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Medstone Stock Soars as Treatment Expands

Medicine: Aliso Viejo company wins federal approval to use its lithotripter to combat gallstones.

September 08, 2000|From a Times Staff Writer

Shares of Medstone International Inc. shot up 43% Thursday after the Aliso Viejo company said it had received federal approval to use its lithotripter product in combination with a drug to treat gallstones.

Medstone, which already has approval to use its device to break up kidney stones, said in a press release the latest federal consent puts it in a larger market. About 25 million Americans have gallstones, and about 7 million of them fit the criteria for Medstone's procedure.

The stock added $2.38 cents Thursday to close at $7.94 a share on Nasdaq, making it the biggest percentage gainer among Orange County stocks and the ninth biggest gainer nationwide. During the trading day, the stock soared as high as $9 a share, a 52-week high.

The approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allows the company to use its lithotripter to break up noncalcified gallstones and a drug to dissolve the fragments.

Medstone said its device is the only one approved for dual therapy treatment of both kidney stones and gallstones.

Federal approval to use the lithotripter for an ailment beyond kidney stones "sets the foundation for the extension of lithotripsy in the treatment of common bile duct and pancreatic stones," the company's chairman, David Radlinski, said in the release.

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