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Possis Medical is profitable with a
strong balance sheet and now approaching 300,000 AngioJet patient treatments - poised for
Medical Equipment & Supplies
Minneapolis, MN 55433
Jules L. Fisher
Vice President, Finance and CFO
Interview conducted by:
Walter Banks, Publisher
July 14, 2005
Jules L. Fisher
Vice President, Finance and CFO
Jules L. Fisher comes to Possis Medical with over 25 years of experience in financial
management with medical device, pharmaceutical and consumer products businesses. He has
been Chief Financial Officer for Minntech Corporation and has held senior financial
positions with companies such as American Medical Systems, MedicalCV, U.S. Surgical
Corporation, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and Johnson & Johnson. He received a
Bachelors Degree in Accounting from Valparaiso University and an MBA in Finance from
Loyola University Chicago. Fisher is also a Certified Management Accountant (CMA).
Possis Medical, Inc. (POSS: NASDAQ) develops, manufactures and markets pioneering medical
devices for the large and growing cardiovascular and vascular treatment markets. Its
primary product, the AngioJet® Rheolytic Thrombectomy System, removes
intravascular thrombus (blood clots) that can cause serious, often life threatening events
such as heart attacks. The AngioJet® Thrombectomy system is the most advanced
catheter-based thrombectomy system available today. The intricately designed components of
the system are designed to offer safety, power, performance and versatility. The AngioJet
System offers many advantages over alternative treatments, including safety monitoring and
balanced, isovolumetric flow. The company has a portfolio of three FDA approvals and
clearances for the AngioJet System: for native coronary arteries and bypass grafts,
peripheral arteries in the legs, and kidney dialysis access grafts.
Coronary artery disease remains the number one killer in the United States, and blood
clots in the diseased vessel makes successful treatment even more difficult. The AngioJet
System has been proven safe and effective in removing such blood clots from coronary
arteries and bypass grafts, including heart attack victims receiving emergency treatment.
In addition, the AngioJet System is cost-effective for the hospital, lowering
overall patient treatment costs. Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) can lead to
catastrophic thrombosis of the limbs, leading to surgery or amputation. The AngioJet
System has been shown to provide rapid, safe and effective removal of thrombus from the
arteries of the legs. The AngioJet is also FDA-cleared for removing thrombus from dialysis
access grafts, which clot over because of the demands of repeated access for routine
CEOCFO: Mr. Fisher, please tell us how long youve been
with Possis and what attracted you?
Mr. Fisher: I joined Possis in mid-May. What intrigued
me about Possis is the growth prospects for the company and its position as the leader in
mechanical thrombectomy. Mechanical thrombectomy is a procedure to remove blood clots from
coronary arteries, leg arteries, coronary bypass grafts and AV dialysis access
CEOCFO: It has been two
years since weve spoken with an officer from Possis; could you tell us if the
AngioJet is still your flagship product and about your new product releases?
Mr. Fisher: The AngioJet represents essentially all our
sales at this time. We have a number of exciting new products in the pipeline and
several are nearing market release. We expect to move to a full market release of the
XMI-RX Plus and DVX catheters in July. In addition, we have the XVG-RX catheter, the
GuardDOG® occlusion system, which works with the AngioJet System, plus a next generation
AngioJet Ultra console combined with new integrated catheter, and pump sets planned for
fiscal 2006 launch.
CEOCFO: Are there any
new clinical studies planned?
Mr. Fisher: We have a number of key product trials
planned the most significant of which is in the late planning stages and involves a
multi-center, prospective, randomized European study in heart attack patients with visible
thrombus (blood clots). The lead investigators will be Dr. David Antoniucci of Florence,
Italy, and Dr. Antonio Columbo of Milan, Italy. This study will focus on patients with
visible thrombus, which is a key difference from the AiMI study. We are also working with
key U.S. interventional cardiologists to define additional studies to look at AngioJet
thrombectomy in coronary vessels including saphenous vein grafts. We continue our efforts
to capture and present real world registry experience for AngioJet use in coronary
patients. Registries give us longer-term patient follow-up data. In the peripheral area,
we continue to work with key clinical researchers to define future studies of AngioJet
treating deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). As you can see, we are
investing heavily in clinical studies and we are very excited about the future.
CEOCFO: Can you give us
a picture of the financial situation of the company, revenue growth over the past few
years and if you currently have everything in place to continue to grow your business?
Mr. Fisher: We have been profitable for seventeen
consecutive quarters now. Our revenue is down roughly 7 percent from last year through 9
months of this fiscal year due to a decline in our coronary business. We have provided
revenue guidance for next fiscal year, which puts us back in a growth mode up 7 to
14 percent over the current year. Our balance sheet is straightforward and strong - and we
have over $42 million in cash and no debt.
CEOCFO: I also noticed
that the peripheral side of your business has been growing, how do you account for that?
Mr. Fisher: Our peripheral business is showing
significant growth up 30 percent this year, but unfortunately, the peripheral
growth is masked by the decline in our coronary business. Physicians are treating
peripheral vascular disease more aggressively and the AngioJet is an important tool in
CEOCFO: About a year
ago, you had some complications due to the results of the AiMI study; has the coronary
business stabilized and is it beginning to show signs of growth again?
Mr. Fisher: There is no question that the AiMI results
were negative and very disappointing. As I described earlier in this interview, we
are being aggressive in taking steps to get Possis back in a growth mode primarily
through new product introductions starting this month and extending over the next 15
months; combined with new clinical studies.
CEOCFO: In closing, what
would you like potential investors to remember about Possis?
Mr. Fisher: The AngioJet System is a proven proprietary
technology. We are now approaching 300,000 AngioJet patient treatments! Our business model
is proven we are solidly profitable, and our balance sheet is strong. We are poised
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