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REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Jan. 07, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cardica, Inc. (Nasdaq:CRDC) today announced that the company has amended its license agreement, initially signed in August 2010, with Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (Nasdaq:ISRG) to include an agreement providing for the evaluation and potential development of a surgical stapling cartridge for use with Intuitive Surgical's da Vinci Surgical Systems. Under the terms of the amendment, Intuitive Surgical has paid Cardica $2 million to extend its rights to improvements in Cardica's stapling technology and certain patents until August 2018 and to provide for a feasibility evaluation period of up to six months. The feasibility evaluation allows Intuitive Surgical to test and evaluate Cardica's MicroCutter XCHANGE technology. Upon completion of the evaluation, Intuitive Surgical will have the option to initiate a joint development program, for an 8 millimeters in diameter surgical stapling cartridge for use with the da Vinci Surgical System. Cardica may receive further funding for development of the cartridge and tooling as well as a unit-based royalty on commercial sales. "We believe the relationship with Intuitive Surgical highlights two innovative technologies coming together to facilitate less invasive surgical procedures, for the ultimate benefit of surgeons and their patients," said Julian Nikolchev, president and CEO of Cardica. "Importantly, with our new management team in place, this amendment to our agreement with Intuitive Surgical aligns with our plans to extend the MicroCutter product line while maintaining internal focus on completing the development of the MicroCutter XCHANGE ® 30." About CardicaCardica designs and manufactures proprietary stapling and anastomotic devices for cardiac and laparoscopic surgical procedures. Cardica's technology portfolio is intended to reduce operating time and facilitate minimally-invasive and robot-assisted surgeries. Cardica's MicroCutter XCHANGE ® 30, includes a cartridge-based articulating surgical stapling device with a five-millimeter shaft diameter and staples, is manufactured and cleared for use in the United States for multiple open or minimally invasive surgical procedures for the transection, resection, and/or creation of anastomoses in small and large intestine as well as the transection of the appendix. In Europe the device has applications in multiple general, gynecologic, urologic, thoracic and pediatric surgical procedures. In addition, Cardica manufactures and markets its automated anastomosis systems, the C-Port ® Distal Anastomosis Systems and PAS-Port ® Proximal Anastomosis System for coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, and has shipped over 56,500 units throughout the world. Forward-Looking StatementsThe statements in this press release regarding Cardica's beliefs as to the benefits of Cardica's surgical stapling technology for use with Intuitive Surgical's da Vinci robotic surgical system, as well as the benefits expected to be obtained from the use of the MicroCutter XCHANGE® 30, are "forward-looking statements." There are a number of important factors that could cause results to differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements, including: that the testing to be performed by Cardica at Intuitive's request may not be successful in the six-month feasibility period and development of the 8mm device may not proceed forward; that Cardica may not be successful in its efforts to make the improvements necessary to its enhanced MicroCutter device due to unanticipated technical or other difficulties; risks inherent in obtaining regulatory approvals; as well as other risks detailed from time to time in Cardica's reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2015, under the caption "Risk Factors," filed on November 12, 2015. Cardica expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein. You are encouraged to read Cardica's reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, available at www.sec.gov.