St. Jude Medical Announces First Use of Renal Denervation Technology

St. Jude Medical, Inc. (NYSE:STJ), a global medical device company, has announced the first use of the company’s renal denervation catheter and generator system, as part of a feasibility study of the new technology. The technology was developed as a treatment for resistant hypertension (high blood pressure that is not well controlled by drug therapy). Prof. Stephen Worthley, Helpman Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Adelaide, performed the first procedure at the Royal Adelaide Hospital in South Australia.

“We have leveraged our company’s extensive experience in ablation technologies to develop a renal denervation system that provides physicians with an alternative therapeutic option for patients with resistant hypertension,” said Frank Callaghan, president of the St. Jude Medical Cardiovascular Division. “This technology could potentially help alleviate some of the $500 billion impact that hypertension has on our health care systems by reducing or eliminating costly and lifelong medication use. Patients could potentially benefit through an overall reduction in risks for cardiovascular side effects of hypertension, including death.”

Commenting on the procedure, Prof. Worthley said, “The design of this catheter minimizes the need for extensive catheter manipulation, which could potentially shorten procedure time, limit contrast use and reduce fluoroscopic exposure for me, my patients and other cath lab staff.”

Hypertension is defined as systolic blood pressure over 140 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure over 90 mmHg. For every 20 mmHg rise in systolic blood pressure, the risk for cardiovascular disease doubles. Approximately 75 million patients in the U.S. have hypertension, with more than five million patients resistant to drug therapy.

St. Jude Medical expects a limited market launch in Europe before the end of 2012.

Source: St Jude Medical