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Starion Instruments Licenses Its Innovative Thermal Welding Technology for Cardiac Surgery to Guidant Corporation.

Business Editors/Health/Medical Writers

SARATOGA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 27, 2003

Starion Instruments announced today that it has signed a non-exclusive licensing agreement with Guidant Corporation (NYSE: GDT), a world leader in the treatment of cardiac and vascular disease. Guidant has licensed Starion's Thermal Welding technology for use in Guidant's cardiac surgery products to advance endoscopic vessel harvesting procedures. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The Starion Thermal Welding technology will be used initially in Guidant's VASOVIEW Endoscopic Vessel Harvesting System, which is currently utilized in most endoscopic vessel harvesting procedures. Harvested vessels from the leg or the arm are used to bypass blocked coronary arteries and restore blood flow in the more than 650,000 coronary artery bypass surgeries performed worldwide each year.

"We are extremely proud to be partnering with a leader in the cardiac and vascular disease industry. We believe our novel technology will become an integral part of the protocol of thousands of physicians who are looking to make cardiac surgery less invasive for their patients," said J.C. Kirtland, President and CEO, Starion Instruments.

Endoscopic vessel harvesting allows a clinician to remove, or "harvest", the saphenous vein or radial artery through a small incision in the leg or arm rather than through the long incisions used in traditional or "open" harvesting procedures.

Thermal Welding technology is an alternative method for cutting and sealing smaller side branches of the main harvested vessel. Thermal Welding is designed to simultaneously cut and seal vessel branches utilizing less energy than other methods, thereby minimizing potential trauma to the vessel. This technology may also provide better sealing of vessels that are under greater pressures, such as radial arteries.

About Endoscopic Vessel Harvesting

Patients who undergo endoscopic vessel harvesting may recover more quickly than those who undergo traditional vessel harvesting. Additionally, they are at a lower risk for developing postoperative infections due to the smaller and less traumatic incision. Currently in the United States, endoscopic vein harvesting is used in more than 40 percent of cardiac procedures that require vein grafts. Guidant's VASOVIEW Endoscopic Vessel Harvesting System has been used in more than 240,000 patients to date for endoscopic harvesting of the saphenous vein in the leg. In May 2003 VASOVIEW was approved for use in harvesting the radial artery from the arm.

About Starion Instruments

Starion Instruments designs, manufactures and sells surgical instruments that simultaneously cut and seal tissue during surgery, employing a proprietary Thermal Welding(TM) technology, which is integrated into standard surgical instrument designs for a variety of open, minimally invasive and microsurgical procedures.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 27, 2003
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