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March 30, 2003

MED - EL to purchase Symphonix' Assets

From: PR Web, WA - Mar 30, 2003

MED-EL announces the signature of an asset purchase agreement with Symphonix Inc, the Nasdaq listed Silicone Valley based developer of the world's first US-FDA and CE-approved middle ear implant for moderate to severe sensorineural hearing loss with currently close to 1000 device users worldwide.

The agreement is contingent on Symphonix' shareholders' approval which is expected within 60 days. MED-EL will produce, further develop, market, and service the Vibrant Soundbridge.

The Vibrant® Soundbridge® product represents an innovative approach to hearing improvement – the first implantable middle ear hearing device. Unlike acoustic hearing aids, which increase the volume of sound that goes to the eardrum, the Vibrant Soundbridge bypasses the ear canal and eardrum by directly vibrating the small bones in the middle ear. Because of its design, no portion of the device is placed in the ear canal itself.

MED-EL is a leading company in the field of cochlear implants with its headquarters in Innsbruck, Austria, and through its technology leadership is the fastest growing cochlear implant company. An international team of 42 nationalities in 14 subsidiaries meets the needs of the deaf and hearing impaired in 70 countries worldwide. The newly founded company VIBRANT MED-EL will continue this commitment with the product Vibrant® Soundbridge®.

The goal of VIBRANT MED-EL and MED-EL will be the global distribution of the device and its further development. The inventor of the Vibrant Soundbridge, Geoffrey Ball, will be VIBRANT MED-EL's chief technology officer.

After the completion of the transaction the customer service and marketing and sales activities will quickly commence mostly through the existing MED-EL distribution network. Because of the existing synergy potential a smooth and successful start can be expected. The teams of MED-EL and VIBRANT MED-EL are convinced of the future success of the most advanced, widespread and technologically leading middle-ear implant Vibrant® Soundbridge®.

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