AORTECH ENTERS INTO LETTER OF INTENT TO ACQUIRE ORGANETICS, LTD.
AORTECH ENTERS INTO LETTER OF INTENT TO ACQUIRE ORGANETICS, LTD. ST. PAUL, Minn., Aug. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- AorTech, Inc. (NASDAQ: AORT), a manufacturer and distributor of cardiovascular products, announced today that it has entered into a letter of intent to acquire Organetics, Ltd. of Minneapolis. A pioneer in the development of advanced organ preservation systems, Organetics has expanded its organ perfusion technology into additional applications including the first completely integrated systems available for: -- circulatory intervention of HIV positive patients utilizing extracorporeal hyperthermia treatment; and, -- extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) to provide circulatory and pulmonary support of patients with dysfunctional, defective, or injured lungs. These systems utilize a specially designed disposable chamber in combination with other unique components. Organetics has applied for a process patent for its hyperthermia system. Hyperthermia using circulatory perfusion resembles dialysis and involves drawing blood from a blood vessel, passing the blood through a heat exchanger with a blood pump (warming it to 45-47 C or 113-117 F) and returning it to a vessel. The goal of hyperthermia is to uniformly raise the body's core temperature through the blood, thereby destroying the HIV virus within the body's tissues. Organetics' system for AIDS treatment, a single proprietary system with flexible control to perform this treatment, is the first such integrated system commercially available. The technology is based on the favorable results of experimental hyperthermia treatments of more than 30 patients with Kaposi's Sarcoma which were conducted mainly in Atlanta, Georgia and Italy, where further trials are ongoing. Those treatments, consisting of a single hyperthermia procedure, have resulted in patient improvement with noted avoidance of symptoms and measured serial plasma marker improvement. Several patients have achieved long- term benefits without medication or other forms of treatment. Further research will be conducted to test the effects of a series of hyperthermia treatments. Organetics is in the process of applying for a multi-center controlled protocol in the United States audited by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Organetics personnel, who were involved in the original hyperthermia studies conducted by Kenneth Alonso, M.D. in Atlanta, will also be participating with Alonso and associates in an ongoing study in Pavia, Italy to help refine technology and techniques. In another application, Organetics' perfusion systems provide ECMO circulatory and respiratory support in failing lungs for either the newborn or adult patient. Newborn lung failure is typically associated with under development as a result of birth defects, damage, or persistent fetal circulation found in premature or full-term birth; adult lung dysfunction is more often the result of trauma. The ECMO integrated system satisfies this oxygen requirement and maintains hemodynamic stability during the healing process. Organetics has clinical personnel on staff and as advisors with experience in these areas. Organetics' organ preservation systems are fully integrated machines designed to preserve human organs (heart, kidney, liver, and lung) substantially beyond current preservation time. The Organetics product aggressively supports the organ with a comprehensive physiologic environment, enabling the organ to function at normal or near-normal metabolic rates. The need to increase preservation time beyond the current ice cooler technique is motivated by three factors: -- time and distance constraints which often render donor organs useless; -- patient survival statistics can be improved when there is sufficient time to evaluate organs and match tissues; and, -- better organ management techniques can reduce transplant costs as such procedures can be made routine. Each of Organetics' organ perfusion applications will utilize proprietary circulatory assist products for which AorTech has exclusive worldwide rights to manufacture and market. These next-generation blood pumps, developed by the Helmholtz Institute in Germany, are extremely compact designs of a series of disposable pulsatile and centrifugal pumps which are designed to minimize damage to red blood cells during short-term and intermediate assist procedures. AorTech's acquisition of Organetics is subject to due diligence reviews to be conducted by both companies, satisfactory completion of the definitive terms of the letter of intent, and final documentation. -0- 08/20/92 /CONTACT: Robert J. Keyport or Vincent G. Ella, 612-481-1208, both of AorTech; or Tom de Petra of de Petra & Associates, 612-338-7630 or 800-969-7630, for AorTech; or Jeff Sites or John A. St. Cyr, M.D., 612-786-6320, both of Organetics/ (AORT) CO: AorTech, Inc.; Organetics, Ltd. ST: Minnesota IN: MTC SU: TNM
AL -- MN005 -- 1877 08/20/92 16:48 EDT
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|Date:||Aug 20, 1992|
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