Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE:BSX) today announced the signing of an agreement with Enteric Medical Technologies, Inc. (EMT), a privately held company headquartered in Foster City, CA, to begin marketing its Enteryx liquid polymer technology for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The agreement marks Boston Scientifics entry into the emerging interventional GERD device market.
Boston Scientific has made an equity investment in EMT and has obtained an irrevocable option to purchase the company within 18 months for an undisclosed amount. Terms of these arrangements were not disclosed.
The agreement grants Boston Scientific exclusive distribution rights in most of Europe, Japan and other major markets outside the United States. The Enteryx technology is CE-Marked in Europe and is the subject of an ongoing IDE trial in the United States and Europe.
\"The majority of our patients treated with Enteryx have experienced substantial symptomatic relief and are no longer dependant on prescription drugs to alleviate GERD symptoms,\" said Prof. Jacques Deviere, M.D., Chief of Gastroenterology, ULB Erasme Hospital, Brussels. \"The results of the European pilot studies are very encouraging. If they are confirmed, Enteryx could become a major therapeutic alternative for GERD sufferers.\"
\"This alliance demonstrates Boston Scientifics commitment to capturing the substantial interventional opportunities within our Endosurgical markets,\" said Jim Tobin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Boston Scientific. \"We have been interested in the GERD market for some time. The EMT platform positions Boston Scientific well to take advantage of significant growth opportunities in the endoscopic market.\"
\"We are very pleased to join forces with the market leader in endoscopic interventions,\" said David E. Silverman, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of EMT. \"We are confident Boston Scientific will represent Enteryx well, leveraging the strength of their market development teams and worldwide sales force.\"
With approximately 15 million chronic GERD sufferers in the U.S. alone, it is estimated that between 10 to 15 percent of these patients can be served by less-invasive therapies. In 2000, $8.3 billion was spent in the U.S. on prescription drugs that treat heartburn, the primary symptom of the disease. This represented a 26 percent increase over prescription sales in 1999. Nearly $1 billion was spent on surgical procedures in 1999, an increase of 26 percent over 1998 as a result of the rapid adoption of laparoscopic techniques.
\"We believe that Enteryx offers a promising solution for the endoscopic management of gastroesophageal reflux disease,\" said Michael Phalen, President of Boston Scientific\'s Microvasive? Endoscopy division. \"It potentially offers the gastrointestinal physician a non-pharmaceutical alternative for the treatment of patients with GERD.\"
The Enteryx technology is a patented liquid polymer delivered by injection through an endoscope into the muscle of the lower esophageal sphincter. The polymer solidifies into a sponge-like material when it is injected into the tissue, augmenting the lower esophageal sphincter and helping to prevent or reduce reflux of gastric acid into the esophagus. The procedure takes approximately 30 minutes and is done under intravenous sedation.
Boston Scientific Corporation is a worldwide developer, manufacturer and marketer of medical devices whose products are used in a broad range of interventional medical specialties. Its Microvasive Endoscopy division is the world\'s leading provider of interventional gastrointestinal devices for endoscopists.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. The company wishes to caution the reader that actual results may differ from those discussed in the forward-looking statements and may be adversely affected by, among other things, risks associated with new product development and commercialization,clinical trials, regulatory approvals, intellectual property, competitive offerings, the Companys overall business strategy, and other factors described in the Companys filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.