SonoSite and Nippon Sherwood Form Alliance to Address Japan’s Vascular Access Market

July 29, 2004

SEATTLE, WA, July 29, 2004 - SonoSite, Inc. (Nasdaq: SONO), the leader in high-performance, hand-carried ultrasound, and Nippon Sherwood Medical Industries Ltd., Japan's leading manufacturer of central venous catheters (CVCs), announced today that they have signed a two-year distribution agreement for the Japanese vascular access market. Under the terms of the agreement, Nippon Sherwood will become the exclusive distributor of SonoSite's iLook' 25 system for the vascular access market in Japan. Weighing only 3 pounds (1.4kg.), the all-digital iLook 25 system is specifically designed to provide fast, accurate guidance for vascular access. The alliance will leverage Nippon Sherwood's strong distribution channels to deliver the iLook25 system to catheterization labs, surgical suites, critical care units and other point-of-care locations where catheters and lines for vascular access are placed. "We are excited about the growing opportunity for the SonoSite iLook 25 product in Japan," said Seiji Kato, general manager of Sales and Marketing of Nippon Sherwood. "The use of ultrasound guidance for vascular line placement has been shown to improve patient safety and comfort associated with these interventional procedures and is becoming standard medical practice in the United States and United Kingdom. We look forward to working with SonoSite to pioneer this market in Japan and establishing the iLook 25 system as the new standard of care for CVC procedures in this country." "Our alliance with Nippon Sherwood is a key component of our strategy to market and distribute hand-carried ultrasound across the clinical spectrum in Japan," said Kevin Goodwin, president and CEO of SonoSite, Inc., "Nippon Sherwood is a recognized leader for providing CVC products in Japan and we are pleased to join with them to develop this important, emerging ultrasound market." Central Venous Catheters (CVCs) are inserted in patients for a number of medical reasons including hemodynamic monitoring, intravenous delivery of blood products and drugs, such as antibiotics and chemotherapy, hemodialysis, and management of perioperative fluids. Percutaneous insertions of CVCs have traditionally been performed by "blind" techniques that rely on anatomic landmarks. Studies have shown that the use of real-time ultrasound guidance for such insertions increases successful first time insertion rates from approximately 65 percent to more than 98 percent and decreases the complication rate associated with CVC placement. About Nippon Sherwood Nippon Sherwood Medical Industries, Ltd. (www.sherwood.co.jp), a division of Tyco Healthcare Japan, Inc., is located in Tokyo. Nippon Sherwood has manufactured and marketed quality safety-focused medical devices since its establishment in 1973. Tyco Healthcare Japan, Inc. is a division of Tyco Healthcare Group, LP of Mansfield, MA. USA. Tyco Healthcare (www.tycohealthcare.com) is a leading manufacturer, distributor and servicer of medical devices worldwide. Its broad portfolio includes disposable medical supplies, monitoring equipment, medical instruments and bulk analgesic pharmaceuticals sold under such names as Auto Suture, Kendall, Mallinckrodt, Nellcor, Puritan Bennett, United States Surgical, Valleylab and others.About SonoSiteSonoSite, Inc. (www.sonosite.com) is the innovator and world leader in hand-carried ultrasound, with an installed base of more than 20,000 systems. The Company, headquartered near Seattle, Washington is represented by eight subsidiaries and a global distribution netwok 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.

Share