Boston Scientific & Aspect Medical Systems Form Strategic Alliance to Develop Brain Monitoring Technology for Diagnosing and Treating Depression & Alzheimer's Disease
and Newton, MA (May 23, 2005) -- Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE: BSX) and Aspect Medical Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: ASPM) today announced a strategic alliance in which Boston Scientific will provide Aspect $25 million to fund development of new brain monitoring technology designed to aid the diagnosis and treatment of depression, Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other neurological conditions. The significance of this research alliance is reinforced by findings being presented at this week's meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) indicating that Aspect's technology may be able to help clinicians improve patient response to antidepressant therapy and provide early identification of cognitive decline associated with AD. For the estimated 18.8 million Americans suffering from depression and four million from AD, this research may signal new hope to more quickly match depression sufferers with effective pharmaceutical or device-based therapies, and to help identify AD patients in the earliest stages of disease.
"A technology that could help clinicians identify neurological disease states, as well as the first, best medication or device-based therapies for treating psychiatric illnesses, could profoundly impact clinical practice," said Andrew Leuchter, M.D., professor of Psychiatry at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, and chair of Aspect's neuroscience advisory board. "The challenge is finding the best treatment to help each individual recover quickly. With depression alone, fewer than 50 percent of patients get well after their first course of antidepressant therapy, and many patients become discouraged and give up when repeated attempts at treatment prove ineffective or cause severe side effects. If Aspect's technology could help determine at an early time if an antidepressant therapy is likely to speed recovery, it could help make depression easier to manage, improve treatment adherence, and dramatically improve the quality of life for millions of patients. Furthermore, for those patients who do not respond to medication, Aspect