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Medtronic Media Contacts:
Melicent Lavers-Sailly, ,

New Diabetes Device Next Step in the Quest for Closed-Loop System

Medtronic Paradigm® Veo™ Launches in Canada


EDMONTON, AB – Oct. 21, 2010 –Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE: MDT) announced today the Canadian launch of a novel technology designed to provide additional protection against the risks associated with hypoglycemia. This new device, currently available in more than 50 countries outside of the United States and now in Canada, can automatically suspend insulin delivery when the device senses that glucose levels have fallen to or below a pre-selected threshold. This feature is intended to reduce the severity of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) in situations where patients ignore or are unable to treat hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia, a dangerous and often frequent occurrence with diabetes, can be one of the most frightening aspects of living with type 1 diabetes. If left untreated, hypoglycemia can cause loss of consciousness, seizure, coma, or even death.1

Research indicates that, on average, a person with diabetes will experience more than one low blood sugar event every two weeks. Additionally, each year, nearly one in 14 people with insulin-treated diabetes will experience one or more episodes of severe hypoglycemia, requiring urgent treatment by a healthcare professional.2 A third of diabetes patients suffer from hypoglycemia while asleep, which may impair their ability to recognize or act to prevent a serious episode.3 An estimated 33 percent of diabetes-related deaths are a result of acute complications such as hypoglycemia.4  While some patients can experience “warning signs” before a hypoglycemic event (such as feeling shaky, sweating, tingling in the lips, confusion and irritability), others may not experience any warning signs at all.

“The Paradigm Veo, with its automatic feedback mechanism, is a major step forward in our commitment to improving glucose control in diabetics,” says Katie Szyman, president of the Diabetes business and senior vice president at Medtronic. “While not a cure for diabetes, we believe this automatic feature offers added protection, greater confidence and may lower the risk of injury associated with hypoglycemic events. Equally important, it will give patients and family members more peace of mind.”

The Paradigm Veo System includes an insulin pump with a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system (provided by means of a separate sensor and transmitter). The patient uses readings from the monitor to understand their current glucose level changes.  Based on confirmatory fingerstick blood glucose measurements, the patient then programs the insulin pump to deliver an appropriate amount of insulin. Insulin combats high blood sugar, a key cause of heart disease and other long-term complications in type 1 diabetes.1 However, if data transmitted from the sensor show the patient’s glucose levels have dropped below a defined threshold, the device alarms to alert the patient.  If these alarms are ignored, the insulin pump automatically suspends insulin delivery for up to two hours.  This helps to protect against potentially dangerous hypoglycemic events. 

“This latest technology is a significant breakthrough that will help people with diabetes to better control their condition. In order to reduce the long-term risk of diabetes-related complications, which can cause blindness, kidney failure and heart attacks, patients should manage their glucose levels to as near normal as possible. Unfortunately, aggressive glucose control can increase the risk of severe hypoglycemia, which can render a patient unconscious—and if recurrent—can have very serious consequences,” says Dr. Bernard Zinman, Director of the Leadership Sinai Centre for Diabetes at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. “For the first time, a mechanical device can now warn the patient of this dangerous situation. The Paradigm Veo alerts patients if their glucose levels drop too low, and stops the delivery of more insulin if they don’t respond to the alert. Having this safety feature may allow patients greater control over severe hypoglycemia.”

About the Diabetes Business at Medtronic

The Diabetes business at Medtronic (www.medtronicdiabetes.ca) is the world leader in advanced diabetes solutions, including integrated diabetes management systems, insulin pump technology, continuous glucose monitoring systems and management software, as well as world-class, 24/7 expert consumer and professional service and support.

About Medtronic
Medtronic, Inc., headquartered in Minneapolis, is the global leader in medical technology – alleviating pain, restoring health and extending life for millions of people around the world.  More information is available at: www.medtronic.com.

Any forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties such as those described in Medtronic’s periodic reports on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results may differ materially from anticipated results.

About Medtronic of Canada Ltd.                                                                                             

Medtronic of Canada sells, services and distributes Medtronic products in Canada: medical devices used in cardiovascular medicine, diabetes, spinal and neurosurgery, and ear, nose and throat surgery.  Medtronic of Canada employs over 420 Canadians, it is headquartered in Brampton, Ontario, has an Operations Centre in Mississauga and regional offices in Vancouver and Montreal and an atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation catheter manufacturing facility – Medtronic CryoCath – in the Montreal metropolitan area.

References

1. Diabetes UK: http://www.diabetes.org.uk/en/Guide-to-diabetes/Complications/Short_term_complications/Hypoglycaemia/ (Accessed 23rd April 2009)

2. Leese GP, Wang J et al. Frequency of severe hypoglycemia requiring emergency treatment in type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 26:1176-1180, 2003.

3. Pramming S, Thorsteinsson B et al. Nocturnal hypoglycemia in patients receiving conventional treatment with insulin. British Medical Journal 291(1985):376-379

4. Orchard TJ. International evaluation of cause-specific mortality and IDDM. Diabetes Care 14:55-60, 1991

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