LYON, France, Aug. 24, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- EDAP TMS SA (Nasdaq:EDAP), the global leader in therapeutic ultrasound, announced today that its development partnership has been awarded a EUR 2.4 million grant for further development of Ablatherm-HIFU technology to incorporate improved imaging and diagnostic techniques in line with the focal therapy approach for treating localized prostate cancer. The development partnership, comprised of EDAP, Edouard Herriot Hospital, and SuperSonic Imagine, received the highly competitive grant from Fonds Unique Interministerial (FUI), a French government fund for advancing technical innovation with short and midterm market applications, together with Regional Councils Grand Lyon, PACA, Competitive Clusters Lyonbiopole and Eurobiomed.
Emmanuel Blanc, Chief Technical Officer of EDAP, commented, "Prostate cancer is a multi-focal disease and precise detection of all cancer foci remains a significant challenge in the focal treatment for prostate cancer. The project aims at matching the precision of Ablatherm-HIFU with next generation diagnostic and imaging techniques, combining MRI detection for patient selection with advanced ultrasound imaging for real time monitoring and efficacy control."
The Edouard Herriot University Hospital is a long term partner of EDAP and brings to the venture sound clinical experience in the HIFU treatment of prostate cancer, as well as a strong expertise in radiology practice, including MRI and contrast-enhanced ultrasound. SuperSonic Imagine is a recognized leader in advanced ultrasound techniques and has developed a unique elastography platform with the capability to provide true local assessment of tissue elasticity.
Marc Oczachowski, Chief Executive Officer of EDAP, concluded, "We are proud that our partnership won this grant, as it is another strong recognition and validation of EDAP as the leading player in the development of HIFU. This project, aimed at developing better imaging solutions that will be integrated in our device, will help advance the focal therapy approach for the prostate cancer treatment. It will strengthen Ablatherm-HIFU's position as the premier gold standard for the non-invasive treatment of prostate cancer in line with current and future therapeutic strategies."
About EDAP TMS SA
EDAP TMS SA develops and markets Ablatherm®, the most advanced and clinically proven choice for high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) treatment of localized prostate cancer. HIFU treatment is shown to be a minimally invasive and effective treatment option with a low occurrence of side effects. Ablatherm-HIFU is generally recommended for patients with localized prostate cancer (stages T1-T2) who are not candidates for surgery or who prefer an alternative option, or for patients who failed radiotherapy treatment. Approved in Europe as a treatment for prostate cancer, Ablatherm-HIFU (High Intensity Focused Ultrasound) is currently undergoing evaluation in a multi-center U.S. Phase II/III clinical trial under an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) granted by the FDA, the ENLIGHT U.S. clinical study. The Company also is developing this technology for the potential treatment of certain other types of tumors. EDAP TMS SA also produces and commercializes medical equipment (the Sonolith® range) for treatment of urinary tract stones using extra-corporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL).
About SuperSonic Imagine
Founded in 2005 and based in Aix-en-Provence, France, SuperSonic Imagine is an innovative, multinational medical imaging company dedicated to developing a revolutionary ultrasound system: the Aixplorer®. This system leverages a unique MultiWave™ technology that enables the user to detect, characterize and, in the future, treat palpable and non-palpable masses. This unique technology is based on combining two types of waves: an ultrasound wave that provides exceptional imaging in B-mode, and a shear wave which measures and displays the stiffness of tissue in kilopascals (ShearWave Elastography™). The company now has offices in Aix-en-Provence, Seattle, London and Munich. SuperSonic Imagine holds the exclusive right, title and interest to 25 international patents and submissions in diagnostic imaging and therapy applications.
About Edouard Herriot Hospital
Edouard Herriot Hospital is a University Hospital based in Lyon and owned by Hospices Civils de Lyon (HCL). HCL is a Group owning several hospitals and clinics in the Lyon area.
About Grand Lyon
Grand Lyon is the Greater Lyon Urban Community with prominent responsibilities to promote economic development in the region and support innovation through competitive clusters.
Lyonbiopole is a world competitive cluster accredited in 2005. Center of Excellence in vaccines and diagnostics, it is focused on the fight against human and animal infectious diseases and cancers. Since inception, Lyonbiopole's main mission is to stimulate public and private R & D collaborations.
Eurobiomed is a non-for-profit organisation which has been accredited by the French government as one of the eight Biotech & Pharma "Competitive Clusters" in France. Eurobiomed federates healthcare stakeholders in "Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur" and "Languedoc-Roussillon" counties.
In addition to historical information, this press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These include statements regarding the Company's growth and expansion plans, the conclusiveness of the results of and success of its Ablatherm-HIFU clinical trials, expectations regarding the IDE submission to and approval by the FDA of the Ablatherm-HIFU device and the market potential for the Sonolith i-move device. Such statements are based on management's current expectations and are subject to a number of uncertainties, including the uncertainties of the regulatory process, and risks that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in these forward-looking statements. Factors that may cause such a difference include, but are not limited to, those described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and in particular, in the sections "Cautionary Statement on Forward-Looking Information" and "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 20-F. Ablatherm-HIFU treatment is in clinical trials, but not FDA-approved or marketed in the United States.
Blandine Confort Investor Relations / Legal Affairs EDAP TMS SA +33 4 72 15 31 72 Investors: Stephanie Carrington The Ruth Group 646-536-7017