Waukesha, WI and Rancho Cordova, CA - October 17, 2005 - GE Healthcare and Volcano Corporation today announced a significant development and collaboration agreement that is intended to bring an industry-first imaging capability to cardiac catheterization labs around the world. Under terms of the agreement, GE and Volcano will collaborate to develop a state-of-the-art digital cardiovascular imaging system with fully integrated intravascular ultrasound imaging (IVUS) capabilities.
Figure 1: Schematic of IVUS components and images integrated into GE Innova Cath Lab
The integration of GE's best-of-class Innova® all-digital x-ray system cath lab system with Volcano's new PC-based IVUS platform, is intended to give interventional cardiologists a clear view of coronary and peripheral vessel morphology. This visualization capability is intended to assist clinicians in determining the extent of cardiovascular disease and in performing therapeutic procedures such as stent placement. This is also intended to help physicians determine the length of lesion and stent length.
"GE Healthcare continues its commitment to cardiology by bringing state-of-the-art, clinically-relevant technologies to the cath lab with this latest agreement with Volcano Corporation," said Laura King, Global Vice President and General Manager, Interventional, Cardiology and Surgery of GE Healthcare. "GE has sought opportunities to integrate IVUS technology directly into our award-winning, industry-leading Innova systems. Until the development of Volcano's PC-based IVUS product, this leapfrog in technology has not been possible. We are excited to work with another market leader to bring clinically relevant value to the cath lab."
Scott Huennekens, President & CEO of Volcano Corporation, noted, "We have a shared philosophy with GE; success in the marketplace is founded on providing solutions that are both state-of-the-art and simple to use. Technology for technology's sake is not the answer. We are dedicated to meeting the clinical needs of our customers in a way that also simplifies their lives and makes their own cath lab operations more efficient and more cost-effective - all while allowing the physician to improve patient care. This partnership is squarely focused on those goals."
The development of this new integrated hardware and software architecture is made possible, in part, due to Volcano's latest PC-based IVUS platform that dramatically reduces the size, weight and noise of the IVUS console, allowing the unit to be easily attached to the patient table, in the control room or in other areas outside of the daily traffic pattern of the cath lab. The integrated user interface is set apart from current stand-alone systems that impose many practical limitations on the regular use of IVUS.
With more than 1,200 Innova all-digital x-ray systems installed worldwide, GE and Volcano are poised to facilitate greater utilization of IVUS to further guide patient management. As the clinical relevance of IVUS has increased, particularly with the recent innovations in IVUS-based on-line tissue characterization and IVUS/angio image co-registration, so too has the market need for an integrated, easy-to-use system.
Gregg Stone, MD, professor of Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons commented, "We use IVUS nearly every day in our clinical practice. We do so because IVUS gives us information about vessel morphology that you can't get anywhere else -- and it highlights angiographically silent or ambiguous disease that you just can't see on angiograms. We do this in spite of the fact that IVUS has historically been fairly cumbersome to use - with a stand-alone cart and stand-alone images on a remote monitor. An integrated system from Volcano and GE has the potential to increase the user-friendliness of IVUS and we would welcome such a system."
Dr. William Wijns, MD, Co-Director, Cardiovascular Centre, Aalst, Belgium, elaborated, "When you have a catheterized patient on the table, often in the midst of an acute syndrome, you need your diagnostic and therapeutic tools at the ready... there for quick and simple implementation. Many times it is just not an option to ask the staff to roll in the IVUS, turn it on and wait for the system to boot up. We have been asking for this advance from the IVUS companies for some time now. We are thrilled that Volcano and GE have recognized the need and are investing in developing this product.
"IVUS, advanced 3D angiographic imaging techniques and non-invasive imaging technologies such as MDCT/MSCTA and MRI hold the promise of unlocking many important questions surrounding the cause and progression of coronary and peripheral artery disease. Integrating information from these modalities will permit a better understanding of this disease. The integration of IVUS with angiographic systems - as envisioned in this agreement between GE and Volcano - is an important step in making truly integrated imaging feasible and practical for a wide array of physicians" commented Robert S. Schwartz, MD, of the Minneapolis Heart Institute and Foundation.
The system will require FDA clearance in the US and elsewhere and will be co-marketed by the GE and Volcano sales and marketing organizations in the US, Europe, certain markets in Asia and other world markets. GE will also collaborate with Volcano to provide unparalleled cath lab design, installation and field repair/service of this new system. Current GE cath lab customers can modify existing cath lab rooms with the new integrated IVUS system. Customers will be able to contract with one vendor, GE, for their purchasing, installation and field service needs.
Prototypes of the new investigational device will be on display and available for demonstration in the exhibition booths of GE Healthcare (booth #1129 ) and Volcano Corporation (booth #314) at the 17th Annual Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) conference in Washington DC, October 17th to October 19th, 2005.
About GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies that are shaping a new age of patient care. GE Healthcare's expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring and life support systems, disease research, drug discovery, and biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies is helping physicians detect disease earlier and to tailor personalized treatments for patients. GE Healthcare offers a broad range of products and services that are improving productivity in healthcare and enhancing patient care by enabling healthcare providers to better diagnose and treat cancer, heart disease, neurological diseases, and other conditions.
GE Healthcare is a $15 billion unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE) headquartered in the United Kingdom. Worldwide, GE Healthcare employs more than 43,000 people committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at www.gehealthcare.com
About Volcano Corporation
Volcano Corporation (formerly Volcano Therapeutics, Inc.) is a privately held medical device company founded in 2001. Investors and shareholders include Domain Associates, Johnson and Johnson Development Corporation, Medtronic, Ferrer, Freeman & Co. and OrbiMed Advisors.
With over 475 worldwide employees, Volcano is dedicated to providing technologies leading to optimal management of coronary artery and peripheral vascular disease. Volcano products include Intravascular Ultrasound (IVUS) systems and catheters, as well as physiology guide wires. With global distribution, Volcano is a leading provider of innovative therapy-enabling and therapy-guiding technologies to the interventional cardiology and peripheral vascular fields. For more information, please visit www.volcanocorp.com.
The development, release and timing of any features or functionality described for our products is subject to many factors both within and outside of our control and we retain sole discretion as to the specific nature and timing of market release of such features or functionality. Volcano makes no commitment, promise or legal obligation to deliver any future product or service that may be mentioned in this press release or in any other general communication.
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Scott Huennekens, President & CEO
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