News | May 14, 2007

Smith & Nephew Enters the Negative Pressure Wound Therapy Market

May 15, 2007 - Smith & Nephew plc, a global medical technology business, announced that its advanced wound management business has agreed to purchase BlueSky Medical Group Inc. ("BlueSky"), a privately-held company headquartered in Carlsbad, CA, for an initial payment of $15 million. The company has developed products for treating chronic wounds using negative pressure wound therapy ("NPWT") and manufactures a range of negative pressure pumps and wound dressing kits to serve its global customer base.

The market for NPWT is the fastest growing segment of the woundcare market. It has expanded rapidly in recent years and is now estimated to be a global market worth $1.2 billion in 2006. The market is growing at an annual rate in excess of 12 percent in the U.S. and greater than 25 percent in non-U.S. markets. NPWT is a technology used to treat chronic wounds such as diabetic ulcers, pressure sores, and postoperative and hard-to-heal wounds. NPWT aids the more rapid healing of wounds by the application of sub-atmospheric pressure to an open wound. Smith & Nephew does not currently operate in this market segment. The two founders of BlueSky, Richard Weston and Tim Johnson, will assist in integrating the business into Smith & Nephew's advanced wound management business.

BlueSky has been engaged in litigation with KCI, another NPWT business, and was recently successful in its defence of a patent infringement suit. Although this decision is the subject of an appeal, Smith & Nephew believes that BlueSky's products do not infringe KCI patents.

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