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Abbott Aquires Spine Next


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Abbott Aquires Spine Next

  1. 1. Abbott Acquires Spine Next, S.A., a Manufacturer of Non-Fusion Spinal Implant Devices Abbott Laboratories ABBOTT PARK, Ill., Oct. 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Abbott (NYSE: ABT) today announced it has acquired Spine Next, S.A., of Bordeaux, France. Spine Next is a privately owned manufacturer of orthopedic spinal implant devices including a dynamic stabilization device that treats early degenerative disc disease without fusion of the vertebrae, helping patients preserve motion. "This acquisition enhances our spinal product line with an exciting non- fusion technology and expands the established global distribution network for our existing spinal products business," said Jeffrey Binder, president of Spinal Concepts, a division of Abbott Laboratories. "We are pleased to welcome the experienced Spine Next team and look forward to working with them to deliver exceptional next generation solutions to surgeons and their patients around the world." Richard A. Gonzalez, president and chief operating officer, Medical Products Group at Abbott said, "This move is consistent with our overall strategy of focusing on high-growth, financially-attractive technology-driven areas where significant unmet medical need exists." Under terms of the agreement, Abbott acquired all of the equity of Spine Next for approximately $60 million in cash plus additional milestone payments upon achievement of future targets. One-time charges are expected in the fourth quarter of 2004, primarily for in-process research and development, as included in Abbott's guidance for one-time charges in its news release on third quarter earnings, issued October 14, 2004. This transaction will not have an impact on Abbott's on-going 2004 earnings- per-share. Among Spine Next's products is the Wallis system, a novel spinal implant for treating the root cause of degenerative disc disease without fusing the spine. Dynamic stabilization devices treat degenerative disc disease by providing additional support to the spine without fusion of the vertebrae. They have the potential to be less invasive than artificial discs, and provide surgeons an option for treating degenerative disc disease earlier in its progression. The Wallis system is approved for sale throughout Europe and other parts of the world. In early 2005, Abbott expects to begin a clinical trial to collect data to support U.S. regulatory approval of the Wallis system. "We're delighted to become part of Abbott," said Erick Cloix, president, Spine Next. "This move will allow us to take advantage of Abbott's sophisticated research and development capabilities, which in turn will help us to grow the business more quickly and bring innovative solutions to patients everywhere even faster." In June 2003, Abbott acquired Spinal Concepts, a manufacturer of spinal fixation products used during spinal fusion surgery. Industry reports show that approximately 400,000 back surgeries took place last year in the U.S. alone, and more than 60 percent of those surgeries involved fixation systems or devices, or a combination. Medical experts predict that the next evolution in the treatment of degenerative spinal disease will involve devices that give strength and stability to the spine without the need for fusion. About Spine Next Spine Next, S.A., was formed in 1999 and is located in Bordeaux, France. It markets a variety of traditional products for spinal fusion surgeries, as well as the Wallis system, a novel implant for dynamic stabilization of the spine. The company has approximately 40 employees. Most of the company's sales are outside of the U.S. The company has been backed since inception by 3i, a world leader in venture
  2. 2. capital and private equity, and also by other prestigious firms such as Auriga Partners and Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners. About Abbott Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The company employs more than 55,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries. Abbott's news releases and other information are available on the company's Web site at . Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 -- A Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements Some statements in this news release may be forward-looking statements for purposes of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Abbott cautions that these forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements. Economic, competitive, governmental, technological and other factors that may affect Abbott's operations are discussed in Exhibit 99.1 of our Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10-Q for the period ended June 30, 2004, and are incorporated by reference. Abbott undertakes no obligation to release publicly any revisions to forward-looking statements as the result of subsequent events or developments. SOURCE Abbott Laboratories