Viscogliosi Bros., LLC Completes Another Successful Spine Non-Fusion Exit

NEW YORK, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Viscogliosi Bros., LLC (VB), a financier of Spine Next, SA is pleased to announce the acquisition of Spine Next by Abbott Laboratories, Inc. Under terms of the agreement, Abbott acquired all of the equity of Spine Next for $60 million in cash up-front, significant additional milestone payments upon achievement of future targets.

With the Spine Next acquisition VB has completed two successful exits in the rapidly evolving paradigm shift of fusion to motion in spine surgery. On April 4, 2003 Spine Solutions, Inc. completed a previously announced $350 million merger agreement with Synthes-Stratec, Inc (now Synthes, Inc.). VB, acting as founders, financiers, and executive management of Spine Solutions, Inc., ushered in the wave of recent acquisition activity, totaling 5 exits, equaling more than $1.5 billion since 2002.

Anthony G. Viscogliosi, Principal at VB, and former Member of the Board of Directors of Spine Next, said: "We are extremely pleased to be at the forefront of the spine non-fusion wave in the musculoskeletal industry. With more than 70 start-up companies now focusing on this space, and in the wake of the increased competition now developing, speed is essential, and we are pleased to be the only organization with two successful exits in this space, encompassing 40% of the spine non-fusion exits since 2002."

VB invested in the final two financing rounds of Spine Next. In November 2003 VB led the approximately $2 million, fourth and final equity financing round for Spine Next to support the commercialization of the Wallis(TM) non-fusion system by collecting historical clinical data. In April 2004 VB participated in an approximately $4.7 million debt round of financing for Spine Next to further support the clinical effort behind the Wallis(TM) non-fusion technology.

VB has backed Spine Next since 2003, along with other prestigious healthcare co-investors including 3i, Auriga Partners, and Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners. Mr. Viscogliosi said: "We are very pleased that Abbott Laboratories has acquired Spine Next to further support the clinical and commercial development of the Spine Next non-fusion technology. It was a pleasure to work with our financial partners, who were inspired by our commitment to the area of spine non-fusion surgery to further support the company's efforts. We were thrilled to invest in a management team deeply committed to bringing to market a clinically successful spine non-fusion technology."

Spine Next, S.A. is an innovator in the design and production of the Wallis(TM) system, a motion preservation non-fusion technology. The Wallis(TM) device is used as a posterior column dynamic stabilizer that re-establishes the stability and bio-mechanics of the spine when a surgeon performs a discectomy. The Wallis(TM) has been used to treat more than 5,000 patients worldwide. In addition to the Wallis system, Spine Next has a complete line of next generation fusion devices.

Mr. Viscogliosi said: "Along with Spine Solutions' ProDisc technology, the Spine Next Wallis(TM) system is a surgeon innovated technology with more than 15 years of clinical experience, including all generations of the technologies. Though the recent valuations have stimulated the entire industry to focus on spine non-fusion, VB will continue to focus on technologies with an extensive history of clinical experience that emphasizes surgeon education and patient satisfaction critical to successfully ushering in next generation technologies in this new era of spine surgery."

About Viscogliosi Bros., LLC

Established by Marc R. Viscogliosi, John J. Viscogliosi and Anthony G. Viscogliosi in New York City, in 1999, VB was the first venture capital/private equity and merchant banking firm dedicated to the musculoskeletal/orthopedics sector of the health care industry. Today, VB is a leading independent firm, with a mission to create, build and finance companies founded on innovations developed by surgeons and uniquely focused on "life changing" musculoskeletal/orthopedic technologies. VB has worldwide surgeon, industry and trade relationships and significant financial expertise in the musculoskeletal/orthopedic sector.

As principals of VB, the Viscogliosi brothers have a combined total of more than 35 years experience analyzing and investing in the musculoskeletal/orthopedics sector. They have pioneered innovative financial, strategic and management initiatives for companies in the sector, from start- up, seed and development stage all the way to exit, while helping thousands of people lead better lives through the orthopedic and spinal products marketed and sold by the companies they have assisted in developing and financing.

For more, visit:

Viscogliosi Bros., LLC

CONTACT: Anthony G. Viscogliosi of VB LLC, +1-212-583-9700 ext. 101; orNick Kilsby, +1-203-705-9202, or Chris Storer, +1-203-705-9219, both of EKKPR

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