Contacts: Marc Viscogliosi, VB LLC, (212) 583-9700 ext. 103
Nick Kilsby, EKK PR, (203) 406-8800 ext. 21
Jessica Carten, EKK PR, (203) 406-8800 ext. 19


New York: April 4 2003 - Spine Solutions, Inc. completed a previously announced $350 million merger agreement with Synthes-Stratec, Inc, Oberdorf, Switzerland. Synthes-Stratec is making an immediate cash payment of $175 million with a further $175 million payable upon Spine Solutions achieving certain milestones relating to FDA approval of its lumbar and cervical artificial disc products.

Spine Solutions’ ProDisc total spine replacement system has been in FDA Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) clinical studies since October, 2001. To date more than 2,300 lumbar discs have been implanted in patients in 26 countries outside the US where ProDisc is already available commercially.

Marc R.Viscogliosi, a senior partner at Viscogliosi Bros. LLC, a controlling shareholder in Spine Solutions, said: “Although we had discussions with all of the leading players in the spine industry, we felt that Synthes-Stratec’s offer would deliver the greatest value to shareholders. ProDisc uniquely complements Synthes’ existing range of spine products. Also, Synthes’ US marketing and distribution reach will have a synergistic effect on the proposed commercialization of ProDisc in North America by accelerating acceptance for spine arthroplasty as an alternative to fusion.”

As previously noted, Spine Solutions will operate as an independent subsidiary of Synthes-Stratec. ProDisc will also continue to be sold through distributors in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.

The patented ProDisc system for lumbar disc replacement is designed with materials long used in orthopedic implant devices, including knee and hip replacements. The disc consists of three elements: a core of ultra-high molecular-weight-polyethylene that attaches to the bottom piece of two cobalt-chromium alloy end-plates.

The technology was first developed in the late 1980s by Dr. Thierry Marnay, in Montpellier, France and refined in cooperation with Aesculap AG & Co. in Germany.
A study completed in 2000 of 64 patients implanted with ProDisc during the period 1990-1993 found 93 percent satisfaction in key areas such as mobility and comfort.

In 1999, Viscogliosi Bros. LLC, a private banking and venture capital firm specializing in the orthopedic industry, established Spine Solutions, Inc., with Aesculap, a unit of B.Braun Melsungen AG, as a development stage company to acquire and commercialize the ProDisc system worldwide.

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Viscogliosi Bros., LLC is not an investment adviser, money manager, asset manager or otherwise give investment advice.