Angiotech Initiates U.S. Pivotal Trial for the Vascular Wrap(TM) Paclitaxel-Eluting Mesh



    New Technology Has Potential to Save Dialysis Patients with End-Stage
    Renal Disease from Repeated Surgeries

    VANCOUVER, March 19 /CNW/ - Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:  
ANPI, TSX: ANP), a global specialty pharmaceutical and medical device company,
today announced the initiation of its United States pivotal study examining
the Vascular Wrap(TM) Paclitaxel-Eluting Mesh ("Vascular Wrap(TM)").
    This U.S. multi-center study is designed to evaluate the safety and
efficacy of the Vascular Wrap(TM) after surgical implantation with an ePTFE
vascular graft in the upper extremity for hemodialysis vascular (AV) access.
The combination of Angiotech's Vascular Wrap(TM) with its VaxSys(TM) ePTFE
vascular graft will be branded as the VaxSys Synergy(TM) product.
    "We believe that the Vascular Wrap(TM) within our VaxSys Synergy(TM)
product holds promise to help those patients with end-stage renal disease
(ESRD), who today face the high probability that their AV graft will fail in
the first year of use. We believe that our technology has the potential to
save dialysis patients with ESRD from repeated surgeries and help reduce the
significant human and financial costs of additional hospitalizations," said
Dr. William Hunter, MD, President and CEO of Angiotech.
    The study enrolled its first patient on March 15, 2007 in Winston-Salem,
North Carolina and will involve approximately 530 patients at 50 centers in
the United States. It is expected that the duration of the study from first
subject/first visit through to last subject/last visit will be approximately
24 months.
    "The initiation of this study is an important milestone for Angiotech. We
believe the Vascular Wrap(TM) could not only significantly improve the
treatment of hemodialysis patients, but that the commercial opportunity for
the VaxSys Synergy(TM) product is significant. We hope this study, combined
with the results from the two-year European study, will create the foundation
for building a highly differentiated vascular franchise," said Dr. Hunter.
    In November 2006, Angiotech reported results from its European
first-in-man study examining the safety and clinical performance of the
Vascular Wrap(TM) when used to treat patients suffering from advanced
peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in their lower limbs. Based on the strength
of this two-year data, Angiotech submitted an application for a CE Mark for
its Vascular Wrap(TM) paclitaxel-eluting mesh / ePTFE vascular graft
combination product. Upon receipt of a CE Mark, Angiotech would commence
commercialization of its Vascular Wrap(TM) product in the EU and certain other
countries outside of the United States.

    About the Study

    The VaxSys Synergy(TM) pivotal trial is a randomized, placebo-controlled,
multi-center, two-arm study. The primary objective of the study is to
demonstrate that the patency of the Vascular Wrap(TM) Paclitaxel-Eluting Mesh
and the ePTFE graft is superior to the patency of the ePTFE graft alone within
one year following vascular access surgery. Subjects will also be followed
over a four-year period to confirm the long-term safety of the study device
although the Company anticipates filing for U.S. regulatory approval after
completion of the primary one year follow up period.

    About the VaxSys Synergy(TM) Product:
    Angiotech's Vascular Wrap(TM) Paclitaxel-Eluting Mesh Combined with the
    VaxSys(TM) ePTFE Graft

    Angiotech's VaxSys Synergy(TM) product is designed for use in
hemodialysis access and peripheral arterial bypass surgery. The Vascular
Wrap(TM) component is a biodegradable mesh implant incorporating Angiotech's
paclitaxel technology in a novel degradable biomaterial. The technology is
designed with the goal of mitigating intimal hyperplasia formation caused by
abnormal blood flow, thereby enhancing graft patency rates in AV-access
patients as well as in peripheral bypass procedures.

    About End-Stage Renal Disease and Hemodialysis

    The lives of patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) are highly
dependent on vascular access to facilitate hemodialysis, a method of filtering
out toxins in the blood using a dialysis machine. The incidence of ESRD is
approximately 100,000 per year and approximately 330,000 subjects currently
require routine hemodialysis. These subjects require vascular access via the
placement of arteriovenous grafts or via the creation of arteriovenous
fistulae. In the United States, synthetic grafts, such as ePTFE, are used in
approximately 42 percent of hemodialysis access procedures(1). Almost half of
the arteriovenous grafts fail in the first year of use. This high failure rate
is a substantive cause of morbidity and may necessitate medical and surgical
intervention in order to maintain graft patency.

    Note on Forward Looking Statements

    Statements contained in this press release or in our other written or
oral public communications that are not based on historical or current fact,
including without limitation statements containing the words "believes,"
"may," "plans," "will," "estimate," "continue," "anticipates," "intends,"
"expects", "hopes" and similar expressions, constitute "forward-looking
statements" within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation
Reform Act of 1995 and constitute "forward-looking information" within the
meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. All such statements are made
pursuant to the "safe harbor" provisions of applicable securities legislation.
Forward-looking statements in this release include but are not limited to the
statements regarding; financial benefits to Angiotech that could potentially
be realized in Angiotech's vascular business, the ability of Angiotech to
successfully develop and commercialize the Vascular Wrap(TM)
paclitaxel-eluting mesh, the ability of Angiotech to find other potential uses
for the product, that a substantial market exists for the product, and the
successful initiation, completion and outcome of the clinical trials referred
to in the press release. Such forward-looking statements are based on
assumptions that involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other
factors that may cause the actual results, events or developments to be
materially different from any future results, events or developments expressed
or implied by such forward-looking statements. The assumptions include; that
Angiotech will have the ability to market and sell the product itself, that
the market potential for the product is significant, that Angiotech will be
able to obtain regulatory approval to develop and commercialize the products
referred to in the press release and that the outcomes of the clinical trials
referred to in the press release will be positive. The risks and uncertainties
include, among others; the timing of, and safety and efficacy results from,
the clinical trials referred to in the press release, decisions made by
Angiotech based on these results, the ability to obtain regulatory approval to
develop and commercialize new products, the ability to manufacture sufficient
quantities of product for development and commercialization activities and to
do so in a timely and cost efficient manner, the competitive environment for
such products, the ability to persuade physicians to use the products, the
availability of resources and funding, the potential size of the market for
the product, and the risks and uncertainties associated with the business and
described in Angiotech's filings with the United States Securities and
Exchange Commission or the Canadian securities regulators. Given these
uncertainties, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such
forward-looking statements. The Company does not assume the obligation to
update any forward-looking statements.

    Angiotech(R), VaxSys(TM), Vascular Wrap(TM) and VaxSys Synergy(TM) are
    trademarks of Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
    (C) 2007 Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. All rights reserved.

    About Angiotech

    Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a global specialty pharmaceutical and
medical device company with 17 facilities in 6 countries and over 1,500
dedicated employees. Angiotech discovers, develops and markets innovative
treatment solutions for diseases or complications associated with medical
device implants, surgical interventions and acute injury. To find out more
about Angiotech (NASDAQ:   ANPI, TSX: ANP), please visit our website at
www.angiotech.com.

    -------------------------------
    (1) Finelli, et al. National Surveillance of Dialysis-Associated Diseases
    in the United States, 2002. Seminars in Dialysis 2005; 18(1):52-61





For further information:

For further information: Janet Craig, VP, Investor Relations and
Corporate Communications, Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (604) 221-6933,
jcraig@angio.com; Jodi Regts, Manager, Investor Relations and Corporate
Communications, Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc., (604) 221-7930,
jregts@angio.com

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