Blog Tag: Cook Medical
On November 9, 2018, Cook Medical LLC filed a petition with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board requesting inter partes review (IPR) of U.S. Patent No. 6,306,141, assigned to Medtronic Vascular, Inc. The ‘141 Patent is entitled “Medical Devices Incorporating SIM Alloy Elements.” The ‘141 Patent states that it relates to “a medical device containing a shape memory alloy element.”
The ‘141 patent discloses using stress and temperatures below body temperature to restrain a metal alloy. The alloy expands to its original shape after being released from its restraint and exposed to body temperature. In one example, the ‘141 Patent describes that the disclosed device enables doctors to treat damaged or diseased heart valves with a less invasive transcatheter heart valve procedure. Figures 3 and 4 of the ‘141 Patent, shown below, illustrate a “side elevation view of a partial section of a catheter” in stressed (Figure 3) and unstressed (Figure 4) configurations.
The petition seeks to review all claims of the ‘141 Patent. Cook Medical’s petition submits two grounds on which the claims of the ‘141 Patent should be found invalid due to obviousness. The status of the proceeding can be examined by searching for the patent on the Patent Trial and Appeal Board website.
This is not the first time that the ‘141 patent has been subject to a petition for inter partes review. On January 17, 2014, Edwards Lifesciences Corporation filed a petition with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board requesting inter partes review of the patent for review of all claims of the ‘141 Patent. According to a Medtronic press release, on May 20, 2014, Medtronic and Edwards reached a “global settlement agreement” to “dismiss all of the pending litigation matters and patent office actions between them.”
In May 2013, Lombard Medical filed a petition for inter partes review of Claims 1-10 and 18-22 of the ‘141 Patent. Lombard Medical’s products, according to its website, include the AORFIX™ endovascular stent graft. According to a Lombard press release, on October 17, 2013, Lombard was granted a non-exclusive license by Medtronic to the ‘141 Patent, and Lombard formally requested a withdrawal of its inter partes review petition with the USPTO.
The ‘141 Patent has also been previously litigated. The ’141 Patent, among others, was previously asserted by Medtronic against W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc. in 2006; Gore’s EXCLUDER® AAA, TAG, and VIABAHN SFA® endoprosthesis devices were at issue. The parties entered into a confidential settlement in 2009.
Medtronic also previously asserted the ’141 Patent, among others, against AGA Medical in 2007. AGA’s AMPLATZER® Septal Occluder, Duct Occluder, and Vascular Plug devices were at issue. The parties entered into a settlement in 2010 in which AGA received a non-exclusive license to patents including the ’141 Patent in exchange for $35 million. AGA Medical was subsequently purchased by St. Jude Medical in October 2010 for $1 billion.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently authorized the use of what it described as a “first-of-its-kind” medical device to treat infants for a birth defect called esophageal atresia, in which the upper esophagus is disconnected from the lower esophagus and the stomach. According to the FDA, babies with this condition require a feeding tube until surgery can be performed to connect the esophagus to the stomach.
According to Cook Medical, its pediatric esophageal atresia anastomosis device, called Flourish™, uses magnets to pull the upper and lower esophagus together, closing the gap and allowing food to enter the stomach. Dr. Mario Zaritzky, a pediatric radiologist at the University of Chicago Medical Center and one of the joint inventors listed on the patent on this technology (U.S. Patent No. 9,168,041), states:
“The idea was to create a minimally invasive procedure that could possibly be an alternative to surgery in selective pediatric cases. Any procedure that can potentially replace major thoracic surgery with a less invasive method should be considered before deciding to go to the operating room.”
Cook Medical’s press release notes that each of the 16 infant patients treated using this device had a successful joining of their esophagus with no remaining gap, within 3‑10 days after receiving the device.
According to the Cook Group, Cook Medical is a company that engages in “medical research and product development in minimally invasive medical device technology for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.”
FDA’s MedWatch recently posted a voluntary recall issued by Cook Medical recalling 4.1 million catheters using Cook’s Beacon Tip technology. The recall was initiated after 30 Medical Device Reports were received by the FDA. A full list of affected catheters is provided here. Previously, a recall for the Beacon Tip was issued in July 2015, which was subsequently expanded in October 2015.
Cook Medical’s Beacon Tip is a sizing catheter with a radiopaque tip that provides visibility within the vascular system. The FDA’s recall notice states that the affected catheters suffered from polymer degradation of the catheter tip, which resulted in tip fracture or separation, in at least some cases.
The FDA recall explains that, the degradation could result in:
loss of device function, separation of a device segment leading to medical intervention, or complications resulting from a separated segment. Such complications include device fragments in the vascular system, genitourinary system, or other soft tissues. Fragments within the vascular system could result in embolization to the heart or lungs, or occluding blood flow to end organs.
According to Cook Medical, storage temperature, room humidity and the use of certain whole room decontamination products may contribute to the problem.
In a previous report, Cook found that complaints regarding the degrading tips were isolated to hospitals using new sterilization techniques. The sterilization techniques involved vaporized hydrogen peroxide that was used to clean operating rooms of patients infected with resistant bacteria, such as MRSA. According to the hospital, the affected catheters were left out in the operating room during the sterilization process. However, Cook states that there may be other undetermined contributors to the problem and will continue to investigate.