USGI Medical Licenses Incisionless Surgery Technology to Intuitive Surgical

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 General News
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SAN CLEMENTE, Calif., May 12 USGI Medical, Inc. (USGI),the leader in incisionless surgery, announced today that the company haslicensed its incisionless surgery technology to Intuitive Surgical(Nasdaq: ISRG) for use in medical robotics applications. Financial terms ofthe deal were not disclosed.

"We've been impressed by USGI's technical and clinical developmentincluding their intellectual property," said Gary Guthart, president and chiefoperating officer of Intuitive Surgical Inc. "The combination of USGI'sintellectual property with Intuitive's robotic capabilities allows forcompelling possibilities for future robotic products."

USGI's incisionless surgery platform, the EndoSurgical OperatingSystem(TM) (EOS), is designed to address a wide range of surgical indications.Surgeons and gastroenterologists currently use the EOS to perform endolumenal(procedures within the GI tract) and translumenal procedures through thebody's natural orifices (these are commonly referred to as "NOTES" or NaturalOrifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery). Eliminating skin incisions mayreduce the risk of infection and associated complications and may result inless post-operative pain, faster recovery time and no abdominal scars forpatients.

"This agreement with Intuitive Surgical is another step forward in ourefforts to establish the EOS as the leading, most complete surgical platformfor Incisonless Surgery," said USGI Medical CEO Eugene Chen. "Many of thecountry's leading physicians have used the EOS to complete a wide range ofgroundbreaking incisionless procedures. We believe that mechanical androbotic solutions complement each other and together will advance and expandthis field to a wider group of procedures and patients."

Surgeons have used USGI's EOS to complete the first transgastric gallbladder and appendix removals in the U.S. and to close the access incision(gastrotomy) in the stomach wall during NOTES procedures. Many surgeons andgastroenterologists use the EOS routinely to perform an incisionless procedureto reduce the size of the gastric pouch and stoma in patients who experienceweight regain after gastric bypass surgery.

About USGI Medical

USGI Medical is the leader in Incisionless Surgery. USGI's EndoSurgicalOperating System(TM) (EOS) provides surgeons the operating platform andspecialized tools they need to perform surgery through a patient's mouth,other natural orifice, or single incision, reducing or eliminating the needfor external incisions into the abdomen. Operating through the body's naturalorifices offers promise for less pain, shorter hospital stays, reduced risk ofwound infection and no external scars -- and is rapidly becoming an optiondemanded by patients and healthcare providers. It has been estimated thatover 4 million procedures currently performed using invasive means can beaddressed with an incisionless approach in the future, creating a $5 billionopportunity for USGI.

USGI Endosurgical Operating System(TM)

USGI's Endosurgical Operating System(TM) (EOS) is designed to providesurgeons and gastroenterologists the tools they need to convert currentoperations to incisionless procedures. The system:

The EOS includes the TransPort(TM) Multi-lumen Operating Platform, theg-Prox(R) Tissue Grasper and Approximation Device, expandable tissue anchors,and a variety of specialized instruments, all of which have received U.S. Foodand Drug Administration (FDA) 510(k) clearance. To date, the EOS has beenused in over 100 incisionless procedures in the U.S.-- Facilitates access and visualization of the operating field via the body's natural orifices -- Provides a stable operating platform to enhance surgical precision and control -- Allows the use of multiple, robust instruments much like in laparoscopy -- Enables rapid, durable

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