REDWOOD CITY, Calif., April 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Cardica, Inc. (Nasdaq: CRDC) today announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued the company Patent No. 7,918,376 for its proprietary Microcutter™ technology. This patent relates to the articulation of a surgical stapler or endocutter. "The first patent covering our proprietary Microcutter technology to issue from a large portfolio of over 35 patent applications that have been filed in the U.S. and Europe protects our Microcutter technology related to articulation," said Bernard A. Hausen, M.D., Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Cardica. "Our Microcutter product line continues to move rapidly through development. With design validation of our initial commercial Microcutter device nearing completion, we expect first-in-man use in Europe in the first part of this quarter for the first device in this product line that we intend to commercialize, the Microcutter XPRESS™ 30." About Cardica's Microcutter Product Line Cardica's Microcutter surgical cutting and stapling product line is designed to provide true multi-fire endoscopic stapling in a variety of procedures, including colorectal, thoracic and general surgery. The Microcutter product line is designed to cut and staple continuously, allowing a surgeon to complete successive deployments without removing the device for a cartridge reload. The first device in the Microcutter product line that we intend to commercialize, the Microcutter XPRESS™ 30, is 8 mm in diameter, compared to commercialized stapling products that are at least 12 mm in diameter. The smaller diameter of the anticipated Microcutter line allows access through smaller, less-invasive ports and, importantly, through trocars used for the other surgical tools required for laparoscopic procedures. All of Cardica's anticipated Microcutter devices are designed to articulate to a greater degree than currently commercially available staplers. Additional planned iterations of the Microcutter product line include the Microcutter XCHANGE™ 30, with a shaft diameter of 5 mm, and the Microcutter FLEXCHANGE™ 30, with a flexible shaft, and are designed to enable port-access surgeries, including robot-assisted surgery, Natural Orifice Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery (NOTES) and Single-Incision Laparoscopic Surgery (SILS) interventions, all emerging surgical fields. All of Cardica's Microcutter products under development require regulatory clearance through the 510(k) or other process with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and are not yet commercially available in the U.S.