Compiled by Leslie Berkman, Times Staff Writer

Trimedyne Inc. of Santa Ana said it has received a research grant, valued at approximately $600,000, from the government of Canada to develop a new laser catheter for the treatment of heart disease.

The device is being developed to replace heart bypass surgery by opening up clogged coronary arteries. A laser-balloon catheter will be threaded through a leg artery to the diseased heart.

Richard A. Demmer, Trimedyne's executive vice president, said the grant envisions a 4-year program--two years to develop the product and two years to test it and win approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and its Canadian equivalent.

As a condition of the grant, Demmer said, Trimedyne has agreed that all work on the project will be done in Canada by Canadian engineers and scientists. He said Trimedyne will establish a sister company in Canada called Trymedine Canada to do the work. "We are very excited about the technology and the opportunity to work with the government of Canada," Demmer said.

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