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i-LIMB Hand drives commercial success across the world

LIVINGSTON, UK: Touch Bionics, developer of the world's first commercially available bionic hand, today had its leading-edge development and manufacturing facility in Livingston, Scotland, officially opened by Rt. Hon Stephen Timms MP, Minister of State for Competitiveness and David Cairns MP, Minister of State Scotland Office.

The new facility allows Touch Bionics to bring its manufacturing operations in-house, giving the company greater control over the production output of its business and the ability to support increased demand for its i-LIMB Hand product. The facility also includes patient-fitting areas, which gives patients from countries where the hand is not currently available important access to Touch Bionics' prosthetists.

"I am delighted to be able to open this new facility for such an exciting and innovative company," said Stephen Timms. "Touch Bionics is a fine example of UK-developed, world-leading medical technology, which is exactly the kind of area that the UK must succeed in to remain at the forefront of technology development."

Touch Bionics launched the i-LIMB Hand in July 2007, and the product has now established itself as one of the hottest devices in the world prosthetics market. The company expects that its clinical customers will have fitted more than 100 patients, from all over the world, by the end of February 2008 - representing very strong performance in such a specialist field.

"The level of global enquiries since the launch of the i-LIMB Hand has resulted in a very busy six months for Touch Bionics and we are hitting the top end of our expected sales growth," said Stuart Mead, Touch Bionics CEO. "The response from patients and clinics alike has further convinced us that the market is ready for our product, meaning that this new facility is vitally important to helping us maintain our rapid growth."

"We are performing well in export markets - 94% of our business is coming through exported product, and the USA is proving to be our biggest market - we already have recruited staff out there and are in the process of setting-up new facilities on the East Coast," added Mead.

Following its commercial launch, global market perception of the i-LIMB Hand has evolved from exciting new technology to a widely accepted clinical option in the space of six months. Touch Bionics has now established relationships with a wide range of clinical companies - from the world's largest to smaller, independent clinics, all of which represent important areas of business for the company.

With many prosthetics clinics in the United States already offering the product, Touch Bionics has also now cemented European partnerships with clinics and distributors in Germany, Turkey, Hungary, Romania and the Benelux region, with more global partners signing-up in countries such as South Korea, Argentina and Brazil. After a successful training road show in December, the company has now trained and certified over 100 Accredited i-LIMB Hand Practitioners from across the globe.

"We are very excited about the prospect of the i-LIMB Hand," said Lajos Agoston, prosthetist at Material-Impex, a Hungarian prosthetics clinic and distributor of the i-LIMB Hand. "The technology is an incredible advance in the field of prosthetics and I am confident that it will go on to change the lives of many amputees in my country."

Touch Bionics is set to attend a host of prosthetics industry events in the year ahead as it builds awareness and understanding of the i-LIMB Hand amongst the surgical, medical insurance the prosthetic practitioner community.

"Recent rapid progress demonstrates how quickly a go to market strategy can pay off with a well researched and marketed product," said John Waddell, CEO of Archangel Informal Investment Limited. "We are happy to have supported Touch Bionics since its spin out from the NHS and look forward to its continuing strong growth."

Touch Bionics has received £2.7m of investment since its spin out with £2.1m of this coming from Archangels and £500k from the Scottish Co-investment Fund.

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