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SCIENCE/TECHNOLOGY : Trimedyne Expects 'Significant' Sales Hike With FDA Approval of Products

November 20, 1987|Leslie Berkman, Times Staff Writer

Trimedyne, a Santa Ana manufacturer of laser probe devices to treat artery blockages in the legs, expects to see a "significant increase" in sales as a result of several developments this week, said Executive Vice President Richard Randall.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave Trimedyne approval to market two types of 2.5-millimeter laser catheters, which are inserted in leg arteries to vaporize fatty deposits that block blood flow and make walking painful. In February, the FDA authorized the company to market a 2-millimeter probe to treat the same condition, called atherosclerosis.

The larger probe, Randall said, will remove more of the fatty deposits, reducing the need for additional treatment with mechanical balloon catheters. Unlike vaporizing lasers, he said, balloon catheters crush, rather than remove, fatty plaque.

Randall said Trimedyne also expects to benefit from the results of a yearlong study by Timothy Sanborn, a cardiologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. Sanborn's study indicates that laser vaporization of fatty deposits accompanied by balloon dilation results in a lower rate of recurrence than treatment with balloon catheters alone. Sanborn reported his findings Tuesday at the American Heart Assn.'s annual convention in Anaheim.

In addition, Randall said Trimedyne has received approval to begin marketing in the United Kingdom a different laser catheter that is still undergoing clinical testing in the United States.

Randall said he believes that Trimedyne, a 5-year-old company that reported its first profits last year, is "in a solid position to capitalize upon the $200-million market for the treatment of vascular disease."

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