Abbott Laboratories

Abbott Laboratories signs agreement with MedNova and Rubicon Medical for vascular products

    Abbott Park, Illinois (ots-PRNewswire) - Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) today announced that it has entered agreements with MedNova, Limited, and Rubicon Medical, Inc. for products that significantly expand Abbott's presence in the interventional cardiology and radiology markets.          Abbott and MedNova, Limited, based in Galway, Ireland, have entered a distribution agreement for MedNova's embolic filter and carotid stent products.  Embolic capture devices, such as filters, are used to contain the fragments that break off vessel walls during interventional procedures before the embolic material can cause harm to critical organs.  MedNova's first generation embolic filters, NeuroShield(TM) and CardioShield(TM), are approved in Europe. Carotid stents are used in peripheral vascular procedures treating blockages in either of the two carotid arteries in the neck that carry blood to the brain.          Abbott also has entered an exclusive, world-wide license agreement with Rubicon Medical, Inc. headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, for Rubicon's Guardian(TM) system, an occlusion balloon for embolization protection.  The Guardian system utilizes a balloon that is inflated during a stent procedure in the vessels that feed blood to the heart, brain, or kidneys and an aspiration catheter that is used to remove embolic material dislodged during the procedure. The Guardian system, in conjunction with the MedNova filters, will allow Abbott to offer clinicians both embolic capture technologies. Rubicon and Perclose, an Abbott subsidiary, are currently co-developing the Guardian system.          New advances in interventional medicine have created an unmet need for devices that reduce the risk of embolic debris. This issue is especially important for saphenous vein grafts, carotid artery stenting and renal artery stenting where intravascular debris dislodged during a procedure could possibly cause a stroke, heart attack or damage to the kidneys. It is estimated that embolic capture devices could be used as standard practice in carotid stenting procedures, and in approximately 10-20 percent of coronary procedures.  This is a high-growth, developing market, and there are not any devices currently on the market in the United States.          "The MedNova and Rubicon agreements bring additional leading technology and innovative products to our vascular franchise," said Richard A. Gonzalez, executive vice president, medical products, Abbott Laboratories. "Through these partnerships and other recent licensing deals, Abbott is expanding its opportunities in emerging segments of vascular medicine by building on our foundation in vascular therapeutics, vascular devices with Perclose, and our existing relationships with interventional cardiologists and radiologists."          In addition to the Mednova distribution agreement, Abbott has taken an equity position in MedNova and has the option to acquire the company provided certain milestones are met. Financial terms of the agreements were not disclosed.          Abbott has recently signed several other agreements that expand the company's vascular product line. Abbott has partnered with Biocompatibles International plc. for the development of a unique drug delivery stent and LuMend, Inc. for two peripheral catheters used to facilitate the treatment of partly occluded blood vessels, thereby minimizing the need for vascular bypass surgery. Abbott also will be conducting a study to obtain a chronic total occlusion indication for the catheters. Through Perclose, Abbott currently offers a portfolio of vascular devices, including The Closer(R), The Closer S(R), The Prostar(R) and The Techstar(R), minimally invasive devices used to automate the surgical closure of vascular punctures.          MedNova          MedNova, Limited is a development-stage medical device company. The company, based in Galway, Ireland, is engaged in the development of less invasive products for the treatment of cardiovascular and cerebral vascular disease. The company is at the forefront in the development of intravascular filtration systems designed specifically to improve the results of interventional procedures.          Rubicon          Rubicon Medical, Inc. is a Salt Lake City, Utah, based developer and manufacturer of medical devices and products that are used worldwide.  The company is in the business of contract manufacturing, equipment manufacturing, and technology development and licensing. Through its Technology Development and Licensing division, Rubicon designs and develops new medical device technologies for use in the rapidly growing interventional radiology, neuro- interventional radiology, and interventional cardiology markets.          Abbott Laboratories          Abbott's expanding vascular medicine franchise includes both medical devices and therapeutics. Abbott's involvement in interventional vascular medical devices includes vessel closure, embolic capture, stents and vascular catheter technologies. For each of these growing vascular markets, a strong product pipeline is being assembled to build and develop a growth business in the multibillion dollar acute care vascular market.          Abbott Laboratories is a global, diversified health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceutical, diagnostic, nutritional and hospital products.  The company employs 60,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries.  In 2000, the company's sales and net earnings were $13.7 billion and $2.8 billion, respectively, with diluted earnings per share of $1.78.          Abbott's news releases and other information are available on the company's Web site at

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