Visualsonics Launches Revolutionary Imaging Technology To Advance Cancer Research

March 24, 2011



The Vevo LAZR System Debuts at the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) April 3-6, Orlando, Florida

TORONTO, Canada - March 24, 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), today announced the launch of the Vevo® LAZR Photoacoustics Imaging system for the advancement of cancer research in the pre-clinical imaging market. This revolutionary technology combines the sensitivity of optical imaging with the resolution and depth penetration of high-frequency ultrasound, enabling researchers to study cancer in its earliest stages of progression and detect and evaluate tumor growth. For the first time, researchers will be able to observe tumor biology, measure hypoxia (oxygen levels), evaluate changes in blood flow, and quantify data with unique software solutions in vivo and in real-time. Ultimately, this technology provides researchers with never-before-seen insights into the development of effective therapeutics for treating cancer. The Vevo LAZR photoacoustics system will debut at the American Association of Cancer Research on April 3-6th at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Florida.

After two years of research and development, images and data generated by the Vevo LAZR system were presented at the World Molecular Imaging Conference (WMIC) in Kyoto, Japan in September 2010 where the system received strong feedback from prestigious organizations and research institutes from around the globe. One of the first scientific users of the Vevo LAZR system, David A. Jaffray, Ph.D, Head, Radiation Physics - Ontario Cancer Institute / Princess Margaret Hospital commented, "Advanced imaging technologies like VisualSonics' Vevo LAZR photoacoustics system allow our scientists to see into the processes that sustain a disease like cancer. With this knowledge, we can design the next generation of therapies."

"The Vevo LAZR photoacoustics system is the future of pre-clinical research," said Anil Amlani, VisualSonics' President and CEO. "Building on our high-frequency ultrasound technology, which is now considered a gold standard for many in vivo applications, the Vevo LAZR photoacoustics system offers the unique capability to non-invasively capture real-time, high resolution data that is unavailable and unparalleled to any other in vivo anatomical or molecular imaging technology."

The platform of the Vevo LAZR system integrates proprietary imaging capabilities that will further improve a researcher's overall experience and will set new standards for performance in pre-clinical research. The system's co-registration function is an essential feature that will aid in the discovery and assessment of novel drug therapies. With the ability to capture high-resolution images with high-frequency ultrasound, the co-registration function enables researchers to simultaneously superimpose a photoacoustic signal over the ultrasound image, allowing for the assessment and quantification of oxygen saturation and blood levels in tissues and organs. The Vevo LAZR system also includes an automated multispectral imaging algorithm that provides researchers with the flexibility of selecting multiple imaging wavelengths to optimize the visualization of contrast agents, such as nanoparticles and dyes.

Mr. Amlani continued, "We believe the Vevo LAZR system will have a strong impact on the discovery of new cancer therapies in the pre-clinical market space and that we will see a translation of these discoveries into practical applications in humans. With a healthy set of pre-ordered systems, we are anticipating strong product demand."

"The launch of this 'new to the world' technology keeps VisualSonics at the forefront of imaging advancements for life-sciences research," said Kevin M. Goodwin, Sonosite President and CEO. "We are excited that Sonosite and VisualSonics have joined forces to innovate and deliver new breakthrough imaging technologies and we are pleased with the initial customer demand for the new product."

The Vevo LAZR system supports VisualSonics continuous efforts to provide researchers with innovative solutions to improving pre-clinical research. The core of the Vevo LAZR technology is the LZ® Series integrated fiber-optic linear array transducers with microbeamforming technology. Harnessing the sensitivity of 256 active elements, the LZ Series transducer provides clear and high-resolution images - in both 2D and 3D modes. 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.