THE HAGUE, Netherlands and ST. LOUIS, Feb. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The first patient in Germany has received treatment with EndoStim's LES Stimulation Therapy for acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The procedure was successfully performed by Dr. Henning G. Schulz, Chief of Surgery at Evangelisches Krankenhaus Castrop-Rauxel. This also marks the first commercial use of the EndoStim system in Europe.
EndoStim therapy is a minimally-invasive treatment for GERD, designed to use low energy electrical pulses to strengthen a weak or dysfunctional lower esophageal sphincter (LES) muscle – often the underlying cause of GERD.
Dr. Schulz says, "EndoStim therapy is an excellent complement to existing surgical anti-reflux techniques. The superior characteristic of this treatment is its support and restoration of the natural anti-reflux barrier created by the lower sphincter muscle without destroying its anatomical suspension in the area of the surrounding diaphragm."
What are the advantages to GERD patients? "The less surgical dissection interferes with normal human physiology, the fewer side effects are to be expected," Schulz explains. "The existing scientific data on EndoStim therapy indicates a very high efficacy with a very low potential for side effects compared with other anti-reflux procedures."
"EndoStim is pleased to work with experts in anti-reflux surgery to bring the new treatment to patients with severe gastroesophageal reflux disease in Germany. The state-of-the-art hospitals and experience of surgeons like Dr. Schulz make Germany an important market for EndoStim," stated Bevil Hogg, CEO of EndoStim.
EndoStim is now available to patients throughout Germany under an innovative-technology reimbursement program known as the "NUB" in select hospitals. Patients interested in EndoStim should visit www.endostim.com/treatment-centers for a list of sites offering the therapy.
The EndoStim system is CE Mark approved but is not cleared by FDA for sale in the United States.
About Reflux Disease
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a chronic disease that affects hundreds of millions of patients worldwide, and often requires lifelong treatment with acid blocker medications. Symptoms generally occur when the weakness or dysfunction in the lower esophageal sphincter muscle allows stomach contents to flow backward into the esophagus causing esophageal inflammation and damage. Acid reflux causes heartburn, regurgitation and can lead to Barrett esophagus and esophageal cancer. Millions of patients continue to suffer from bothersome GERD symptoms despite maximal medical therapy.
EndoStim is a venture-backed medical device company based in St. Louis, Missouri, and the Hague, the Netherlands, focused on developing innovative active implantable devices. Key investors include Sante Ventures (Austin, TX), Prolog Ventures (St. Louis, MO), Fred Goad (Brentwood, TN), 1998 Co-Investing LLC (St. Louis, MO), Vectis Healthcare & Life Sciences Fund II (St. Louis, MO) and Missouri Technology Corporation/IDEA Funds (Jefferson City, MO), along with many other individual investors. For more information and news about EndoStim, please visit www.endostim.com.
 Rodriguez L, et al. Surg Endosc DOI:10.1007/s00464-012-2561-4