Healthcare Industry News:  ventricular assist device 

Devices Cardiology Mergers & Acquisitions

 News Release - October 3, 2006

Thoratec's ITC Division Acquires A-VOX Systems

Transaction Enhances Company's Presence In Hospital Point-of-Care Sector

PLEASANTON, Calif., Oct. 3 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Thoratec Corporation (Nasdaq: THOR ), a world leader in products to treat cardiovascular disease, said today that its International Technidyne Corporation (ITC) division acquired A-VOX Systems, Inc., a leading manufacturer of point-of-care (POC) instruments and disposables to perform CO-Oximetry testing.

Under the terms of the purchase agreement, ITC has acquired all of the outstanding shares of Avox for approximately $9 million in cash. Privately held Avox is based in San Antonio, Texas, and has become a subsidiary of ITC. Thoratec said this transaction is not expected to have a material impact on its 2006 financial results, but that it expects the acquisition to be accretive to earnings beginning in 2007.

"This transaction is an important event for ITC as it broadens our offerings for hospital POC testing, particularly in the cardiac catheterization lab where Avox has an industry-leading presence," said Gary F. Burbach, president and chief executive officer of Thoratec. "This acquisition is indicative of both our commitment to the POC market and strategy to increase ITC's presence in it," he continued.

Avox manufactures two devices that utilize patented light-scattering technology to make direct measurements in whole blood. The AVOXimeter® 1000E is specifically designed for the cardiac catheterization lab, and is the leading stand-alone POC oximeter in U.S. hospitals today. The portable AVOXimeter 4000 provides a fast, accurate assessment of a patient's oxygenation at the bedside. The AVOXimeter 4000 is used in routine testing in combination with a blood gas analyzer to provide a more comprehensive and complete assessment of a patient's oxygenation status in the intensive care unit (ICU), operating room (OR) and other critical care situations. It is also used in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to confirm nitric oxide treatment side effects in newborns and in the emergency department to diagnose smoke inhalation.

"Acquiring the Avox product line strengthens the position ITC has built in the hospital POC sector through our HEMOCHRON® Signature offering. In addition, we will be able to utilize idms, our proprietary data management software, to offer our IRMA TRUpoint® blood gas analyzer, HEMOCHRON Signature and the AVOXimeter 4000 as a unique and cost effective modular system that provides a comprehensive and complete solution for our customers," noted Larry Cohen, president of ITC.

Cohen added that this transaction will leverage ITC's sales efforts among current customer call points, including the catheterization lab, OR, ICU and NICU.

Under the agreement, Avox's three founders will remain as consultants or employees during the transition period. ITC plans to continue manufacturing the Avox devices at the existing facility in San Antonio, with a consolidation of those activities into ITC's Edison, New Jersey manufacturing facility occurring during 2007.

"We are delighted to have ITC acquire Avox," said Dr. Pete Shepherd, founder and president of Avox. "We know that ITC's POC focus, combined with their product development and distribution strengths, will allow Avox products and technology to build on their established market leadership positions. I look forward to working with the ITC team to ensure a smooth transition," he added.

International Technidyne Corporation (ITC) is a world leader in the fields of hemostasis management and point-of-care testing with over 35 years of knowledge and experience. ITC develops, manufactures and markets products in five distinct categories: HEMOCHRON point-of-care coagulation instruments and reagents; IRMA TRUpoint Blood Analysis System for blood gas and electrolyte testing; skin incision products including tenderfoot®, Tenderlett® and Surgicutt®; Hgb Pro Professional Hemoglobin Testing System®; and the ProTime® Microcoagulation System for prothrombin time testing at home and for professional use.

ITC is a subsidiary of Thoratec Corporation, a world leader in therapies to address advanced stage heart failure. The company's product line includes the Thoratec® VAD (ventricular assist device) and HeartMate® LVAS (Left Ventricular Assist System) with more than 10,000 devices implanted in patients suffering from heart failure. Thoratec is headquartered in Pleasanton, California. For more information, visit the company's web sites at or .

Many of the preceding paragraphs, particularly but not exclusively those addressing the performance of the Avox devices and their potential contributions to ITC, contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21 E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These statements can be identified by the words, "expects," "intends," "projects," "hopes," "believes," "could" and other similar words. Actual results, events or performance could differ materially from these forward-looking statements based on a variety of factors, many of which are beyond Thoratec's and ITC's control. Therefore, readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on these statements. Investors are cautioned that all such statements involve risks and uncertainties, including risks related to the development of new markets, the growth of existing markets for our products, customer and physician acceptance of our products, regulatory approval processes, the effects of healthcare reimbursement and coverage policies, the effects of price competition from any Thoratec or ITC competitors and the effects of any merger and acquisition related activities. Forward-looking statements contained in this press release should be considered in light of these factors, and those factors discussed from time to time in Thoratec's public reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, such as those discussed under the heading, "Risk Factors," in Thoratec's most recent annual report on Form 10-K. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof. Thoratec undertakes no obligation to publicly release the results of any revisions to these forward-looking statements that may be made to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

Source: Thoratec

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