|AT THE COMPANY||AT THE FINANCIAL RELATIONS BOARD|
|Robert V. Toni, President & CEO
J. Blount Swain, CFO
CLOSURE Medical Corporation (919) 876-7800
|For General Info: Paul G. Henning (212) 661-8030
For Analyst Info: Nicole Salas (212) 661-8030
For Media Info: Deanne Eagle (212) 661-8030
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 6, 2001
CLOSURE MEDICAL ENTERS INTO COOPERATIVE RESEARCHAGREEMENT TO DEVELOP MEDICAL ADHESIVEFOR THE TREATMENT OF EMPHYSEMA
Raleigh, NC, February 6, 2001 -- CLOSURE Medical Corporation (Nasdaq: CLSR), a medical tissue adhesive products company, today announced that it has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with principal investigator Dr. Eric Mair, Director of Pediatric Otolaryngology at Walter Reed Army Medical Center ("WRAMC"), and with the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, to conduct animal research related to the development of a novel, minimally invasive treatment for emphysema ("Endobronchial LVR").
Emphysema is a type of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease ("COPD"), a chronic lung condition estimated to affect at least 10 million people globally. There is no known cure for emphysema. Instead emphysema patients are treated primarily through pulmonary rehabilitation, drug therapy (steroids), and the use of supplemental oxygen. The annual direct medical costs in the U.S. associated with COPD are estimated at $2.8 billion.
As an alternative to these methods, surgeons perform lung volume reduction surgery ("LVRS") through open chest surgery. LVRS involves removing the diseased lung and allowing healthier lung tissue to expand into the vacated space. The potential healthcare costs if all eligible emphysema patients underwent the LVRS procedure, at an average cost of $30,000 per procedure, would be approximately $12 billion in the U.S. alone.
Some thoracic surgeons believe LVRS improves the quality of life and reduces annual medical costs in selected patients suffering from emphysema. The Health Care Financing Administration and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute are sponsoring the National Emphysema Treatment Trial, which began in 1996, to evaluate the effectiveness of LVRS for the treatment of emphysema.
CLOSURE researchers are developing a unique and proprietary medical adhesive to be used in the Endobronchial LVR to achieve bronchial occlusion without the need for open chest surgery. Once occluded, dysfunctional lung tissue would collapse and make room for healthier lung tissue to expand. In a recently completed feasibility study at WRAMC, the adhesive was placed in the lungs of 10 goats using a bronchoscope and a small catheter. All 10 goats achieved lung volume reduction. The next phase of animal research will focus on optimizing the Endobronchial LVR procedure prior to entering human clinical trials.Dr. Mair stated, "The Endobronchial LVR approach using CLOSURE’s adhesive may result in greatly reduced patient mortality and morbidity, and result in significantly reduced procedure costs when compared to open lung volume reduction surgery."
CLOSURE Medical Corporation, headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina, develops, manufactures, and commercializes medical tissue adhesive products based on its proprietary cyanoacrylate technology. CLOSURE's nonabsorbable tissue adhesive products are used as an alternative to replace sutures and staples for certain topical wound closure applications, while its internal tissue adhesive products may potentially be used for internal wound closure and management. Currently marketed nonabsorbable tissue adhesive products include DERMABOND® Topical Skin Adhesive, which is used as an alternative to replace sutures and staples for closure of certain lacerations and incisions; OCTYLDENT® adhesive, which is used as an adjunct in the treatment of adult periodontal disease; and the NEXABAND® line of topical adhesives, which are used in veterinary wound closure and management.
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This release contains certain forward-looking statements which involve known and unknown risks, delays, uncertainties or other factors not under the Company's control which may cause actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from the results, performance, or other expectations implied by these forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to the early stage of commercialization of the Company products; the progress of its research and development programs for future products; the need for regulatory approval and effects of governmental regulation; technological uncertainties; the satisfactory conclusion of negotiations with, and dependence on, marketing partners, and dependence on patents and trade secrets, as well as those detailed in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1999 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.