Healthcare Industry News:  bioabsorbable 

Devices Orthopaedic

 News Release - October 1, 2008

New Surgical Interference Screw Provides Secure, Versatile, Bioabsorbable Fixation in ACL Repair

ANDOVER, Mass., Oct. 1 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Smith & Nephew's (NYSE: SNN ; LSE: SN ) Endoscopy Division today announced the launch of its bioabsorbable BIOSURE(TM) HA Interference Screw line for use in Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) and Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) reconstruction in the knee joint.

The BIOSURE HA Interference Screw and driver system incorporates many of the most popular features of Smith & Nephew's existing interference screws. It is tapered for easy insertion and threaded to provide exceptional fixation.

Surgeons who frequently reconstruct torn cruciate ligaments listen for a distinctive turning sound when inserting interference screws. "This sound tells them the screw has adequate purchase to hold the graft in place," said Dr. Walter Lowe, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist with Baylor College of Medicine. "The BIOSURE HA screw inserts securely, and delivers the sound and feel that leave me confident that the graft will adhere properly.

"Surgeons may elect to use the BIOSURE HA Interference Screw in any number of ways during reconstruction. For example, the screw can be used to secure the tibial (shin) or femoral (thigh) end of an ACL graft. "The smallest size is ideal for use in the small bone tunnels used in anatomic ACL or PCL repair, and the larger sizes are often needed if the reconstruction needs to be revised, because of re-injury," Dr. Lowe said.

Developers designed the BIOSURE HA screw from PLA-HA, a bioabsorbable combination of poly-L-lactic acid (PLA) combined with Hydroxyapatite (HA), a chemical that is found naturally in human bone. This material remains intact until the graft has adhered to the bone, and then interacts with fluids in the body until it gradually resorbs.

"By carefully listening to our customers, we were able to leverage the technology and design features that have provided positive patient outcomes and design a comprehensive line of devices that enable surgeons to help get their patients moving again," said Peter Weissman, director of Knee Repair for Smith & Nephew Endoscopy's Sports Medicine SBU.

About Us

Smith & Nephew is a global medical technology business, specialising in Orthopaedic Reconstruction, Orthopaedic Trauma and 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 leading 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 operates in 32 countries around the world. Annual sales in 2007 were nearly $3.4 billion.

Forward-Looking Statements

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.

Source: Smith & Nephew

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