Intuitive Surgical Announces Collaboration With Surgical Industry Leader, Ethicon Endo-Surgery

January 31, 2002 at 9:22 AM EST
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Jan 31, 2002 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Today, Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (Nasdaq:ISRG), the industry leader in operative robotic surgery, announced the completion of a collaborative agreement with Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc., the world's leader in minimally invasive surgical devices.

The collaboration will involve initiatives on several fronts, including training, marketing and product development for Intuitive's da Vinci(TM) Surgical System. The two companies will promote robotics as a multi-disciplinary surgical platform for numerous minimally invasive surgical procedures. To support this collaboration, Intuitive will place a da Vinci Surgical System at the Endo-Surgery Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio. Ethicon Endo-Surgery will also assess opportunities to co-develop products for Intuitive's da Vinci System platform.

"We are delighted to be working with one of the industry's preeminent companies," stated Lonnie Smith, President and CEO of Intuitive Surgical. "This collaboration emphasizes our joint commitment to offering the best products and highest levels of training and marketing to clinicians in this growing field. This is an excellent opportunity to provide our mutual customers with the ability to train on the da Vinci System at Ethicon Endo-Surgery's world class training facility."

    About the da Vinci Surgical System:
First cleared by the FDA in 1997 for assisting surgery, and in July 2000 for performing surgery, the da Vinci Surgical System is still the only operative robotic surgical system cleared by the FDA to perform surgery. FDA clearances so far include use in laparoscopic, thoracoscopic and radical prostatectomy surgeries. The System consists of a surgeon's viewing and control console having an integrated, high-performance InSite(TM) 3-D vision system, a patient-side cart consisting of three robotic arms that position and precisely maneuver endoscopic instruments and an endoscope, and a variety of articulating EndoWrist(TM) Instruments. By integrating computer-enhanced technology with surgeons' technical skills, Intuitive believes its System enables surgeons to perform better surgery in a manner never before experienced. The da Vinci Surgical System seamlessly and directly translates the surgeon's natural hand, wrist and finger movements on instrument controls at the surgeon's console outside the patient's body into corresponding micro-movements of the instrument tips positioned inside the patient through small puncture incisions, or ports.

The statements contained in this release may be deemed to contain "forward-looking statements." Such statements are indicated by words or phrases such as "anticipate," "estimate," "projects," "believes," "intends," "expects" and similar words and phrases. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statement as a result of certain risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, competition and market acceptance of the Company's products, ability to obtain regulatory approvals and third-party reimbursement, ability to raise additional capital and other risks and uncertainties detailed in the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements.

Note to Editors: da Vinci(TM), EndoWrist(TM), Intuitive(R), InSite(TM) and Intuitive Surgical(R) are trademarks of Intuitive Surgical, Inc.

CONTACT: Intuitive Surgical, Inc. Lyndel Thompson, 650/237-7112 URL: Today's News On The Net - Business Wire's full file on the Internet with Hyperlinks to your home page.

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