Integra Announces Increased Use of NeuraGen Nerve Guide in Complex Peripheral Nerve Injuries
PLAINSBORO, N.J., April 26, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- Integra LifeSciences Holdings Corporation (Nasdaq:IART) today announced that the NeuraGen® Nerve Guide is increasingly used in a wide variety of peripheral nerve repair applications. NeuraGen has been used successfully to repair peripheral nerves in the upper and lower extremities, cranial and facial nerves, and complex injuries involving the brachial plexus. The technology behind the NeuraGen Nerve Guide is based on a semi-permeable collagen tube that isolates and defines an environment for the extension of axons and growth of Schwann cells that are the elements responsible for functional recovery following nerve injury. Integra LifeSciences is featuring the NeuraGen Nerve Guide at the American Association of Neurological Surgeons meeting in San Francisco, California this week.
Integra has featured NeuraGen at many hand, orthopedic, neurosurgical and reconstructive meetings. Surgeon response to the product has been positive and use of the product has been growing in more complex nerve injuries, including brachial plexus.
Injury to the brachial plexus is a clinically compelling problem. It can be caused by traumatic injury in the broader population, and can also affect newborns (neonatal brachial plexus palsies). The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that control the muscles of the shoulder, arm, elbow, wrist, hand and fingers. Stretching, tearing, or other trauma can cause injury to the nerves of the brachial plexus. Brachial plexus injuries can result in full to partial paralysis of one or both arms. The incidence rate of brachial plexus palsies (BPP) in newborns has been estimated at upwards of 4 cases per 1,000 full-term births in the United States. As many as 25% of these injuries can result in permanent impairment of the child. NeuraGen has been used successfully in reconstruction of brachial plexus injuries, particularly for short-gap nerve injuries in adult patients as well as in obstetrical cases. In many situations NeuraGen eliminates the need to harvest a nerve graft from another location in the patient's body, which prevents complications at the harvest site such as loss of nerve function, compromised wound healing or infection.
"Reconstruction of injured peripheral nerves remains one of the most challenging areas of neurosurgery. The recent advent of nerve conduits represents one of the most significant technical advancements in nerve surgery and provides the surgeon with new treatment options that were not previously available," commented Robert Spinner, M.D., a neurosurgeon at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
Integra launched the NeuraGen Nerve Guide, its first collagen peripheral nerve repair conduit in 2001. NeuraGen is indicated for peripheral nerve repair in cases where a nerve is completely severed. Since 2001, well over 10,000 NeuraGen nerve guides have been implanted in patients worldwide. Physicians have responded favorably to NeuraGen, noting that their patients have achieved the return of neurological function without experiencing adverse wound reactions or neuroma formation. Integra estimates that the worldwide market for the repair of severed peripheral nerves is approximately $40 million.
Integra LifeSciences Holdings Corporation is a diversified medical technology company that develops, manufactures, and markets medical devices for use in a variety of applications. The primary applications for our products are neurosurgery, reconstructive surgery and general surgery. Integra is a leader in applying the principles of biotechnology to medical devices that improve patients' quality of life. Our corporate headquarters are in Plainsboro, New Jersey, and we have manufacturing and research facilities located throughout the world. We have approximately 1,400 employees. Please visit our website at http://www.Integra-LS.com.
This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning the future use of the NeuraGen Nerve Guide. Such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from predicted or expected results. Among other things, the willingness of physicians to use these products may affect the prospects for their use in clinical procedures. In addition, the economic, competitive, governmental, technological and other factors identified under the heading "Factors That May Affect Our Future Performance" included in the Business section of Integra's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2005 and information contained in subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission could affect actual results.
CONTACT: Integra LifeSciences Holdings Corporation
John B. Henneman, III, Executive Vice President
Chief Administrative Officer
Maria Platsis, Senior Director of Corporate Development
and Investor Relations