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Medtronic and Volcano Pen Strategic Alliance to Offer Cardiac Cath Labs Stents, Balloons, Guide Wires, IVUS, FFR and More
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August 29, 2012 -- Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE: MDT) and Volcano Corporation (NASDAQ: VOLC) today announced that they have entered into a strategic alliance to provide interventional cardiologists, cardiac catheterization laboratory managers and cardiovascular service line directors a robust product offering solution to address the spectrum of clinical need in coronary artery disease.

According to officials from both organizations, this strategic alliance "will provide U.S. clinicians access to each company's complementary technologies, including Medtronic's broad portfolio of guide wires, balloon catheters, bare-metal and drug-eluting stents, and Volcano's suite of intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) imaging technology and functional management (FM) tools that facilitate endovascular procedures and guide optimal therapies." This alliance means that hospital systems can now be supplied via a single contract not only the fastest-growing drug-eluting stent in the U.S. (and best-selling DES worldwide), the Resolute Integrity, but also the market-leading intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) system to help place that stent accurately, as well as the fractional flow reserve (FFR) tools to help decide if stenting is the best treatment for the patient, as the FAME and FAME 2 trials have shown.

In a press advisory, the companies stated that, "under the terms of the agreement, Medtronic and Volcano will collaborate when developing contract solutions with hospital customers in the United States, thus allowing customers access to a comprehensive cardiovascular product portfolio. This arrangement will not only help hospitals reduce their capital upfront costs, but also provide them with the latest innovative technologies and equipment through one point of access. Clinicians, technicians, administrators and others can learn more about this alliance by contacting their Medtronic or Volcano sales representative."

Earlier this year, Abbott and St. Jude formed a similar alliance, putting together Abbott's Xience stent line with St. Jude's FFR and OCT imaging systems. St. Jude does not offer an IVUS system; Volcano currently has an OCT system in development.

Reported by Burt Cohen, August 29, 2012