AorTech International plc AGM Statement

LONDON, Aug. 7, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- At the Annual General Meeting of AorTech International plc, the Scottish-based developer and manufacturer of cardio-vascular devices and biomaterials, held today, the Chairman Eddie McDaid made the following comments:

"The year has seen continued progress with all our technologies but overall it has been disappointing from a number of aspects. As previously announced, we have experienced delays in the marketing and selling of TruCCOMS(r) and the clinical trials of our new synthetic tri-leaflet heart valve.

We have recently appointed a new Chief Executive, Bill Strachan, who has extensive experience in the commercialising of new products and he has already made some significant changes to the business. We have closed our US marketing network, reduced the company's head count, announced the consolidation of our Australian operations and we have also taken the opportunity of his appointment to streamline the Board and the overall corporate structure. We are now much leaner and fitter with a significantly reduced cost base.

"We expect the future to be quite challenging but we are confident that we now have a management structure in place which will enable us to deliver improved operating efficiencies and the successful exploitation of our technologies.

"The underlying heart valve business continues to grow and it is our intention to build upon what is a solid base. TruCOMMS(r) has been successfully launched in Europe. It has been adopted by 37 centres with a further 55 currently evaluating the technology. It is our intention to focus on Europe in the immediate future and to re-enter the US market at the appropriate time.

"As previously reported we are in the process of assessing the performance issues relating to some of our synthetic heart valves which were in the regulatory testing phase and hope to report further on these results in the near future.

"We continue to make progress with Elast-Eon, particulary in the area of stents and ventricular assist devices.

"Discussions are continuing with Becton Dickinson with regard to acquiring their Critical Care Division.

"Overall we remain confident regarding the future prospects of AorTech. We have streamlined the business, significantly reduced costs and appointed a Chief Executive whom the Board believes can commercialise the innovative technologies that we have developed whilst growing the underlying business."


AorTech International plc Tel: 01698 746699

Eddie McDaid, Chairman

College Hill Tel: 020 7457 2020

Michael Padley

Clare Warren