Angiotech Pharmaceuticals announces launch of Quill SRS product codes for laparoscopic gynecology procedures

    VANCOUVER, Aug. 4 /CNW/ - Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:   ANPI,
TSX: ANP) today announced the launch of a series of new, proprietary Quill(TM)
SRS product codes specifically designed for laparoscopic, or minimally
invasive, gynecology procedures, including hysterectomies and myomectomies. In
2008, there were approximately 750,000 hysterectomies performed in the United
States of which approximately 130,000 were performed laparoscopically. In
addition, there were approximately 72,000 myomectomies performed in the United
States to remove uterine fibroid tumors. Management estimates 6-8% annual
growth in laparoscopically assisted hysterectomies through 2014.
    Angiotech's proprietary Quill SRS barbed suture technology offers
significant advantages in laparoscopic surgery whether performed manually by
surgeons or through robotic assistance. The primary advantage of Quill SRS for
laparoscopic procedures is the ability to close a wound using Quill without
the surgeon having to tie knots. The exercise of tying knots can be very
challenging and time consuming when surgeons are relegated to operating in a
smaller surgical field as a result of electing to use a minimally invasive
approach for the procedure. A second advantage is to minimize or eliminate the
need for a third hand to maintain tension on the suture as typically required
with a traditional suturing technique in order to deal with tissue recoil. A
third advantage of Quill SRS is that the even distribution of tension and its
ability to maintain the tension along the length of the suture also provides
hemostatic benefits, often eliminating or minimizing the need for standard
hemostatic sutures.
    These and other novel elements of Angiotech's Quill SRS for laparoscopic
and robotic-assisted surgery are expected to significantly reduce the time and
difficulty of completing a wound closure in these types of surgical
procedures, where tying sutures through small incisions using instruments,
while having limited visibility of patient anatomy, can be one of the most
difficult and tedious aspects of such procedures for physicians. Patients may
also benefit through reduced surgical times, and therefore reduced time under
anesthesia, and health care facilities and payors may also benefit from the
potential to reduce operating room time needed, or the total cost of material
needed, to complete such surgical procedures.
    Angiotech's new Quill SRS product codes for laparoscopic gynecology
procedures are available in our polydioxanone (PDO) suture material in size
-0- with 7 cm by 7 cm and 14 cm by 14 cm lengths, and include our newly
designed 36 mm needles.
    The use of Quill SRS in laparoscopic gynecology surgery was first
reported by James Greenberg, MD, and Jon Einarsson, MD, MPH, of the Centre for
Women's Surgery at Brigham & Women's/Faulkner Hospitals and Harvard Medical
School Boston, Massachusetts in the Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology,
in November of 2008. The results of this small feasibility study looked at the
application of Quill SRS in myomectomy and total laparoscopic hysterectomy
vaginal cuff closures. This publication was then followed by up by a podium
presentation at the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists (AAGL)
annual meeting in the fall of 2008 confirming that there were no post
operative issues or complications from the use of Quill SRS in a patient
series that had grown to 150 patients reviewed to that date. "Bidirectional
barbed sutures greatly facilitate laparoscopic suturing. Further evolution and
incorporation of this suture material into clinical practice seems
inevitable," said Dr. Einarsson.
    "Quill SRS helps surgeons overcome one of the largest obstacles in
advanced minimally invasive surgery - tying knots laparoscopically. With this
revolutionary technology, we should anticipate the introduction of the next
generation of safer minimally invasive procedures," said Dr. Greenberg.
    For more information about Quill SRS for laparoscopic gynecology
procedures, please refer to our Quill SRS website located at and view our online movies demonstrating Quill SRS in use.
All Quill SRS products are also available for purchase online by accredited
surgeons at Angiotech's e-commerce site which can be accessed at

    About the Quill(TM) Self-Retaining System (SRS)

    The Quill SRS product line represents a revolutionary technology in wound
closure made possible by bidirectional fixation within the wound. Its patented
design allows the surgeon to begin closure at the midpoint of the wound and
suture in two directions from the midpoint. Barbs within the Quill SRS product
distribute tension across the wound and eliminate the need for knots.

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    About Angiotech Pharmaceuticals

    Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a global specialty pharmaceutical and
medical device company with 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

For further information:

For further information: DeDe Sheel, Investor Relations and Corporate
Communications, Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc., (415) 293-4412,

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