FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEZOLL and Lifecor Announ. Distrib. AgreementBurlington, MA Monday, December 30, 2002 – INVESTOR CONTACTS:
Distribution Agreement of the LIFECOR LifeVest™ System
BURLINGTON, MA and PITTSBURGH, PA, December 30, 2002 – ZOLL Medical Corporation (Nasdaq:ZOLL) and LIFECOR, Inc., jointly reported today they have reached an exclusive distribution agreement for sales of the LIFECOR LifeVest System to hospitals for inpatient use in the United States and Canada through ZOLL’s direct sales force. The LifeVest is the world’s first and only wearable cardioverter defibrillator, and has been approved by the FDA for patients at risk of sudden cardiac death who are not candidates for an implanted defibrillator. As part of the arrangement, ZOLL has also agreed to make an additional investment in LIFECOR. Prior to this investment, ZOLL owned 3.4% of LIFECOR.
The LifeVest is the first personal defibrillator that can be worn outside the body rather than implanted in the chest. The non-invasive device continuously monitors the patient’s heart to detect life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms. If a life-threatening rhythm is detected and the patient is unconscious, the device delivers an electrical shock to restore normal rhythm. It can be worn by patients during an entire hospital stay, without confining them to bed.
Typically, when a potential cardiac arrest occurs in a hospital, it must be observed and reported to trigger a code team response. The code team assembles at the patient, applies a defibrillator and, if necessary, delivers one or more shocks in an effort to restore normal rhythm. Time elapsed prior to the first shock is the most important factor in surviving sudden cardiac arrest. For every one minute of delay, survival chance decreases about ten percent. More than 85% of patients shocked within a minute of the onset of cardiac arrest survive, however the time to first shock in the hospital can be significantly longer than optimal. The advantage of the LifeVest is that the shock is delivered in less than a minute without need of a witness or code team response, greatly increasing the chance of survival.
Richard A. Packer, President and Chief Executive Officer of ZOLL stated, “The LIFECOR LifeVest contains leading edge resuscitation technology that hospitals can use as part of a comprehensive strategy to improve patient care and resuscitation. The device will help hospitals meet the American Heart Association (AHA) recommended guidelines of three minutes to first shock. Hospitals today are strengthening resuscitation services by adding AED’s, choosing new low energy biphasic defibrillators and expanding their capabilities. The LifeVest can help improve survival in the 350,000 sudden cardiac arrests that occur in hospitals each year. It perfectly complements our leading technology position in the hospital.”
Dr. M. Stephen Heilman, founder of LIFECOR, Inc., said, “This agreement will allow us to accelerate the adoption of the LifeVest system for hospitalized patients in the United States, and is an important element of our worldwide sales and marketing efforts.”
About ZOLL Medical Corporation
ZOLL Medical Corporation, headquartered in Burlington, MA, designs, manufactures and markets an integrated line of proprietary, non-invasive resuscitation devices and disposable electrodes. Used by health care professionals to provide both types of cardiac resuscitation—pacing and defibrillation—these products are essential in the emergency treatment of cardiac arrest victims, both inside and outside the hospital. ZOLL also designs and markets software that automates collection and management of both clinical and non-clinical data for emergency medical service providers. ZOLL has operations in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Australia, and business partners in all of the world’s major markets. For more information about ZOLL and its products, visit www.zoll.com.
About LIFECOR, Inc.
LIFECOR, Inc., based in Pittsburgh, PA, is a privately owned medical equipment design and manufacturing company. LIFECOR is currently marketing the LifeVest wearable defibrillator in the United States and Europe. For more information about LIFECOR and the LifeVest System, visit www.lifecor.com.
Certain statements contained in this press release, including statements regarding the anticipated development of ZOLL’s business, the intent, belief or current expectations of ZOLL, its directors or its officers, primarily with respect to ZOLL’s business model and future operating performance of ZOLL, including expectations regarding results in future periods, ZOLL’s ability to successfully distribute the LifeVest System, and other statements contained herein regarding matters that are not historical facts, are “forward-looking” statements (as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995). Because such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, those factors discussed in the section entitled “Risk Factors” in ZOLL’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed on December 30, 2002, as well as uncertainties regarding the market, acceptance and profitability of the LifeVest System.