FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Janice Celestine
(212) 792-4217
Bracco AMT

janice.celestine@diag.bracco.com

 

Bracco AMT Announces Major Investment in New Technology

New York, NY. January 15, 2008 – Bracco AMT (Advanced Medical Technologies), Inc., the U.S. parent of ACIST Medical Systems, Inc., a world leader in automated, variable-rate injection systems for contrast delivery in cardiovascular angiography, announced today a major investment in minimally invasive heart valve technology currently being developed by Heart Leaflet Technologies, Inc.(HLT), a privately held medical-device company. The transaction terms assume that Bracco AMT will make an approximately $11.2 million aggregate equity investment in HLT and acquire the right to purchase at a future date all of the outstanding shares of HLT common stock and other HLT equity securities and rights from HLT’s equity and right holders based on an agreed-upon valuation. The investment signifies Bracco AMT’s commitment to fostering long-term growth through early investments in complementary medical device products and procedures, while it continues to invest extensively in research and development of its existing product lines.

HLT is focused on developing technology for percutaneous aortic valve replacement (PAVR) procedures. PAVR technology is designed to allow some patients, who may not be candidates for open-heart valve replacement surgery, to obtain a life-saving valve. PAVR devices may be implanted via access through the femoral artery which is considered to be a minimally invasive procedure versus open-heart valve surgery. The HLT valve is being designed with the goals of simplifying and improving the safety of the implant process.

“By becoming a strategic investor, Bracco AMT can provide support to HLT during a critical development phase while allowing HLT to preserve its entrepreneurial nature and maintain its creative, innovative approach in addressing unmet clinical needs,” said Fulvio Renoldi-Bracco, CEO of Bracco AMT. “Based on the quality of the HLT technology and management team, we feel strongly that this approach will, once again, result in bringing to market a valuable medical device that provides substantial clinical benefits to patients. Bracco AMT has a strong track record in place with ACIST Medical Systems. ACIST was also a Bracco early-stage investment which grew into a major provider of contrast media delivery systems for cardiovascular angiographic diagnostics and therapies. We are very excited about this new technology and its development into an important treatment option over the next 5 to 10 years.”

According to Dr. Robert Wilson, CEO of HLT, “We are delighted to have Bracco AMT as a strategic partner. This funding will allow HLT to accelerate development and help bring its minimally invasive heart valve technology to market as quickly as possible.”

About Bracco

The Bracco Group is today a worldwide integrated Healthcare Group with annual turnover of about 900 million Euro – around 60% of which is from foreign sales and is one of the world leading companies in the imaging agent business through Bracco Imaging SpA.

Bracco SpA, holding company of the Bracco Group, also markets Ethical and OTC pharmaceutical products and healthcare services in Italy, as well as Advanced Medical Technology systems on a world wide basis through the Bracco AMT companies, ACIST Medical Systems, based in Minneapolis, and Volume Interactions of Singapore.

Bracco is present in approximately 80 countries both directly and through joint-ventures or affiliates, and currently employs more than 2,300 people worldwide over 300 of which are dedicated to R&D, Medical and Regulatory Affairs.

About Bracco AMT (Advanced Medical Technologies)

Bracco AMT (Advanced Medical Technologies) established in 2006 as a subsidiary of Bracco SpA, develops, manufactures and markets in the US, Europe and the Asia Pacific region cardiovascular and neurological advanced medical applications. Bracco AMT through ACIST Medical Systems, based in Minneapolis, and Volume Interactions of Singapore is a leading provider of medical solutions for diagnostic and interventional angiographic and surgical procedures. Bracco AMT, with headquarters in the United States, has three regional offices in Asia, Europe, and the U.S. with a global network serving customers in over 50 countries.