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StarFish Acquires Assets from Vivitro


3/4/2009 8:17:50 AM

Victoria, BC, March 3, 2009 – StarFish Medical today announced that it has purchased the product lines of ViVitro Systems Inc., a 25-year old, privately held Victoria company. ViVitro offers industry leading prosthetic heart valve test equipment and related testing and consulting services worldwide. The agreement ensures continuity for the company’s customers and holds a promising future for the further development of the product line and testing services. ViVitro equipment will continue to be sold under the current brand.

StarFish president Scott Phillips sees the deal as a perfect fit, since it leverages the core expertise of StarFish in medical device development and manufacturing and builds on the good reputation ViVitro has established over the years. The ViVitro assets will be rolled into a new wholly-owned subsidiary of StarFish. Founding partners David Walker, Ph.D. and Larry Scotten, Dipl. T., will provide product support during the transition and will continue offering research and testing services for a limited time.

StarFish Medical intends to evolve the current product line and to more actively market it to worldwide clients from medical device companies to universities and regulatory bodies.

The heart valve market and demand for such products is continually growing, with new countries coming on line. StarFish sees potential increased demand for testing services, especially with the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. asking for more testing than ever. With an aging population in developed countries and rapid expansion of healthcare systems in developing nations, the cardiovascular healthcare sector is expanding substantially. Medical devices are estimated to grow 5% yearly in the United States, their largest world market, over the next five years (Business Monitor International).

The two partners originally built the ViVitro test equipment to evaluate a new valve developed at the Royal Jubilee Hospital’s Cardiac Development Lab in the mid-1970s. The first prototype of their laboratory pump and model heart was constructed using a VW piston. From there the partners evolved it into the sophisticated, market leading test equipment it has become today.

Scotten and Walker welcome StarFish Medical taking over their products and services, since the two companies have developed a close working relationship. StarFish has been assembling ViVitro equipment for two years and is currently in production for new orders.

ViVitro has customers in twenty countries including the U.S.A., Canada, Australia, Brazil, Japan, Singapore, and several European countries.

About StarFish Medical

StarFish Medical turns customer concepts for medical devices into approved, protected and successful commercial products. Its diverse team of experts covers all aspects of design and production, from product development to regulatory services and custom manufacturing, all in an ISO 13485 certified environment.

Privately held StarFish Medical is one of Canada’s leading developers of medical devices with a staff of 35. It has been in business in Victoria since 1994 and was named Technology Company of the Year by trade association Viatec in 2006.

About ViVitro Systems

ViVitro Systems Inc. is a privately held company that was founded out of research at Royal Jubilee Hospital in 1983 by David Walker, Ph.D. and Lawrence Scotten, Dipl.T.

ViVitro makes two main products, a fatigue tester for assessing the durability of prosthetic mechanical and biological heart valves, and a laboratory model heart flow tester used primarily in medical research. The company also offers prosthetic heart valve testing services.

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