July 8, 2008
Covalon Achieves Significant Progress in Development Agreement With One of the World’s Largest Vascular Access Companies
Covalon Technologies Ltd. (TSX VENTURE: COV) is pleased to announce that it has reached a significant milestone in its research as part of a Development Agreement with one of the world's largest vascular access device companies.
Under the terms of the $200,000 Development Agreement, specific research has been undertaken into the commercialization of Covalon's antimicrobial coating platform on blood contacting catheters. Covalon has achieved the production of a unique vascular access device-coating that combines potent antimicrobial activity with low thrombogenicity (reduced blood clotting), that improves function and performance over other available options.
The use of catheters can lead to serious vascular access-related infections and blood-clots which can result in stroke, heart attack, pulmonary embolism and other conditions related to impaired blood flow. Prolonged hospital stay, morbidity or mortality and serious economical consequences are a result of infections and blood-clotting-related events caused by a variety of vascular access devices. Covalon believes that its unique antimicrobial coatings are an effective solution to this growing problem.
Dr. Frank DiCosmo, Covalon's CEO and co-founder states, "We are excited about the market for an effective coating that may reduce the risk of vascular access-induced infection and blood clot formation in patients, especially in view of the announcement by the United States Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that healthcare facilities in which patients contract vascular catheter-associated infections while under care will not receive re-imbursement as of October 1, 2008 for those patients' treatments. Covalon's medical coating technology has broad and effective application in helping to reduce hospital-acquired infections and improving patient outcomes and comfort."
According to leading research by Frost and Sullivan (2003, 2006) it is estimated that:
- By 2009, 69% of all central venous catheters used will have an antimicrobial coating.
- Antimicrobial central venous catheters are expected to experience a growth rate approximately 5-fold greater than that of un-coated central venous catheters.
- Hospital-acquired infections affect approximately 2 million people in the United States each year and cost over $11 billion to the healthcare system
Covalon's breakthrough-antimicrobial and low-thrombogenic coating has been applied to a wide variety of in-dwelling, blood contacting devices for reducing the incidence of hospital acquired infection as well as reducing thrombogenecity (reducing blood clot formation) and may thus improve patient care and outcome. The total antimicrobial catheters market is projected to attain revenues of US $ 375 million by 2009 (Frost and Sullivan). Indwelling catheters are associated with very serious infections such as catheter associated urinary tract infections and catheter-related bloodstream infections. CVC and urinary catheters are the most susceptible to bacterial growth causing infection; each year 200,000 catheter related blood stream infections are caused by CVC in United States hospitals. Together, these two categories of devices account for about 50% of total hospital infections. Antimicrobial coatings could be an effective solution to this growing concern. Furthermore, blood-contacting medical devices such as peripherally inserted central catheters (PICC) and CVC, etc. are susceptible to vascular access-related infections and blood-clotting.
Covalon now has a targeted commercialization pathway for venous access and related products. Venous access devices represent a significant infection risk to catheterized patients. Vascular access products offer a significant potential market for the Covalon antimicrobial and low-thrombogenic coating technology. The company's antimicrobial and low-thrombogenic coating can be applied to a wide variety of in-dwelling, blood contacting devices for reducing the incidence of hospital acquired infection as well as reducing thrombogenecity.
Covalon Technologies Ltd. is a company with advanced medical products that has developed and patented advanced therapeutic biomaterials for wound care and surgical applications and coatings. Polymer chemistry and surface coating technology have been combined to create a range of time-release drug delivery platforms that are applied to many medical devices to treat many critical conditions. A variety of applications for these technologies have been identified and specific products have been developed. The products offer features and benefits providing solutions to many of the problems caused by current devices and their material properties which are used by most medical device manufacturers and suppliers. The problems include infection, poor biocompatibility, and microbial attachment.
This news release contains forward-looking statements which reflect the Company's current expectations regarding future events. The forward-looking statements are often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as "seek", "anticipate", "plan, "estimate", "expect", "intend" and statements that an event or result "may", "will", "should", "could" or "might" occur or be achieved and other similar expressions. These forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainties, including the difficulty in predicting product approvals, acceptance of and demands for new products, the impact of the products and pricing strategies of competitors, delays in developing and launching new products, the regulatory environment, fluctuations in operating results and other risks, any of which could cause results, performance, or achievements to differ materially from the results discussed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Many risks are inherent in the industry; others are more specific to the Company. Investors should consult the Company's ongoing quarterly filings for additional information on risks and uncertainties relating to these forward-looking statements. Investors should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. Management assumes no obligation to update or alter any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, further events or otherwise.
The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release, and has neither approved nor disapproved of the contents of this release.
Contacts: Covalon Technologies Ltd. Frank DiCosmo, Ph.D. President & CEO (905) 568-8400 Covalon Technologies Ltd. Francis K. Lindayen, C.A. CFO (905) 568-8400 (905) 568-5200 (FAX) Website: www.covalon.com
SOURCE: Covalon Technologies Ltd.