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Medela, Inc. To Increase Presence In Wound Care Market



8/29/2006 10:07:14 AM

CHICAGO, Aug. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Medela, Inc. has announced plans to enhance its presence in the Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT) field following a recent court ruling which creates new marketing opportunities for Medela.

In an August 3, 2006 verdict, a San Antonio, Texas federal jury overruled patent infringement allegations made by Kinetic Concepts Inc. (KCI) against Medela and BlueSky Medical Group. The jury found that the combination of a Medela-manufactured Vario 18 (resold as Versatile 1) constant-intermittent aspirator and BlueSky-supplied wound dressing materials did not infringe patent claims asserted by KCI.

"Medela is excited about the verdict and is currently considering its options for entry into this dynamic, growing and important area of medicine," explained Urs Tanner, chief executive officer of Medela Holding AG. "Medela is committed to improving the health and well-being of patients. We are looking at an accelerated investment into Medela's medical suction business."

Medela is investigating all medical suction business and distribution options including selling through established wound care dealers; partnering with wound care manufacturers; or serving the market directly. Medela's medical suction business is targeted for substantial investment and growth. The company's entry into wound care will be a global strategy, starting in the U.S. and ultimately reaching all world markets. According to Medela executives, this will involve a company-wide commitment to bolstering resources from R&D through to the sales force.

"At Medela, research is core to our company's infrastructure. We invest heavily in R&D for our market-leading breastpump technology, and will leverage this technology base and follow the same model for our medical suction technology. Medela also values evidence-based medicine and will invest in clinical trials and education for its future wound healing technology," Tanner said.

About Medela:

Medela's Medical Technology Division is the leading provider of innovative suction solutions for clinicians across a wide range of therapies and care settings. Clinical applications for Medela's systems include wound healing and drainage, cardiothoracic drainage, plastic surgery, endoscopy, airway suction, and general and specialized surgery. Medela's systems are used in the acute care, extended care and home environments.

Medela's medical suction devices and systems are engineered for versatility, durability and ease-of-use. Each aspirator houses patented Medela innovations that ensure rapid, precise vacuum buildup while operating nearly noise- and vibration-free. Medela's Basic 30 and Dominant 50 models were awarded the prestigious "Red Dot Award" for superior medical product design.

Medela's breastfeeding division has been a longtime champion of breastfeeding. Medela is the only company to develop products based on research by the world's leading lactation experts. As a result, Medela's breastpumps are the number one choice of healthcare professionals and hospitals worldwide. Medela has developed an extensive line of products to meet the diverse needs of nursing mothers. These products include hospital- grade, double and single electric and manual breast pumps; breastfeeding accessories such as pump cleaning products, breast care products and specialty feeding devices; and maternity and nursing intimate apparel.

Founded in 1961 by Olle Larsson in Zug, Switzerland, Medela continues to grow under the ownership of the Larsson family. Medela serves customers through a worldwide network of distribution partners in more than 90 countries and its 12 subsidiaries in the United States, Switzerland, Canada, Germany, Sweden, France, Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg), Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and Spain. The company entered the United States more than 25 years ago; its U.S. headquarters are located in McHenry, Ill. For more information, visit http://www.medelasuction.com or http://www.medela.com .

Medela, Inc.

CONTACT: Susan S. Sperling of Medela, +1-815-578-2348,susan.sperling@medela.com ; or Emily Reed of Ogilvy Public RelationsWorldwide, +1-312-397-6056, emily.reed@ogilvypr.com


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