REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Dec. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Cardica, Inc. (Nasdaq: CRDC) today announced that it shipped its first commercial MicroCutter XCHANGE™ 30 devices and cartridges to DACH Medical Group, its distributor for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The MicroCutter XCHANGE 30 is the smallest commercially-available, cartridge-based cutting/stapling device designed to be used during laparoscopic and thoracoscopic surgical procedures. The initial shipment of the XCHANGE 30 is intended to serve hospitals in Switzerland and Austria. Approximately 60 surgeons have used the XCHANGE 30 in over 220 laparoscopic and thoracoscopic procedures with more than 600 deployments over the last eight months. The MicroCutter XCHANGE 30 has been used in a wide variety of surgical procedures including appendectomies, gastric bypasses, hemicolectomies, gastrectomies, parenchymal or soft organ surgeries (operations on the liver and kidney), lobectomies, and other thoracic and lung surgeries. Recently, it has been used in hysterectomies as well. Based on the performance of the MicroCutter XCHANGE 30 to date, Cardica believes the XCHANGE 30 is ready to be sold commercially. Cardica is initiating European commercial sales in a well-controlled, focused sales effort in parallel with data collection for a planned US regulatory submission. Cardica will continue to make enhancements and improvements to the MicroCutter XCHANGE 30 based on feedback from surgeons. "Moving from development to commercialization of the XCHANGE 30 marks a significant accomplishment for Cardica, and the beginning of a new phase of growth. We continue to focus on ensuring each surgeon has positive and successful experiences with our device," said Bernard A. Hausen, M.D. Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Cardica, Inc. "We believe the XCHANGE 30 provides a technology advancement over larger stapler sizes which have hindered further innovation in surgical procedures." European Clinical Trial Update In addition to beginning commercial efforts, Cardica will use the commercial version of the XCHANGE 30 in the remaining patients enrolled in its European clinical trial designed to support regulatory clearance of the XCHANGE 30 in the United States. To date 90 patients have been enrolled. The company expects enrollment to resume in January. Cardica has added two new sites for its clinical trial in order to complete enrollment of 160 patients in the first calendar quarter of 2013, as expected. About the MicroCutter XCHANGE 30: The World's First and Only Five Millimeter Stapler The MicroCutter XCHANGE 30 is a minimally-invasive stapling device designed to be used in laparoscopic and thoracoscopic surgical procedures. Its small, five-millimeter shaft diameter and range of motion up to 80 degrees of articulation differentiate the XCHANGE 30 from other commercially-available staplers. The device uses reloadable cartridges with a 30-millimeter staple line length. The cartridge comes with either blue staples, for medium tissue thicknesses, or white staples, for thin tissues such as vascular structures.