• Angiotech Pharmaceuticals (Vancouver, British Columbia) said that the clinical data from its 960 patient clinical trial comparing its 5-Fluorouracil-coated (5-FU) central venous catheter (CVC) with a chlorhexidine/silver sulfadiazine- (CH-SS) coated CVC was presented by the clinical investigators at the 28th International Symposium on Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (ISICEM) in Brussels, Belgium. Based on the ctrial data, investigators concluded that Angiotech’s 5-FU CVC met the primary endpoint of the study: non-inferior in its ability to prevent bacterial colonization of the catheter tip when compared to catheters coated with CH-SS. The principle behind using 5-FU on a CVC is that the drug acts through multiple pathways to inhibit bacterial growth and metabolic functions of most microorganisms. Adding a very minute amount of 5-FU to the surface of a device makes that surface a very hostile environment for a microorganism, with unchanged tolerability for the patient. Angiotech is a specialty pharmaceutical and medical device company.

• ArthroCare (Austin, Texas) reported the launch of the ReFlex Ultra PTR Plasma Wand designed for use in volumetric turbinate reduction procedures to treat nasal airway obstructive disorders, such as turbinate hypertrophy in allergic rhinitis for pediatric patients. The Reflex uses Coblation technology to remove and/or shrink turbinate tissue but is designed with a sharpened lead electrode with a shorter, smaller diameter shaft. The wand allows easy entry into turbinate tissue with increased accuracy while reducing visual obstructions typical when treating the smaller anatomy of pediatric patients, the company said. Coblation is gentle radiofrequency energy with a saline solution to remove soft tissue. Coblation works by breaking the molecular bonds, thereby leaving surrounding healthy tissue intact unlike conventional electrosurgery and laser surgery, which rely on high levels of heat. In turbinate reduction procedures, this lower-temperature technique allows for removal of target tissue without damaging surrounding tissue or altering the critically important nasal mucosal lining – preserving normal nasal function and leaving facial growth unaffected. ArthroCare makes minimally invasive surgical products.