Cardiac imaging news

Volcano Corporation, a major developer and manufacturer of precision guided therapy tools designed to improve the treatment of coronary and peripheral vascular disease, announced the signing of a supply agreement with ev3, a Covidien company.

According to the contract, Volcano will supply its proprietary Intravascular Ultrasound (IVUS) technology for use in ev3's Plaque Excision Systems. Using the digital IVUS transducer incorporated in Volcano's market leading EagleEye® catheter product line, this new product will have the ability to run on Volcano's global installed base of 5,000 systems.

Scott Huennekens, President and CEO of Volcano, said: "At Volcano, our imaging and physiology tools provide a level of precision that angiography alone simply cannot match. In addition to our internally developed image guided therapy products, such as the VIBE® RX Imaging Balloon (commercially available in the EU only), we have looked to other medical device industry leaders to join us in differentiating therapeutic devices by adding integrated imaging capabilities. Covidien is an innovative company that recognizes the value of onboard visualization and is committed to bringing these new, more precise therapies to market to help improve patient outcomes. This agreement also exemplifies the value of our one system, many solutions strategy facilitated by our multi-modality platform."

Plaque Excision Systems, also called atherectomy devices, are catheters that remove plaque which blocks arteries and hinders blood flow. Instead of compressing plaque against the vessel wall as occurs with balloon and stent therapy alone, plaque excision systems remove the obstruction from the vessel, thus restoring blood flow and reducing damage to the vessel wall. IVUS integration offers advantages for immediate evaluation of the plaque to better guide therapy.

Stacy Enxing Seng, President, Peripheral Vascular, Covidien, said: "By partnering with Volcano, we continue to lead atherectomy therapy, enabling physicians to visualize the diseased portion of the artery for optimal plaque excision. This is particularly important as we believe preparing and treating the vessel for drug delivery, whether via drug coated balloon or stent, will create a breakthrough in treating lower extremity peripheral arterial disease."