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Contacts: Anthony G. Viscogliosi, Viscogliosi Bros, LLC (212) 583-9700 ext. 100
Nick Kilsby, Creative Partners (203) 705-9202

SMALL BONE INNNOVATIONS LICENSES ARTELON® CMC-I SPACER TO TREAT ARTHRITIC THUMBS


New York, NY: February 23, 2005 - Small Bone Innovations LLC (SBI), a new company formed by merchant bankers, Viscogliosi Bros., LLC (VB), has agreed with Artimplant AB, a Swedish biomaterials and orthobiologics company, to license Artimplant’s Artelon® CMC-1 spacer globally – excepting Scandinavia.

SBI recently acquired four orthopedics companies in the US and Europe. The acquisitions are part of VB’s strategy is to create a single source of products and technology for surgeons specializing in small bones and joints or ‘extremities’. VB believes that this sector has not been a focus of major orthopedic manufacturers.

The global license is restricted to the supply and distribution of the Artelon® CMC-I Spacer, a bioabsorbable implant for treating arthritis at the base of the thumb, a condition prevalent among women especially and men over the age of 50.

The Artelon® CMC-I Spacer was cleared for sale in the US by the FDA in September 2004. SBI formally launched the product today at the annual American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons convention in Washington DC.

According to research published by Artimplant, arthritis in the base of the thumb is prevalent in approximately 30 percent of women and in up to 15 percent of men over the age of 50. Clinical trials at three years post-implantation of patients in Sweden have evidenced absence of pain and better grip strength compared to a control group treated with tendon interposition, a form of fusion and a current standard of surgical care.

The principal feature of Artelon® technology is the material’s ability to facilitate the body’s self-healing processes. Also, the anatomy of the hand is preserved since the joint is not fused and the trapezium is not replaced with autologous tendon.

Anthony G. Viscogliosi, Chairman & CEO of SBI said: “The implant is designed to help the body heal itself. The unique properties of Artelon® promise to revolutionize remedial treatment of osteoarthritis in the base of the thumb.”

Tord Lendau, CEO of Artimplant, said: “We are delighted to have found a partner capable of becoming the world leader in the high growth potential market for treating orthopedic extremities. The US market represents a huge breakthrough opportunity for Artelon®-based technology in a variety of applications.”

Mr. Lendau noted that SBI and Artimplant share a mission is to develop innovative biodegradable materials and implants that meet the needs of patients, physicians and healthcare providers in orthopedics and other therapy areas.

“We are working with several global partners at orthopedic centers of excellence in this field to become the provider of choice in biomaterials for hard and soft tissue repair in multiple therapy areas,” he added.

Note to editors: Artimplant AB has signed a separate licensing agreement for Artelon® with Biomet, Inc. for use as a tendon augmentation product. Currently, the only FDA-approved application of Artelon® is for the CMC-1 spacer being marketed by SBI for treating osteoarthritis at the base of the thumb.

About SBI
Small Bone Innovations, LLC (SBI) was founded in 2004 by Viscogliosi Bros. LLC., (VB), the New York-based merchant banking firm that specializes in the musculoskeletal /orthopedic sector. VB created SBI as the first company to focus purely on small bone & joint science. By integrating established companies and professionals in the field, SBI today offers a broad , clinically proven portfolio of products and technology to treat trauma and diseases in small bones & joints.

VB’s acquisitions and technology licenses include: Avanta Orthopaedics (hand/wrist/elbow arthroplasty and trauma products – USA); Envision (implant manufacturing – USA); Actipore™ (porous metal technology – Canada); Artelon ®(biologically active & biodegradable technology – Sweden); Xtremi-T (resorbable trauma technology – USA).

For more information on SBI visit: www.totalsmallbone.com

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