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First NZ Patient Treated with Zilver® PTX™

18 March 2008

For immediate release

Auckland City Hospital Treats First Patient in New Zealand Using Cook Medical’s Zilver® PTX™ Drug-Eluting Peripheral Stent

New Treatment Could Benefit Patients Who Suffer From Seriously Under-Diagnosed Peripheral Arterial Disease

Auckland, NZ — Physicians at Auckland City Hospital recently became the first in New Zealand to treat a patient with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) using a new category of drug-eluting stents designed for use in arteries outside the heart.

Cook Medical’s Zilver® PTX™ drug-eluting peripheral stent, the world’s first drug-eluting stent for PAD which was recently released for sale in certain regions worldwide including New Zealand, was used to treat the first patient in December 2007 and a second patient last month.

The procedure was performed by an expert in PAD, Andrew Holden, M.D., Professor of Radiology at Auckland City Hospital, Auckland.

“There has been considerable interest recently in the use of newer generation stents for treating patients with extensive disease of the main artery in the thigh, the superficial femoral artery. Patients with disease involving this artery typically present with calf and thigh pain, especially when walking. While the short term results with these stents have been promising, the medium to long-term results have been disappointing, primarily due to re-narrowing within the segment of artery treated with stents," Holden said.

"Drug-eluting stents have shown considerable promise in preventing restenosis in coronary stents. It is hoped similar technology, used in the legs, will help those who suffer from peripheral arterial disease. Our first patient treated with the Zilver PTX was considered at risk for open surgery and had already suffered recurrent episodes of re-narrowing within a stent in the superficial femoral artery. It is hoped that the drug-eluting Zilver PTX will provide a more durable result.”

PAD affects blood vessels that lead from the heart to other areas of the body, such as the legs, feet and kidneys. When the blood vessels become blocked due to the build-up of fatty deposits, blood circulation is restricted. Untreated, PAD results in pain when walking and in serious incidence can lead to gangrene and amputation. It is a serious medical condition that affects more than 20 million people worldwide each year.

“Bringing together technologies, like devices with pharmaceuticals in the case of Zilver PTX, is a critical step in developing new, advanced medical devices to treat many patients,” added Rob Lyles, vice president and global leader of Cook Medical's peripheral intervention division. “At Cook, we continually strive to improve our products in order to improve the quality of patient outcomes.”

The Zilver PTX stent by Cook Medical has been developed to clear blockages above the knee in the femoropopliteal artery (the major artery in the thigh). The stent, a small, spring-like metal device that acts like a scaffold, is used to prop open the blocked arteries. But in many cases, PAD patients who have been treated with balloon angioplasty and conventional stenting experience restenosis, or renarrowing of the arteries, over time and must undergo more invasive treatment, such as bypass surgery, to re-open the arteries.

Cook Medical’s Zilver PTX, a self-expanding nitinol stent that delivers a therapeutic dose of paclitaxel, an antiproliferative drug that has been used successfully to reduce the renarrowing of coronary arteries after stent implantation, to the interior wall of the artery without the use of a polymer to adhere the drug to the stent body.

The Zilver PTX stent is available commercially in New Zealand and is in clinical trials in Europe, Japan, the U.S. and other markets. For trial information, visit


About Auckland City Hospital

Auckland's acute adult hospital on the Auckland District Health Board's Grafton Road site opened in October 2003. It brings together the services of Auckland, Green Lane and National Women's Hospitals into one building, and links with Starship Children's Health.

About Cook Medical

Cook Medical was one of the first companies to introduce interventional devices in the United States. Today, the company participates in all global markets, integrating device design, biopharma, gene and cell therapy and biotech to enhance patient safety and improve clinical outcomes. Cook won the prestigious Medical Device Manufacturer of the Year from Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry magazine. For more information, visit


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