02 April 2002

Smiths Medical to market Medisys safety products

Smiths Group announces that it has acquired exclusive distribution rights to the Futura safety syringe and other safety products, from Medisys PLC. Under the agreement, Smiths Medical will have exclusive marketing rights over these products in North America, Japan and the UK.

The Futura safety syringe complements Smiths existing range of needle-protection devices. This is a rapidly growing product area within Smiths Medical, supported by legislative changes in the U.S. to protect health workers from accidental 'needlestick' injuries.

"This agreement shows our continuing commitment to the development of Smiths' core Medical and Aerospace businesses," commented Keith Butler-Wheelhouse, Chief Executive of Smiths Group.

Under the terms of the agreement, Medisys receives an immediate $1 million cash payment from Smiths. In addition, the agreement provides for an aggregate of $3.95 million in tranches associated with the full commercial launch of the 3cc Futura safety syringe as a co-branded product and upon delivery to Smiths by Medisys of the first of the next generation of the Futura safety syringe products.

Lawrence Kinet, Group Managing Director, Smiths Medical, commented: "We view the availability of a low cost retractable hypodermic system as essential to our strategic growth plan for needle protection products. With Medisys as our development partner, we believe we have an effective solution for a broader product range, giving Smiths Medical the opportunity to become a leader in the market for sharps safety products.

The Futura products will be sold through Smiths Medicals dedicated safety products field sales force. A full-scale marketing roll-out, sales training programme and launch are being jointly planned by Smiths and Medisys. Complementary products covered by the distribution agreement include a safety scalpel and needleless connector system.

NOTES
The Futura Safety Syringe is an innovative safety syringe featuring an elastomer based retraction function, which automatically and passively retracts the needle upon full delivery of medication, thereby reducing significantly the risk of needlestick injury. The Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act, signed into law in November 2000, requires all US healthcare providers to evaluate and use medical devices with engineered 'sharps' injury protection. The legislation became effective in August 2001. The Futura Safety Syringe has been developed by Futura Medical Corporation of San Diego, California, a wholly owned subsidiary of Medisys PLC.

Medisys PLC develops, manufactures and markets diagnostic, medical and safety products serving the rapid test and point of care medical markets. Headquartered in London, the Group has two principal operating subsidiaries, Hypoguard and Futura Medical Corporation, and operations in the UK and the US. The diagnostic division, Hypoguard, develops and supplies blood glucose monitoring systems for the diabetic market. Futura Medical Corporation offers a range of medical products designed to improve the safety of healthcare professionals in the workplace.

ENDS