BOTHELL, WA - September 12, 2005 - Sonosite, Inc. (NASDAQ: SONO), the world leader in hand-carried ultrasound, today announced it has signed a distribution agreement for the veterinary market with Aloka Co., Ltd., a leading manufacturer and distributor of ultrasound systems. The agreement names Aloka as Sonosite€™s non-exclusive veterinary distributor in the U.S. for Sonosite€™s portfolio of high performance, hand-carried ultrasound systems through 2007. "This is our second distribution agreement with Aloka, which is also a key partner for us in Japan€™s clinical markets," said Kevin M. Goodwin, President and CEO.
"The same attributes that make Sonosite systems valuable across a range of medical settings - performance, size, and durability - make our systems ideal for a broad range of veterinary applications as well. Aloka, with over a decade of successful experience in the U.S. veterinary ultrasound market, is a natural distribution choice. This agreement is an important step to regaining our momentum in the veterinary market, following the termination of a former veterinary distribution arrangement late last year."
"We are pleased to be able to offer Sonosite€™s broad product line to the rapidly expanding market for veterinary imaging," said Mr. David Famiglietti, Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Operations for Aloka. "We look forward to putting this highly versatile technology into the hands of veterinarians across the country." According to the 2005 edition of the Merck Veterinary Manual, ultrasound has grown to become the second most commonly used imaging modality in veterinary practice. With applications ranging from imaging pets to livestock and aquarium and zoo animals, Sonosite and Aloka estimate that the U.S veterinary market is approximately $40 -50 million and growing at an estimated annual rate of 15-20 percent.
Headquartered near Seattle, Washington, Sonosite (www.sonosite.com) is represented by seven subsidiaries and a global distribution network in over 75 countries. Sonosite's small, lightweight systems are expanding the use of ultrasound across the clinical spectrum by cost-effectively bringing high performance ultrasound to the point of patient care. The company employs approximately 450 people worldwide.
Aloka Co., Ltd. (www.aloka.com), headquartered in Tokyo and a leading manufacturer of medical devices, introduced its first diagnostic ultrasound system in 1960. With more than 50 years in medical diagnostic ultrasound, Aloka is recognized as one of the most experienced and innovative companies in the diagnostic ultrasound market. Aloka introduced color Doppler technology to the ultrasound industry in 1983, which today has become an indispensable diagnostic tool for many ultrasound examinations in a wide range of clinical applications.