On 6th of July, the first procedure in the Europe took place at Park-Krankenhaus Leipzig-Sudost GmbH in Leipzig, Germany. The procedure was performed by Dr. med. Matthias Ulrich in collaboration with Professor Dr. med. Dierk Scheinert. A 23 cm restenotic obstruction in the proximal superficial femoral artery was treated with a Spectranetics Turbo Elite 2.0mm excimer laser catheter so as to create a pilot channel through the occlusion which is followed by four passes of the Turbo-Tandem to atherectomize the two separate target treatment segments. After completion of the adjunct angioplasty and laser atherectomy, distal runoff was excellent with brisk TIMI 3 blood flow and no evidence of embolic impact.

Following the procedure, Dr. Ulrich and Professor Scheinert commented: The newly integrated Turbo-Tandem device allowed us to easily direct the laser catheter tip and deliver the laser energy accurately at the complex plaque burden. In comparison to the previous version of this catheter, the Turbo-Booster, the set-up time was fast, the device was easier to manage, and the luminal gain exceeded our expectations. Overall, we are very satisfied with the performance of the Turbo-Tandem System.

The company introduced Turbo-Tandem to the US market with two procedures on July 8th and 9th that were presented to the attendees and faculty at the New Cardiovascular Horizons (NCVH) conference in New Orleans. Professor Scheinert performed the first case and was televised live via satellite from Leipzig, Germany. The second case that was the first Turbo-Tandem case in the United States, was performed by Dr. Craig M. Walker, and even it was televised live to the NCVH conference. Dr. Walker treated a 95% discrete proximal lesion in the superficial femoral artery, atherectomizing and debulking the lesion utilizing four quadrant passes followed by circumferential passes. Post-treatment, angiography confirmed sizable luminal gain, with an excellent distal runoff and no evidence of embolic impact.

After the procedure, Dr. Walker stated, I have had extensive experience with the Spectranetics Turbo-Booster to treat disease in the superficial femoral and politeal arteries, and the Turbo-Tandem is a significant improvement to the original design. It is a lower-profile 7 French system, is very easy to use, and I encountered no slippage of the catheter as I maneuvered it through the stenotic segments of the artery. This is a very useful device for ablating plaque in the large arteries above the knee.

Emile J. Geisenheimer, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Spectranetics commented, “I am pleased with the results of the first human procedures involving the Turbo-Tandem product as well as the additional eight live cases involving our Turbo elite laser catheters that were observed by the faculty and attendees of the NCVH conference. At our recently concluded meeting with our entire US sales organization, I observed significant enthusiasm and support for the Turbo-Tandem system and the related product launch plans, which will commence immediately. I look forward to the results of their sales activities and feedback from our physician customers on the performance of this important product.”