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February 9, 2010 -- 11:50pm EST

Volcano Has AAA Week: Accused, Approved and Acquired
IVUS ImageVolcano Corporation (Nasdaq: VOLC) has had a pretty interesting week. Last Thursday was the low point: a 13 person jury in Massachusetts Superior Court found Volcano and its subsidiary Axsun liable for a number of contractual breaches against LightLab Imaging, Inc. These all grew out of Volcano's purchase of Axsun, a company that had exclusive contracts with LightLab, Volcano's main competitor in the Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) field. The court has set March 22 as the start of the damages assessment phase.

But today, Volcano made two more positive announcements. The FDA has approved Volcano's latest IVUS catheter, the Eagle EyeŽ Platinum. It represents the latest refinement in intravascular ultrasound imaging (see picture above) -- a modality which has been shown to improve stent placement and sizing. And also today, Volcano announced that it has acquired the Xtract™ Thrombus Aspiration Catheter from Lumen Biomedical. This device is sort of a vacuum cleaner, used before angioplasty and stenting during a heart attack to remove the blood clot that stops the blood flow. Thrombus aspiration has been shown to significantly improve patient outcomes.

Looking at these new developments, and given that Volcano's pipeline includes forward-looking IVUS and other future therapeutic modalities, it's clear that the company is compiling an armamentarium of both imaging and treatment devices, all for delivery with the same console in the cath lab: a variation on "see one, do one".

(Volcano's stock closed at $19.84 today, up 33% from a year ago.)

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