12/14/2000

Delphi, Guidant, Frazier Collaborate in Partnership to Rapidly Bring Cardiovascular Technology to Market

INDIANAPOLIS—(BW HealthWire)—Dec. 14, 2000—Guidant Corporation, (NYSE:GDT - news; PCX:GDT) a global leader in the development of medical technology for the treatment of cardiovascular and vascular disease, today announced that it is participating in an unprecedented partnership to rapidly bring cardiovascular technology to market. The venture is called SyneCor, LLC, an accelerator company for new cardiovascular research, devices and development businesses.

SyneCor, LLC, has secured $10.5 million in financing led by Frazier Healthcare and Delphi Ventures. This venture is a first of its kind, bringing top cardiologists, investors, corporations, researchers and inventors together, with a leading investment bank, to identify transformational cardiovascular technology and to rapidly deliver it to the marketplace.

"This joint venture represents two decades of cooperation among leading cardiologists, clinician inventors and top scientists from across the nation," commented Ron Dollens, Guidant President and CEO, and a board member of SyneCor. "It's an exciting time in the industry and we are pleased to be a part of it."

"This is a groundbreaking partnership that allows each of our major investors a first look at cutting-edge cardiovascular technology," said Bill Starling, managing partner of SyneCor. "With our combined resources and expertise, SyneCor will provide a turnkey operation for inventors and entrepreneurs that will take cutting-edge ideas and turn them into the best companies to offer state of the art products. SyneCor will guide new businesses each step of the way, from inception through stand-alone status, and take away much of the risk for investors by pre-qualifying each new idea."

SyneCor was conceived to take advantage of trends that, according to Richard Stack, M.D., managing partner of SyneCor, will shape the evolution of the cardiovascular device industry for the next decade. "One example of such a trend is the evolution of cardiovascular devices to serve as platforms for local delivery of potent biologicals and pharmaceuticals. These technologies will impact diagnosis and treatment of diseases at the cellular level, and as the American population continues to age, the need for cardiovascular solutions will fuel the market for the medical device industry," said Dr. Stack.

In addition to Guidant, other financial investors include General Electric Medical Systems, Becton Dickinson, Frazier Healthcare Ventures, Delphi Ventures and DB Capital Partners. DB Capital Partners worked very closely with Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown to make the investment in SyneCor. Duke University's Schools of Medicine and Engineering contributed key intellectual property to SyneCor in exchange for an equity stake in the company. In addition to the $10.5 million raised in this round, SyneCor initially secured $1.5 million in seed funding from a key group of cardiologists.

SyneCor has also assembled a medical advisory board by naming a very distinguished group of internationally recognized clinicians and scientists to help advise the company. Duke University also contributed to the medical advisory board.

SyneCor will be co-managed by Richard Stack, M.D., executive director of the Atlanta Cardiovascular Research Institute and professor of medicine and cardiologist, on leave of absence from Duke University; and William Starling, an experienced entrepreneur/executive and founder of three successful Silicon Valley cardiovascular businesses.