AorTech International: New License and Supply Agreement Concluded for Elast-Eon

LANARKSHIRE, Scotland, Jan. 30, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- AorTech International plc (LSE:AOR), the Scottish-based developer and manufacturer of cardiovascular devices, announces that its Biomaterials Division has signed a Research and Development and Option Agreement for the licensing and supply of its Elast-Eon(TM) materials with the Sunshine Heart Company Pty Ltd., an early stage device company, based in Sydney, Australia.

Sunshine Heart will use Elast-Eon(TM) to develop components for use in its innovative device for assisting patients with congestive heart failure. This agreement follows one signed with Jomed A.G. for use of Elast-Eon(TM) with stents and demonstrates the versatility of the range of Elast-Eon(TM) materials.

The Agreement provides for the payment of development and option fees and will lead to milestone payments and royalties from worldwide sales, as the project is commercialized.

The range of Elast-Eon(TM) materials, that were developed in Australia, have widespread uses in medical technology as a result of their combination of desirable characteristics. The new polymers are bio-compatible, non-thrombotic, durable and flexible, offering the possibility of being used in a wide range of medical implantable devices. The materials are also being used in AorTech's Tri-Leaflet valve, presently in the regulatory stage of testing.

Eddie McDaid, AorTech's Managing Director stated: "The entry of Elast-Eon(TM) materials into the market for congestive heart failure therapy creates new opportunities for AorTech's technology in a market estimated to be worth several billion dollars a year. This is a further step towards Elast-Eon(TM) being accepted as the material of choice for implants and we remain confident that further agreements will be signed in the not too distant future."

Dr William Peters, CEO of Sunshine Heart Company commented: "Elast-Eon(TM) represents the future of implantable biomaterials offering superior biostability and durability. This family of polymers will be ideal for the production of the Sunshine Heart device and we are delighted to have agreement in place with AorTech. The Sunshine Heart device is well placed to capture the emerging 'bridge to recovery' market for the treatment of congestive heart failure. The properties of the Elast-Eon(TM) polymers and AorTech's processing capability will significantly simplify the manufacture of the devices and provide them with improved performance."


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