Healthcare Industry News:  bone graft 

Devices Orthopaedic Surgery

 News Release - March 22, 2006

Smith & Nephew Endoscopy's New CALAXO(TM) Screw Formulated to Stimulate Bone Growth After ACL Reconstruction in the Knee

New bone forms in place of resorbable device in about 52 weeks

ANDOVER, Mass., March 22 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Smith & Nephew's (NYSE: SNN ; LSE: SN ) Endoscopy division today announced the launch of its CALAXO Osteoconductive Interference Screw, which promotes bone regrowth after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. The announcement came on the first day of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons' Annual Meeting in Chicago.

The CALAXO screw is used to secure a graft in ACL reconstruction. Over the course of the next 12 months, the screw is resorbed by the body, and compounds within the screw stimulate the natural process of bone formation in its place. The new bone fills the tunnel where a surgeon placed the graft, and promotes the ossification of the graft.

"Stabilizing the knee joint after an ACL injury is critical for patients who want to return to their active lives," said Joseph Darling, Smith & Nephew Endoscopy's Vice President of Marketing. "Our CALAXO Osteoconductive Interference Screw is formulated with chemicals that stimulate the bone surface within the tunnel and trigger the development of new bone, which over time replaces the implant. It's preferable to restore the bone tissue that has been removed to make way for the graft. CALAXO makes this possible."

The ACL, which runs from the tibia, or shin bone, through the knee joint and to the femur or thigh bone, helps stabilize the knee and control front-to- back movement. ACL tears are most frequent among athletes who participate in sports such as soccer or skiing that require them to jump or change direction quickly and frequently.

Surgeons have several options when reconstructing the ligament, but most involve using ligament harvested from another part of the patient's body as a graft. This graft rests within the knee joint, anchored in tunnels that have been drilled in the thigh and shin bones. An interference screw would typically be used at the tibial end of the graft.

Some surgeons use metal interference screws, which deliver strength but remain in place permanently, unless a surgeon removes them to revise the graft. The CALAXO Osteoconductive Interference Screw is molded from PLC, a blend of bioabsorbable polymer and calcium carbonate, which is currently used as a bone graft substitute. After the CALAXO screw is implanted in the joint, the PLC gradually resorbs and the calcium carbonate promotes the growth of cancellous, or porous, bone within the bone tunnel.

Studies conducted by Smith & Nephew Endoscopy resulted in the start of bone growth around the screw as early as six weeks after surgery. In these studies at 52 weeks, the screw has been resorbed and bone material has grown into the tunnel.

"The CALAXO screw is innovative both in its material and its design," said Dr. David J. Chao of the OASIS Sports Medical Group in San Diego, Calif., who has used the device for six months. "Increasing levels of calcium within a bone tunnel is known to stimulate bone formation and enhance the rate of healing, offering a significant advantage to patients. The screw is designed for easy insertion and will deliver a secure repair for either bone-tendon- bone or soft tissue grafts."

About Smith & Nephew:

Smith & Nephew (NYSE: SNN, LSE: SN) (http://www.smith-nephew.com) is a global medical technology business, specializing in Endoscopy, Orthopaedic Reconstruction, Orthopaedic Trauma and Advanced Wound Management products. Smith & Nephew ranks as the global leader in arthroscopy and one of the world's leaders in advanced wound management and is one of the fastest growing orthopaedics companies in the world.

Smith & Nephew is dedicated to helping improve people's lives. The company prides itself on the strength of its relationships with its surgeon and professional healthcare customers, with whom its name is synonymous with the highest standards of performance, innovation and trust. The company has more than 8,500 employees and operates in 33 countries around the world and generated sales of nearly $2.6 billion.

This press release contains certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In particular, statements regarding planned growth in our business and in our operating margins discussed under "Outlook" are forward-looking statements as are discussions of our product pipeline. These statements, as well as the phrases "aim", "plan", "intend", "anticipate", "well-placed", "believe", "estimate", "expect", "target", "consider" and similar expressions, are generally intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such forward- looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors (including, but not limited to, the outcome of litigation and regulatory approvals) that could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Smith & Nephew, or industry results, to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Please refer to the documents that Smith & Nephew has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission under the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including Smith & Nephew's most recent annual report on Form 20F, for a discussion of certain of these factors.

All forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to Smith & Nephew as of the date hereof. All written or oral forward-looking statements attributable to Smith & Nephew or any person acting on behalf of Smith & Nephew are expressly qualified in their entirety by the foregoing. Smith & Nephew does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement contained herein to reflect any change in Smith & Nephew's expectation with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

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Source: Smith & Nephew

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