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GAMBRO MAKES MAJOR EXPANSION IN DIALYZER PRODUCTION.

Gambro AB, Stockholm, Sweden, (OM Stockholm Exchange: GAMBaST, GAMBbST), a leading international medical technology and healthcare company, is substantially expanding the deliveries of dialyzers. Gambro has also announced major investments in further production capacity of synthetic dialyzers in Germany.

The demand for Gambro's advanced synthetic hollow fiber Polyflux dialyzer is increasing substantially. To meet this demand Gambro is increasing the output this year and the next in order to reach an extra capacity of almost 1.5 million dialyzers annually. The synthetic Polyflux dialyzer has been launched in the US for single use autumn 1999 and is planned to be introduced also for reuse. Clinical testing has showed superior performance and approval is expected during the spring this year.

Investments are also made in substantial new capacity for production of next generation Polyflux dialyzers in Germany. At the production site in Hechingen the building of new production lines for dialyzers was initiated today, February 11, 2000. This new capacity includes the new Polyflux synthetic dialyzers based on common technology platforms. The new capacity exceeds 5 million dialyzers annually. Deliveries will start late next year. Further expansion in production of synthetic dialyzers is planned. The joint venture production of semi-synthetic dialyzers in the US which started mid last year will - with increased capacity - be fully ramped-up by year end. For Gambro this mainly includes deliveries of single use dialyzers to Gambro clinics in the US.

"Today we are initiating the building of new production lines for the next generation synthetic dialyzers in Hechingen, Germany. This is a major step for Gambro", says Soren Mellstig, President of Gambro Renal Products. "The new capacity includes the new platform based dialyzer built on the new common dialyzer technology platform. It will enable us to produce large volumes of high performance dialyzers in a flexible way and at lower cost. We see a continuously increasing demand for Polyflux dialyzers. This is very encouraging and we are also taking immediate steps to increase our production capacity."

The Polyflux dialyzer

Gambro's synthetic Polyflux filter is the most advanced filter on the market for hemodialysis and convective treatments where the selection of membrane structure and polymer materials are of prime importance. Gambro's concept for Polyamide S - the membrane of the Polyflux S(TM) filter - results in unsurpassed removal capabilities and superior biocompatibility.

The structural arrangement of the Polyamide S membrane with its three layer design and microdomain surface resembles that of nature's own biological membrane. This means that the immune system and coagulation cascade are left practically unaffected by blood/membrane contact. Polyflux is ahead in treatment results. Clinical experience provides evidence of significant treatment benefits that suggest a reduced need for medication and hospital care, increased overall patient well-being and improved quality of life.

Gambro has been a pioneer in synthetic dialyzers and has built one process for different functional filter requirements with one basic polymer blend on the same process equipment. A wide range of membrane functions can be produced by phase inversion with one single process and the same raw material. In combination with other platform technologies this will enable production of large volumes of filters with high and flexible performance, superior biocompatibility and low cost.

Gambro Renal Products

Gambro has a global leading position in products and systems for renal care including hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis and renal intensive care. Gambro Renal Products has annual sales of about USD 900 M and has about 6,000 employees. Products are marketed under the Gambro and Hospal brands and mainly include filters, machines, concentrates and bloodlines for dialysis. Products and services are sold in more than 90 countries including own sales organizations in 29 countries. Development of products and production technology is focused into product centers of excellence in Germany, Italy and Sweden. The global manufacturing organization includes sites in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Research is performed by groups covering the main areas biology, medicine, treatment systems, membranes and devices. Research groups are located in Germany, France and Sweden.

Gambro is a global medical technology and healthcare company with leading positions in renal care - services and products - and blood component technology (BCT). Gambro is one of the leading providers of kidney dialysis services in the world. Gambro treats about 44,200 patients in about 580 clinics worldwide. Renal care products comprise dialyzers, dialysis machines, blood lines and dialysis concentrates. BCT includes products for the separation and handling of blood components. The group, with revenue of approximately SEK 20 billion (USD 2.2 billion), has approximately 17,000 employees in some 40 countries.

For further information, call 212-419 4258.
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Publication:Biotech Equipment Update
Date:Mar 1, 2000
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