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March 14, 2005

FDA Approves New Innovative Cochlear Implant System

From: PR Newswire (press release) - Mar 14, 2005

Nucleus(R) Freedom(TM) Designed to Mimic Natural Hearing

DENVER, March 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Cochlear Americas announced today that it recently received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market the Nucleus(R) Freedom(TM) cochlear implant system. The Nucleus Freedom, which features both an internal component and an external speech processor, will begin shipping to clinics on April 3, 2005. The Nucleus Freedom is designed to mimic functions of the human ear and fit seamlessly into a user's lifestyle.

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"The Nucleus Freedom offers a variety of innovative features designed to provide users with an experience more similar to natural hearing, allowing them the freedom to interact more fully with the world around them," said Chris Smith, President, Cochlear Americas. "For instance, the Nucleus Freedom is the first device to offer SmartSound(TM), a combination of three unique sound technologies designed to enable better hearing in everyday listening situations. It is also the only cochlear implant system with a water resistant speech processor, allowing users to participate in activities around water while wearing the speech processor."

The Nucleus Freedom implant features the Contour Advance(TM) electrode, a self-curling electrode array that allows the electrodes to be placed close to the hearing nerve for targeted stimulation and increased power efficiency, while applying minimal pressure on the cochlear structures. The Contour Advance is the only electrode array designed to protect cochlear structures during surgery, which leading medical professionals say is essential in preserving residual hearing.

Additional Features of the Nucleus Freedom
The Nucleus Freedom also offers the following features:

* SmartSound(TM) Beam(TM), the first and only two-microphone system
designed to soften distracting background sounds allowing for focused
listening in crowds.

* SmartSound(TM) ADRO(TM), which automatically adjusts sound levels to
deliver a balance of clarity and comfort. Ideal for listening to music
and in dynamic environments.

* SmartSound(TM) Whisper(TM), which enhances softer sounds allowing
recipients to understand them more clearly.

* Up to five days of battery life. Unlike other systems that rely on
brand-specific rechargeable batteries that last only a few hours, the
Nucleus Freedom can operate on one set of commercially available
batteries for up to five days, depending on the user's coding strategy
and rate.

About Cochlear Implants
Cochlear implants are a proven medical option for adults and children with severe to profound hearing loss. They are electronic devices, which bypass damaged hair cells in the inner ear, or cochlea, and stimulate the hearing nerve directly. Cochlear implants provide useful hearing and improved communication abilities to those who receive little or no benefit from hearing aids. They are the only medical device designed to restore one of the five key senses.

About Cochlear(TM) Americas
Since launching the world's first cochlear implant system more than 20 years ago, Cochlear Limited and its US headquarters, Cochlear Americas, have brought the miracle of sound to more than 60,000 hearing-impaired individuals across the globe. Cochlear's state-of-the-art technologies, based on extensive research and development at preeminent academic institutions, restore the ability to hear sound and understand speech-enhancing both learning capabilities and quality of life for those with severe to profound hearing loss. Cochlear has remained the market leader in its field thanks to an unwavering commitment to innovation, reliability and customer support. Numerous awards, as well as published scientific data, attest to Cochlear's outstanding product line and unsurpassed performance. Cochlear's promise "Hear Now. And Always." reflects its dedication to durability and service. For more information about Cochlear's products, call the Cochlear Nucleus(R) Hotline at 800/458-4999 (Voice) or 800/483-3123 (TTY) or visit the Web site at

SOURCE Cochlear Americas
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