More MS news articles for June 2001

Hall of Fame Jockey to Speak About New Medical Device at June 13 Capitol Hill Press Briefing

Thursday June 7  6:01pm
Source: PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, June 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Willie Shoemaker, National Horse Racing Hall of Fame jockey, will come to Capitol Hill on Wednesday, June 13 to discuss a new medical device designed by American and Russian nuclear weapons scientists.

Shoemaker, 69, winner of more races than anyone in racing history until just last year, rode over 8,800 winners with purses tallying well over $120,000,000 during a 41-year racing career (1949-1989). Two years after his retirement, an auto accident left him a quadriplegic.

Now, a new medical device designed by a California company -- with help from Russian and American weapons scientists -- offers hope to Shoemaker and millions of other Americans at risk for painful pressure ulcers caused by lack of mobility and poor circulation.

The Generic Total Contact Seat (GTCS(TM)), developed by Numotech, Inc. of Northridge, CA, incorporates high-tech weapons system technology in a low-cost device that fits into any standard wheelchair. The biomechanical action of the seat alternately compresses and releases buttocks tissues, thereby encouraging blood flow and preventing tissue death that leads to pressure ulcers.

Pressure ulcers are wounds that can extend all the way from the skin surface to bone. People paralyzed by spinal cord injuries or suffering from diseases that cause immobility or lack of sensation (e.g. diabetes or multiple sclerosis) are susceptible to these sores. More than 60,000 Americans die from pressure ulcer complications each year; medical care costs for these sores are estimated at $8 Billion annually.

Currently, the only device on the market to help treat and heal pressure ulcers is a specially designed bed that costs nearly $60,000.

Scientists at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM, drew on their expertise in battery technology, miniaturization, energy conservation, and other technologies used for weapons development, to help Numotech create a reliable, effective and economical device.

In clinical studies, the GTCS(TM) reduced the length of time needed to treat existing pressure ulcers by 25-33 percent, and also demonstrated a reduction in the likelihood of developing new sores. The patented GTCS(TM) already has FDA approval as a Class II medical device.

Turning to a unique U.S. Department of Energy program to engage former Soviet weapons scientists in technology for peaceful purposes, Numotech and Sandia are now partnering with scientists in the closed nuclear city of Snezhinsk, Russia, to optimize the seat design and start production.

SPEKTR Conversia, a private company with 50 employees who formerly worked at Chelyabinsk-70, a nuclear weapons development facility in Snezhinsk, will start to manufacture key components of the GTCS(TM) in early 2002.

The GTCS(TM) will be sold for approximately $500-750. Demand for the device is expected to result in global sales of $20-30 million in the first three years.

Today, Willie Shoemaker actively supports efforts to find treatments and a cure for spinal cord injuries. He is honorary chairman of the Paralysis Project of America, and created his own organization, The Shoemaker Foundation, to support paralysis research.

Press Briefing Details


Wednesday, June 13, 2001
8:30 a.m. (doors open to press at 8:15 am)
Individual interviews may be held from 9:15 - 10:00 a.m.


Russell Senate Caucus Room, Rm. 325
Constitution & Delaware Avenues NE, Washington, DC


Joining Willie Shoemaker will be:

Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM), principal founder of Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention, the U.S. Department of Energy program designed to engage former Soviet weapons scientists in civilian projects.

Joseph M. Alioto, prominent anti-trust trial attorney (most recently represented the San Francisco Raiders vs. the NFL) and founder of the Paralysis Project of America.

Robert M. Felton, Founder, CEO & President of Numotech, Inc., a medical device manufacturing and distribution company specializing in products for wound care treatment and prevention.

Joan B. Woodard, Executive VP and Deputy Director of Sandia National Laboratories, a multiprogram laboratory providing science and engineering for national security.

John A. Gordon, Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration, U.S. Department of Energy.

Victor Alessi, President & CEO, U.S. Industry Coalition, a non-profit association of American companies working with former Soviet weapons scientists on commercial projects with peaceful, humanitarian goals.

Source: United States Industry Coalition
Contact: Joan Furlong, 703-526-9447 ext. 305 or