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Press Release

$500,000 Covidien Grant Helps Fund Increased Research Activities by GI Societies

Covidien Natural Orifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery (NOTES™) Research Fund Announced in Boston at 2nd International Conference on NOTES™

BOSTON, Massachusetts - July 12, 2007 - Covidien, a leading global provider of healthcare products, announced today that its Surgical Devices business unit has provided a $500,000 grant to the Natural Orifice Surgery Consortium for Assessment and Research™ (NOSCAR™) to establish the Covidien NOTES™ Research Fund.

“Covidien’s support for research will allow physician investigators to lay the foundation for a new form of therapy called NOTES that could lead to less pain and more rapid return to full activity for patients,” said David Rattner, MD, co-chair of the NOSCAR Working Group.

The announcement was made in conjunction with the organization’s 2nd International Conference on NOTES™, which will be held on July 13 and 14 in Boston. NOSCAR is a joint initiative supported by the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) and the Society for American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES). By establishing NOSCAR, the societies hope to introduce NOTES in a safe and responsible way that will provide an even less invasive way of undergoing surgical procedures.

“We are pleased to support NOSCAR and provide this important funding for significant research projects that will improve patient care for years to come,” said Robert DeSantis, General Manager, Endolumenal/NOTES. “The Covidien NOTES Research Fund will help to ensure the safe and effective development of NOTES procedures and techniques throughout the world,” added DeSantis.

“As was the case with laparoscopy, the paradigm shift to NOTES will certainly require advances in technological innovation, comprehensive clinical research, and the highest level of professional medical education. Covidien’s financial support allows NOSCAR to continue their critical role in achieving success in these vital developments,” said Scott Flora, President, Surgical Devices Global Business Unit.

The International Conference is designed to explore and set a course of action to resolve the challenges involved in bringing transgastric endotherapy into the clinical realm. For more information on the conference and NOSCAR please visit NOTES, NOSCAR, Natural Orifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery and Natural Orifice Surgery Consortium for Assessment and Research are registered trademarks of ASGE and SAGES.




Natural Orifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery™ (NOTES™) might represent the next major advancement in minimally invasive therapy. To address this emerging technology, a working group consisting of expert laparoscopic surgeons from SAGES and a group of expert interventional endoscopists representing ASGE have joined together as the Natural Orifice Surgery Consortium for Assessment and Research™ (NOSCAR™) Working Group on NOTES.

The growing capabilities of therapeutic flexible endoscopy have ushered in a new era in treatment of gastrointestinal conditions. Refinements in laparoscopic surgery have progressed to the point that complex surgical procedures, such as gastric bypass, can now be performed in a minimally invasive fashion. These trends have set the stage for the development of even less invasive methods to treat conditions in both the gut lumen and in the peritoneal cavity. It seems feasible that major intraperitoneal surgery may one day be performed without skin incisions.

The NOSCAR Working Group identified a number of baseline issues in July 2005. For NOTES to mature into a viable technology, both procedure and device research and development must continue. At this stage, NOTES must be performed by a team that has the skills of an advanced therapeutic endoscopist and a laparoscopic surgeon who in many instances will bring unique but complementary skills. These issues must be understood prior to the safe introduction of NOTES and are best addressed in laboratory settings. Having supportive laboratory data is an essential step prior to approval from regulatory agencies like the FDA or Institutional Review Board for performing initial NOTES. The most important areas for initial study are: safe peritoneal access and secure gastric closure, intraperitoneal contamination, image display and maintenance of spatial orientation, development of stable working platforms, physiologic perturbations, and tissue approximation methods (suturing and others).

About the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), founded in 1941, is the preeminent professional organization dedicated to advancing the practice of endoscopy. ASGE, with more than 10,000 members worldwide, promotes the highest standards for endoscopic training and practice, fosters endoscopic research, recognizes distinguished contributions to endoscopy, and is the foremost resource for endoscopic education.

About the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons
The Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) was founded in 1981 to foster, promote, support and encourage academic, clinical and research achievement in gastrointestinal endoscopic surgery. Our members are general and colorectal surgeons who perform endoscopy and laparoscopy as part of their practice as well as surgical resident, fellows, and other allied health personnel. The Society has grown from fewer than 50 original members to more than 5,500 from every state and over 80 countries. Visit for more information.

About Covidien
Covidien is a leading global healthcare products company that creates innovative medical solutions for better patient outcomes and delivers value through clinical leadership and excellence. Covidien manufactures, distributes and services a diverse range of industry-leading product lines, including surgical devices, energy-based devices, respiratory and monitoring solutions, pharmaceutical products, imaging solutions, patient care and safety products, and medical supplies. With 2006 revenue of nearly $10 billion, Covidien has more than 43,000 employees worldwide in 57 countries, and its products are sold in over 130 countries. Please visit to learn more about Covidien.