Biosense Webster Completes Enrollment in Pivotal Trial Evaluating PFA and RF Dual Energy Catheter for Patients with Atrial Fibrillation in Europe

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SmartfIRE study is evaluating THERMOCOOL SMARTTOUCH™ SF Dual Energy Catheter’s potential to enable safe and simple procedures with the ability to deliver both radiofrequency (RF) and pulsed field ablation (PFA)

Irvine, CA – July 19, 2023 – Biosense Webster, Inc., a global leader in cardiac arrhythmia treatment and part of Johnson & Johnson MedTech,i today announced that enrollment is complete in the SmartfIRE study designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of its investigational THERMOCOOL SMARTTOUCH™ SF Dual Energy Catheter and investigational TRUPULSE™ Generator for the treatment of drug refractory symptomatic paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AFib) during standard electrophysiology mapping and ablation procedures.1 The catheter and the generator are fully integrated with the CARTO™ 3 Advanced 3D Imaging System.

SmartfIRE is a pivotal, prospective, multi-center, single-arm study evaluating Biosense Webster’s dual energy pulsed field (PF) and radiofrequency (RF) ablation system. Since the study’s commencement in February 2023, the trial has enrolled 149 patients with paroxysmal AFib across nine centers in Europe. Patients will be assessed for 12 months for safety and efficacy.1

“Biosense Webster’s dual energy ablation system has the potential to enable electrophysiologists to eliminate the need to exchange catheters and allow them to seamlessly switch the energy source, whether RF or PF, based on patient needs,” said Gediminas Račkauskas, M.D., Ph.D., Cardiac Electrophysiologist, Vilnius University Hospital Santaros Clinics, Lithuania.ii “Together with the CARTO™ 3 Mapping System that enables real-time catheter visualization, this system has the potential to drive enhanced safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of ablation procedures, while allowing doctors to utilize a familiar workflow.”

The THERMOCOOL SMARTTOUCH™ SF radiofrequency catheter has been available in Europe since 2016. It is the most commonly used ablation catheter in the world for RF ablation, and many electrophysiologists have a high degree of familiarity and confidence in using this tool for highly precise cardiac ablation procedures.2 The THERMOCOOL SMARTTOUCH™ SF Dual Energy Catheter with Contact Force Sensing Capability is an investigational steerable, multi-electrode luminal, irrigated catheter for PF and RF ablation. The investigational TRUPULSE™ Generator provides both the RF energy and the novel uni-polar, bi-phasic pulse field (PF) energy to the catheter through the toggling of the two energy sources on the generator monitor.3 The THERMOCOOL SMARTTOUCH™ SF Catheter is to be used in this investigational study with the TRUPULSE™ Generator, to transmit the PF or RF energy to the catheter tip electrode for cardiac ablation. The catheter and the generator are integrated with the CARTO™ 3 System. The TRUPULSE™ Generator is an investigational device and is not available for sale in the US or in Europe.

“Given the strong trust and familiarity physicians have with the THERMOCOOL SMARTTOUCH™ SF catheter and also industry interest in the potential of PFA, we saw a high level of excitement for participation in the SmartfIRE clinical trial,” said Jasmina Brooks, President, Biosense Webster, Inc. “This study will contribute to a growing body of evidence being developed by Biosense Webster to support the use of PFA as an additional option for AFib treatment, complementing our best-in-class RF ablation catheter portfolio.” 

Catheter ablation is a minimally-invasive procedure performed by an electrophysiologist to treat heart rhythm disorders, including AFib, by interrupting irregular electrical pathways in the heart by delivering either heat (RF ablation) or cold (Cryoablation).4 PFA could represent a new approach to treating AFib, utilizing a controlled electric field to selectively ablate cardiac tissue that causes the irregular heart beat through a process called irreversible electroporation (IRE). Because the pulsed field energy is minimally thermal , IRE offers the potential to reduce the risk of damage to surrounding tissues including esophageal, pulmonary vein, and phrenic nerve injury.5

AFib is the most common type of cardiac arrhythmia and impacts nearly 37.5 million people worldwide,6 and 11 million people in Europe alone.7 Today, about 1 in 4 adults over the age of 40 are at risk for developing AFib.8 Despite these projections, many people are unfamiliar with AFib symptoms, available treatment options and the importance of early treatment to avoid disease progression.9

In March 2023, Biosense Webster announced the first patients treated in the SmartfIRE study. The THERMOCOOL SMARTTOUCH™ SF Dual Energy Catheter and the TRUPULSE™ Generator are under development and not available for sale in any region of the world. To learn more about the SmartfIRE study and our approach to PFA, visit here.

Media Contacts: 
Diane Pressman
[email protected]

Rebecca Ratcliffe
[email protected]

About Biosense Webster, Inc.
Biosense Webster, Inc. is the global market leader in the science and technology behind the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac arrhythmias. Part of Johnson & Johnson MedTech, the specialized medical-technology company is headquartered in Irvine, California, and works across the world to advance the tools and solutions that help electrophysiologists identify, treat, and deliver care. Learn more at and connect on LinkedIn and Twitter.

About Johnson & Johnson MedTechi
At Johnson & Johnson MedTech,i we unleash diverse healthcare expertise, purposeful technology, and a passion for people to transform the future of medical intervention and empower everyone to live their best life possible. For more than a century, we have driven breakthrough scientific innovation to address unmet needs and reimagine health. In surgery, orthopaedics, vision, and interventional solutions, we continue to help save lives and create a future where healthcare solutions are smarter, less invasive, and more personalized.

Cautions Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding completing patient enrollment of the SmartfIRE Clinical Trial. These statements are based on current expectations of future events. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or known or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from the expectations and projections of Biosense Webster, Inc., any of the other Johnson & Johnson MedTech Companies and/or Johnson & Johnson. Risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: uncertainty of regulatory approvals; uncertainty of commercial success; challenges to patents; competition, including technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; product efficacy or safety concerns resulting in product recalls or regulatory action; changes to applicable laws and regulations, including global health care reforms; changes in behavior and spending patterns of purchasers of health care products and services; and trends toward health care cost containment. A further list and descriptions of these risks, uncertainties and other factors can be found in Johnson & Johnson’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 1, 2023, including in the sections captioned “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” and “Item 1A. Risk Factors,” and in Johnson & Johnson’s subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Copies of these filings are available online at, or on request from Johnson & Johnson. None of Biosense Webster, Inc., the Johnson & Johnson MedTech Companies nor Johnson & Johnson undertakes to update any forward-looking statement as a result of new information or future events or developments.

  1. Johnson & Johnson MedTech comprises the surgery, orthopedics, vision and interventional solutions businesses within Johnson & Johnson’s MedTech segment.
  2. Vilnius University Hospital Santaros Clinics, Lithuania, entered into a clinical trial agreement with Johnson & Johnson Medical NV/SA for its participation in the SmartfIRE Study. Dr. Gediminas Račkauskas serves as a study investigator and was not compensated for his contributions to this announcement.
  1. Safety and Effectiveness Evaluation of the THERMOCOOL SMARTTOUCH™ SF Catheter with the TRUPULSE™ Generator for treatment of Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation (PAF) (SmartfIRE).
  2. Diagnostic and Interventional Cardiology. Patient Enrollment Completed in U.S. IDE Study of THERMOCOOL SMARTTOUCH SF Catheter.
  3. A Study for Treatment of Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation (PAF) by Pulsed Field Ablation (PFA) System With Irreversible Electroporation (IRE) (inspIRE). 
  4. Cleveland Clinic. Catheter Ablation. Accessed July 7, 2023
  5. Reddy VY, Neuzil P, Koruth JS, et al. Pulsed Field Ablation for Pulmonary Vein Isolation in Atrial Fibrillation. JACC 2019;74(3)315-326.
  6. Lippi G, Sanchis-Gomar F, Cervellin G. Global epidemiology of atrial fibrillation: An increasing epidemic and public health challenge. Int J Stroke. 2021 Feb;16(2):217-221. doi: 10.1177/1747493019897870. Epub 2020 Jan 19. Erratum in: Int J Stroke. 2020 Jan 28;:1747493020905964. PMID: 31955707.
  7. Global Burden of Disease Collaborative Network (2016) Global Burden of Disease Study 2016 (GBD 2016) Results. Seattle, United States: Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), 2017. 
  8. Staerk L, et al. Lifetime risk of atrial fibrillation according to optimal, borderline, or elevated levels of risk factors: cohort study based on longitudinal data from the Framingham Heart Study. BMJ. 2018 Apr 26;361:k1453.
  9. Kuck et al. Catheter ablation or medical therapy to delay progression of atrial fibrillation: the randomized controlled atrial fibrillation progression trial (ATTEST). Europace 2021;23(3)362-369. PMID: 33330909

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