or approximately one in every four Americans suffers some form of cardiovascular disease."
 Angioplasty, the non-surgical opening of clogged coronary arteries by using an expanding balloon catheter, is performed nearly half a million times each year in the United States. In more than a third of the cases, restenosis, the re-occlusion of the arteries, becomes a serious problem. Recently, research clinicians working with animal models have used electroporation to introduce anti-restenosis drugs into platelets. The treated platelets are then reconstituted and returned into the artery at the angioplasty site. Results have shown a 56 percent reduction of the platelet aggregation related to restenosis.
 The in vivo Crandell Catheter, which would eliminate the need for external processing of a patient's blood, is potentially a more efficient procedure. This treatment could be done either immediately after the clearing of an artery with a balloon or simultaneously with the clearing process (i.e., coincident with balloon inflation).
 "We are very pleased to obtain this proprietary protection for a procedure that promises to serve as a prophylactic measure for all angioplasty procedures. BTX is aggressively pursuing clinical application of our broad, enabling technology, electroporation. The company plans to go on into partnership with a catheter company to develop and market the anti-restenosis, electroporation catheter as a drug delivery system. These catheters will have the capability of direct, site specific delivery of virtually any drug or gene to the coronary artery lesion site," said Crandell, chief executive officer, BTX.
 BTX is the pioneer and worldwide leader in the technology of electroporation. Electroporation is a technique of physically introducing drugs or DNA into cells via pulsed electric fields. Founded in 1983, BTX has successfully introduced over 40 electroporation related products for in vitro use in the research laboratory. The company is currently developing and testing drug delivery systems for preventing restenosis and treating certain cancers. BTX believes its drug and gene delivery systems will ultimately provide broadly effective methods of treating cancer, heart disease and eventually contribute to combating genetic diseases.
 -0- 11/22/93
 /CONTACT: Christie S. Featherstone, director, corporate communications, 619-597-6006/


CO: BTX ST: California IN: HEA SU:

LM-JB -- SD001 -- 6693 11/22/93 09:05 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 22, 1993
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