Healthcare Industry News:  joint replacement 

Devices Orthopaedic

 News Release - April 4, 2006

Smith & Nephew Announces Launch of JOURNEY(TM) Bi-Cruciate Stabilized Knee System

MEMPHIS, Tenn., April 4 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Smith & Nephew Orthopaedic Reconstruction (London: SN) (NYSE: SNN ), today announced the launch of the JOURNEY(TM) Bi-Cruciate Stabilized Knee System, the first knee replacement system designed to restore natural knee motion.

The innovative JOURNEY anatomical knee system is designed to move and feel like a normal knee, and addresses problems still found in conventional systems such as instability and limited flexion. The JOURNEY System offers the additional durability of Smith & Nephew's proprietary alternate-bearing surface, OXINIUM(TM) oxidized zirconium.

The system is described as "bi-cruciate stabilized" because unlike conventional knee systems, this design provides functions for both the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). These ligaments provide stability and support for the knee, but are frequently removed during knee replacement surgery.

The surgical technique is similar to other knee procedures, and the JOURNEY system's newly designed instruments allow for both minimally invasive surgery (MIS) and computer assisted surgery (CAS).

To replicate normal knee function, Smith & Nephew conducted in-depth analyses of natural knee kinematics and the inherent limitations in knee replacement systems. The JOURNEY knee system offers more sizing options for better fit and minimal bone resections. Smaller sizing choices that are more amenable to female anatomy make the JOURNEY system the obvious choice to achieve the best fit for all patients. Surgeons believe the JOURNEY knee will offer patients a more natural feeling knee implant and greater satisfaction.

"Smith & Nephew has utilized new technologies to better understand normal knee kinetics and the relationship between these forces and the articular shapes of the knee," said Dr. Michael D. Ries, vice chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center. "The JOURNEY Knee System is well suited for high demand, or active patients."

"The JOURNEY knee system is a significant addition to Smith & Nephew's outstanding knee product line," said Scott Flora, president of Smith & Nephew Reconstructive Division. "The JOURNEY system is the only knee replacement on the market that offers patients more natural movement and function, and provides surgeons with an answer to the challenges of current total knee systems."

About OXINIUM(TM) Oxidized Zirconium

OXINIUM material is a unique and advanced bearing product technology created through a proprietary manufacturing process that transforms the surface to a ceramic, resulting in a material that incorporates the best features of ceramic and metal while avoiding the limitations associated with either material. OXINIUM material is a revolutionary technology used in the production of components of knee and hip implants that exhibits superior performance characteristics due to its hardness, low-friction and resistance to roughening and abrasion.

The concept of using oxidized zirconium as a joint replacement material was developed by the many individuals within Smith & Nephew Orthopaedic's Research, Development, and Manufacturing groups. OXINIUM technology has been modeled on the highly successful GENESIS II(TM) knee system, which itself has been utilized in excess of 500,000 surgeries worldwide. The first oxidized zirconium component was implanted in 1995. Since then, over 100,000 hip and knee components have been implanted with remarkable success.

About us

Smith & Nephew is a global medical technology business, specializing in Orthopaedic Reconstruction, Orthopaedic Trauma & Clinical Therapies, Endoscopy and Advanced Wound Management products. Smith & Nephew is a global leader in arthroscopy and advanced wound management and is one of the fastest growing global orthopaedics companies.

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

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In particular, statements regarding expected revenue growth and 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, claims 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.

Source: Smith & Nephew

Issuer of this News Release is solely responsible for its content.
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