MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., July 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Concentric Medical, Inc., the global leader in devices for clot retrieval in ischemic stroke patients, today announced the launch of the expanded family of Merci Retrievers® in Japan. With the addition of the V 2.0 Soft and V 3.0 Soft, through recent Ichihen Approval, the entire family of V Series Merci Retrievers® are now approved and reimbursed in Japan. The Merci Retriever® is a catheter-based medical device that stroke centers use to remove blood clots from the brains of patients suffering an ischemic stroke.
Century Medical Inc. of Japan is Concentric Medical's exclusive distribution partner. Together, the two companies have focused on physician training, post-market surveillance and expanded product offerings to support the first-to-market mechanical thrombectomy device for acute ischemic stroke in Japan. These priorities emphasize the companies' commitment to improving stroke patient care in Japan.
Nobuyuki Sakai, M.D., D.M.Sc., Director, Neurosurgery & Stroke Center at Kobe General Hospital said, "Our treatment for stroke has dramatically changed since the approval of the first Merci Retriever in 2010. Our experience with the Merci Retriever has resulted in high revascularization rates and improved patient outcomes. The recent approval of the V 2.0 Soft and the V 3.0 Soft is valuable for us and I believe these devices will contribute to our improved clinical results."
Yuji Matsumaru, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Department of Endovascular Neurosurgery at Toranomon Hospital said, "In Japan, the Merci Retriever is the first and only device for acute endovascular revascularization. Since the reimbursement approval in October 2010 many patients have been treated with this device and the initial results are very promising. Japanese physicians, including myself, welcome the addition of the V 2.0 Soft and V 3.0 Soft to the family of Merci Retrievers currently available. Due to the smaller nature of Japanese patients' vessels, I anticipate frequent use of the V 2.0 Soft to treat occlusions in these smaller, more distal vessels."
Shinichi Yoshimura, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor & Clinical Professor, Department of Neurosurgery at Gifu University said, "The introduction of the Merci Retriever has had a great impact on treating acute stroke patients in Japan. For example, our institution's revascularization rate of the internal carotid artery, which is known as the most difficult vessel to reopen, has increased from 48% to 75% with the introduction of the Merci Retriever. We anticipate the addition of two new Merci Retrievers, the V 2.0 Soft and V 3.0 Soft, will further improve clinical results."
Maria Sainz, President and CEO of Concentric Medical said, "We are proud to bring continued innovation to Japan. The Merci Retriever has been available in Japan for over one year and we are very pleased with the fast adoption and initial clinical results. Providing physicians in Japan with more choices further strengthens our position as the leader in interventional treatment of stroke patients. We remain committed to bringing new technology and clinical evidence to physicians across the globe."
Akira Hoshino, President and CEO of Century Medical said, "Bringing the Merci Retriever to Japan has been very rewarding for everyone involved. We are honored to have pioneered clot retrieval for acute ischemic stroke in Japan. With the addition of the Merci Retriever V 2.0 Soft and Merci Retriever V 3.0 Soft, we now offer the complete family of Merci Retrievers to everyone involved in the advancement of interventional stroke care in Japan."
About Concentric Medical
Concentric Medical is located in Mountain View, California and is the global leader in the development of endovascular devices for revascularizing stroke patients. The company manufactures and markets solutions for ischemic stroke: minimally invasive devices that are delivered into the brain to restore blood flow by removing blood clots that cause ischemic stroke. Concentric Medical's devices are available in over 500 leading stroke centers around the world, and have been the subject of several clinical studies with total enrollment of over 1,300 patients. For more information about Concentric Medical, please visit www.concentric-medical.com.
About Acute Ischemic Stroke
Stroke is a leading cause of death in the developed world and the leading cause of serious long-term disability. Ischemic stroke represents over 85% of strokes and occurs when a blockage or clot develops in one of the arteries supplying blood to the brain. In 2004 the FDA cleared Concentric Medical's Merci Retriever for use in stroke patients who are ineligible for IV-tPA or who fail to respond to IV-tPA therapy. This pioneering device created a departure from the historic method of caring for stroke patients and offered physicians and patients a long-awaited option for stroke intervention.
SOURCE Concentric Medical, Inc.