Barry Cheskin, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "The presentations of the lung and bone cancer data are important milestones for RITA. They represent continued clinical validation that our technology will in the future be extended to a variety of cancer types beyond our core liver cancer application.
"With these presentations," Cheskin added, "the Company will have completed its core feasibility efforts in bone and lung cancer and has already initiated its pivotal clinical trials in these areas overseas and, in the case of bone, in the United States as well. We expect to begin to see revenue from the use of the minimally invasive RITA system to treat patients with metastatic bone tumors in the fourth quarter of 2002 and nominal revenue at the very end of 2002 due to the international use of RITA products for patients with unresectable lung tumors."
As in the case of liver cancer, many lung cancer tumors are unresectable, meaning that surgical removal of the tumor(s) is not practical or is not effective. Further, for these patients, other traditional treatment approaches often have limited effectiveness. The clinical study being presented at the conference was designed to show the safety and efficacy of the use of RITA's radiofrequency ablation system in addressing these unresectable tumors.
The quality of life for patients diagnosed with metastatic bone cancer can be greatly diminished by severe and, in many cases, untreatable pain. The aim of the clinical study sponsored by RITA and being presented at the conference was to determine the effectiveness of using radiofrequency ablation to destroy tumor tissue, thereby alleviating pain caused by these tumors in the many patients whose pain does not respond to conventional treatments.
The company estimates the market opportunity for bone and lung cancer is
$1 billion, in addition to the $500 million it estimates for its core liver
About RITA Medical Systems:
RITA Medical Systems develops, manufactures and markets innovative products for patients with solid cancerous or benign tumors. The proprietary RITA system uses radiofrequency energy to heat tissue to a high enough temperature to ablate it or cause cell death. While the company's current focus is on liver cancer, the company believes that its minimally invasive technology may in the future be applied to other types of tumors, including tumors of the lung, bone, breast, prostate and kidney. The company has received regulatory clearance in major markets worldwide, including the United States. In March 2000, RITA became the first radiofrequency ablation company to receive specific FDA clearance for unresectable liver lesions in addition to its previous general FDA clearance for the ablation of soft tissue. The company has sold over 30,000 of its disposable devices throughout the world.
The statements in this news release related to the company's plans to extend its technology to applications beyond the liver, statements related to expected sales from non-liver applications in 2002, and the company's projections of the market potential related to non-liver applications are forward-looking statements involving risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in such forward-looking statements. Potential risks and uncertainties include the company's dependence on timely market acceptance of the RITA system, the outcome of current patent actions, the company's history of operating losses and expectation that it will continue to incur significant operating expenses over the next several years, significant competition in the company's industry and alternative therapies which could prove to be superior to the RITA system. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in the company's periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the company's Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2000 and the company's Report on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2001 and June 30, 2001.
For further information please contact: Matt Clawson (investors), email@example.com, or Len Hall (media), firstname.lastname@example.org, both of Allen & Caron Inc, +1-949-474-4300, for RITA Medical Systems, Inc.; or Don Stewart, Chief Financial Officer of RITA Medical Systems, Inc., +1-650-314-3400, email@example.com
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SOURCE RITA Medical Systems, Inc.
Web site: http: //www.ritamedical.com
CONTACT: Matt Clawson (investors), firstname.lastname@example.org, or Len Hall (media), email@example.com, both of Allen & Caron Inc, +1-949-474-4300, for RITA Medical Systems, Inc.; or Don Stewart, Chief Financial Officer of RITA Medical Systems, Inc., +1-650-314-3400, firstname.lastname@example.org