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O.C. BUSINESS PLUS | HEARD ON THE BEAT / BIOTECHNOLOGY

Firm Gets Defibrillator Technology Patent

January 09, 2001|MARC BALLON

Cardiac Science Inc.'s external defibrillators might save lives, but they can also cause discomfort. The devices, which monitor heart rates and deliver life-saving jolts during cardiac arrests, are sometimes worn by hospital patients for more than 24 hours at a time, leading to rashes and abrasions.

In an effort to reduce irritation, Irvine-based Cardiac has just patented technology that will shrink by half the size of the connectors that attach defibrillators to patients' chests, said Michael Gioffredi, vice president of sales and marketing. Because rashes sometimes develop beneath connectors, reducing their size to 2 to 3 inches from 6 to 8 inches should make patients more comfortable, he said.

That could also translate into higher sales. "This will certainly make their defibrillators more attractive," said Dan Owczarski, an analyst at Gruntal & Co. in Chicago.

Cardiac hopes to license its new technology to other companies, Gioffredi said, adding that a major cardiac device maker has expressed interest. He declined to reveal the company's name.

Cardiac's stock, which began trading on the Nasdaq National market in September, closed Monday at $4.81, up 13 cents a share.

Marc Ballon covers the biomedical and biotechnology industry for The Times. He can be reached at (714) 966-7439 and at marc.ballon@latimes.com.

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