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Guidant Shines Light on Vulnerable Plaque with Miravant Deal

Executive Summary

Guidant appears to be the leader among the large cardiovascular device companies in pursuing device-based therapies for vulnerable plaque. The company's latest move in this space is a collaboration with Miravant Medical Technologies regarding using photodynamic therapy as a possible treatment for vulnerable plaque lesions.

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TopSpin Medical Inc.

Several start-up companies are investigating a variety of new technologies to identify vulnerable plaque using, for example thermography, infrared, and optical coherence tomography. But the founder of TopSpin Medical believed that a technology already existed with the capability of differentiating lipid-rich from fibrotic tissue: magnetic resonance imaging. TopSpin has developed a system that creates a local magnetic field-inside a patient with a catheter-and creates an MR image. What's more, having the catheter close to the target tissue eliminates the motion artifacts that conventional external MRI systems experience when imaging pulsating coronary arteries.

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