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Cardica's C-Port(R) Flex-A(R) Anastomosis System to Be Used for Development of Surgical Robot in Japan

Tuesday, January 19, 2010 General News J E 4
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REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Jan. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Cardica, Inc. (Nasdaq: CRDC) today announced that the Department of Precision Engineering in conjunction with the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Tokyo will begin development of an Intelligent Surgical Instrument (ISI) cardiac surgery robot, incorporating Cardica's C-Port® Flex-A® Anastomosis System (Flex-A System) to connect blood vessels during surgical procedures. Research and development for the cardiac surgery ISI is funded by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, with industrial support from both Olympus and Terumo Corporations.

"We are pleased that the University of Tokyo selected our automated anastomosis system, with Japan's precision engineering, advanced robotics and strong information technology, to develop a robot capable of performing cardiothoracic surgery," said Bernard A. Hausen, M.D., Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Cardica.  "Cardica strongly believes that the future of coronary revascularization will be in closed chest, robot enhanced procedures. The history of totally endoscopic coronary artery bypass (TECAB) development clearly shows that anastomotic technology, such as the C-Port Flex A, must be considered pivotal for the mass realization of this novel surgical procedure and Cardica is proud to play a role in this anticipated significant paradigm shift."

It is anticipated that the cardiac surgery ISI to be developed by the University of Tokyo will be easy to handle and minimize medical staff stress during an operation. In addition, the University of Tokyo intends to design the ISI to enhance the benefits of endoscopic surgery by integrating Japan's advanced technologies in endoscopic technology, precision machinery engineering, optics, material science and information technology.

Within the scope of the project, the researchers expect to develop real-time sensing technology, integrate data from endoscopic and other pre-and intra-operative images, achieve dexterous manipulation of technology and establish a training program to assist physicians in learning the techniques to perform bypass surgery and other cardiothoracic procedures with the ISI. The researchers expect to develop a prototype instrument by the end of 2011.

"We selected Cardica's Flex-A system based on its potential advantages in minimally invasive cardiac surgery and robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery," commented Dr. Ichiro Sakuma, Professor, Department of Precision Engineering at the University of Tokyo. "I am eager to take cardiac robotic surgery to the next level by coupling this and other leading edge technologies for superior patient results."

About Cardica

Cardica designs and manufactures proprietary stapling devices for surgical procedures. Cardica's stapling technology is designed to minimize operating time and to enable minimally-invasive and robot-assisted surgeries. Cardica manufactures its automated anastomosis systems, the C-Port® Distal Anastomosis Systems and PAS-Port® Proximal Anastomosis System, for coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery and has shipped over 25,000 units throughout the world. In addition, Cardica is developing the Cardica Microcutter, a true multi-fire endoscopic stapling device designed to be used in a variety of procedures, including bariatric, thoracic and general surgery.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains "forward-looking" statements, including all statements regarding the future development and potential clinical advantages of the Intelligent Surgical Instrument for cardiac surgery and the potential increase in closed-chest CABG and related anticipated shift in surgical practices.  Any statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts may be deemed to be forward-looking statements.  The words "anticipated,"  "will," "intends," "expect," "potential" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements.  There are a number of important factors that could cause Cardica's results to differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements, including that Cardica's current and any future products may never gain any significant degree of market acceptance; that any future Intelligent Surgical Instruments face development, regulatory, reimbursement and manufacturing risks, as well as other risks detailed from time to time in Cardica's reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended September 30, 2009. Cardica expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein. You are encouraged to read Cardica's reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, available at www.sec.gov.

SOURCE Cardica, Inc.

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