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ACMI and ArthroCare Sign Comprehensive Urology Agreement
SOUTHBOROUGH, Mass. and SUNNYVALE, Calif., Feb 21, 2002 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --

Covers Licensing, Development, Manufacturing and Marketing

ACMI, a leading developer, manufacturer and marketer of a broad product portfolio for urology, gynecology and minimally invasive surgery, and ArthroCare Corporation (Nasdaq: ARTC) today announced that ArthroCare has granted ACMI exclusive worldwide distribution rights to market ArthroCare's Coblation(R)-technology for urology indications. Under the terms of the agreement, ArthroCare will develop and manufacture products for endoscopic urologic and transuretheral resection of the prostate (TURP). ACMI will license ArthroCare's intellectual property and market the Coblation-based system worldwide in conjunction with ACMI's resectoscope technology. ACMI will distribute and market the system under the ACMI brand. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted clearance to market ArthroCare's system specifically for endoscopic surgery in general urological procedures, TURP and transuretheral incisions in the prostate (TUIP).

Greg Barrett, President and Chief Executive Officer of ACMI, stated, "We are extremely excited to partner with ArthroCare to introduce ArthroCare's Coblation technology for use in urology indications. Marketing Coblation technology is consistent with our strategy to offer urologists around the world alternatives to treat common disorders of the prostrate, such as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). In the United States alone, approximately 9 million men suffer from these symptoms. We look forward to working with ArthroCare and our urology physicians to treat patients suffering from symptoms associated with enlarged prostrate."

"I have used Coblation-based TURP products in animal models," said Harcharan Gill, M.D., FA.C.S, F.R.C.S, Associated Professor or Urology at Stanford University Hospital. "I believe they not only allow the physician to use a conductive irrigant within the urethra, but they have the potential to reduce bleeding and operative time compared to the gold standard monopolar loop electrodes."

"ACMI is an ideal partner for ArthroCare's urology product set," said Michael A. Baker, ArthroCare's President and Chief Executive Officer. "The company has a long-standing worldwide reputation for providing quality endoscopic surgical products to the medical community. Our partnership is designed to bring the benefits of ArthroCare's proprietary Coblation technology quickly to urology surgeons and patients around the world."

About ACMI

ACMI is headquartered in Southborough, Massachusetts and designs, manufactures, markets and services medical endoscopy systems for diagnosis and minimally invasive surgery. ACMI is a leading provider of endoscopy equipment that illuminates, provides visualization, and facilitates therapeutic treatments for urologists and gynecologists.

About ArthroCare

ArthroCare's products allow surgeons to operate with a high level of precision and control, limiting damage to surrounding tissue. The company's products operate at lower temperatures than traditional electrosurgical or laser surgery tools and enable surgeons to remove, thermally treat, or sculpt soft tissue and to seal bleeding vessels.

ArthroCare is a medical device company that develops, manufactures and markets products based on its patented Coblation technology. ArthroCare's soft-tissue surgery systems consist of a controller unit and an assortment of single-use disposable devices that are specialized for specific types of surgery. The company believes its Coblation technology can replace the multiple surgical tools traditionally used in soft-tissue surgery with one multi-purpose surgical system. Coblation technology is applicable across many soft-tissue surgical markets.

Safe Harbor Statements

Except for historical information, this press release includes forward-looking statements. These statements include, but are not limited to, the expectations regarding trends in newly commercialized markets, the company's belief that certain surgical products and procedures will enhance achievement of the company's long-term potential, the sustainability of growth rates in certain markets, the affect of anticipated government regulatory clearances, continued success of product diversification efforts, and other statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to the uncertainty of success of the company's non-arthroscopic products, competitive risk, uncertainty over reimbursement, need for government clearances or approvals before selling products, and the uncertainty of protecting the company's patent position. These and other risks and uncertainties are detailed from time to time in the company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including ArthroCare's Form 10-K for the year ended December 30, 2000 and the 10-Q for the quarter ended September 29, 2001. Forward-looking statements are indicated by words or phrases such as "anticipates," "estimates," "projects," "believes," "intends," "expects," and similar words and phrases. Actual results may differ materially from management plans.

SOURCE ACMI

CONTACT:          Gary Young VP, Global Marketing of ACMI, +1-508-804-2693, or
                  Christine Hanni, Vice President, Chief Financial Officer of ArthroCare,
                  +1-408-736-0224
                  (ARTC)

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