VisualSonics Announces Next Generation In Vivo Imaging Technology To Make Strides In Cancer Risk Reduction,

April 04, 2011

Major imaging breakthrough:
The launch of VisualSonics' Vevo LAZR photoacoustics imaging system enables pre-clinical researchers to visualize structural, molecular and functional attributes of tumors simultaneously

"With photoacoustics, we can see at the molecular level what effect a drug is having on cancer cells - it provides unparalleled insights into how cancer sustains itself and it's only a matter time before we begin seeing practical application in humans."
-Stanislav Emelianov, Associate Professor and Associate Chair for Research, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin

TORONTO, Canada - April 4, 2011 - VisualSonics Inc., a leader in real time, in vivo, high-resolution micro-imaging systems and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sonosite Inc., (Nasdaq:Sono), is demonstrating the recently announced Vevo® LAZR Photoacoustics Imaging system at the American Association of Cancer Research's annual conference (April 2-6, 2011, Orlando, FL).

The new system has been designed for use in pre-clinical research and could herald major breakthroughs in cancer research; however, human applications of the technology are envisioned in the near future.

"The Vevo LAZR is a crucial breakthrough with wide ranging implications for cancer research," said Dr. Emelianov. "In recent years, the fight against cancer has centered on stopping growth using drugs (anti-angiogenesis therapeutics, for instance). If angiogenesis can be stopped or prevented from occurring, tumor growth can be controlled and significantly reduce harm to their hosts."

Furthermore, the ability to see the effect that a drug is having on the tumor growth is an invaluable asset in the development of cancer therapeutics. In practical terms, this means researchers will be able to observe tumor biology in a living host organism (mice and rats) without having to biopsy the actual tumor itself. Currently, researchers are often required to rely on ex vivo techniques such as histology and immunohistochemistry to obtain molecular information inside a tumor. The in vivo approach reduces the amount of animals required for research studies by allowing the same animal to be followed throughout the disease development and treatment.

Dr. Emelianov continued, "Being able to look at molecular level cell physiology, and to do so in a living organism, will greatly facilitate our understanding of how cancer spreads from the micro to the macro level, giving unparalleled insights into how tumors grow and metastasize within human tissue."

"The Vevo LAZR photoacoustics system is a breakthrough in vivo imaging technology," said Anil Amlani, VisualSonics' President and CEO. "Advancements featured in this product will enable oncology researchers to accelerate their research into understanding the inner workings of the cancerous cell and the host tissue in which it resides. The ability to conduct this microscopic level research in a living organism, non-invasively and in real-time, will help our customers to turn groundbreaking science into lifesaving care at an even greater speed."

"The launch of the Vevo LAZR technology further demonstrates our commitment in providing game changing imaging technology to advance pre-clinical research," said Kevin M. Goodwin, Sonosite's President and CEO. "We are confident that the photoacoustics technology will provide never-before-seen insights into cancer research and will have a strong impact on the discovery of new therapeutics."

The Vevo LAZR system supports VisualSonics' continuous efforts to provide researchers with innovative solutions to improving pre-clinical research. Applications for the Vevo LAZR system range from lymph node imaging, study of hemoglobin and oxygen saturation, and targeted imaging of tumor biomarkers. In addition to cancer biology, this cutting-edge imaging system will benefit other areas of research such as diabetes, neurosciences, as well as developmental and reproductive biology.

Researchers are invited to experience a demonstration of the Vevo LAZR system by visiting VisualSonics at booth #2171 at AACR.

About VisualSonics
VisualSonics is the world leader in real time, in vivo, high-resolution micro imaging systems designed specifically for preclinical research and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sonosite, Inc. (Nasdaq:Sono). The Company's cutting edge technologies allow researchers at the world's most prestigious pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, hospitals and universities to conduct research in cardiovascular, cancer, neurobiology and developmental biology areas. The micro imaging technologies support research applications that include genetic research, phenotypic studies and drug development. VisualSonics micro imaging platforms combine high-resolution, real time in vivo imaging at reasonable cost with ease-of-use and quantifiable results.

About Sonosite
Sonosite, Inc. ( is the innovator and world leader in bedside and point-of-care ultrasound and an industry leader in ultra high-frequency micro-ultrasound technology and impedance cardiography equipment. Headquartered near Seattle, the company is represented by fourteen subsidiaries and a global distribution network in over 100 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.

Forward-looking Information and the Private Litigation Reform Act of 1995
Certain statements in this press release relating to the expected benefits of the Vevo LAZR Photoacoustics Imaging technology, including market acceptance of products incorporating Vevo LAZR Photoacoustics Imaging technology and new market and sales opportunities for Sonosite, and other statements regarding future results are "forward-looking statements" for the purposes of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of our management at the time the statements are made and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expected or implied by the forward-looking statements. These statements are not guaranties of future performance and are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties and are based on potentially inaccurate assumptions. Factors that could cause actual results to differ from the forward-looking statements include: the risk that the technology will not yield the expected potential benefits, including the risk that we are unsuccessful in achieving market acceptance of this technology, and the potential for competitive technologies, as well as other factors contained in the Item 1A. "Risk Factors" section of Sonosite, Inc.'s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We caution readers not to place undue reliance upon these forward-looking statements that speak only as to the date of this release. We undertake no obligation to publicly revise any forward-looking statements to reflect new information, events or circumstances after the date of this release or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated even.