Corporate News: MeVis Group paves the way for further growth

MeVis Medical Solutions expands into cardiology market via strategic investment in Medis Holding B.V.

  • Strategic expansion into growing cardiovascular imaging market
  • Acquisition of approximately 14 percent of the share capital of the leading cardiology software company
  • Strategic alliance secures numerous market, product and R&D synergies
  • Complete takeover option, on a step-by-step basis, between now and 2011

Bremen, January 18, 2010 – MeVis Medical Solutions AG [ISIN: DE000A0LBFE4], a leading medical imaging software company with focus on dedicated, disease-oriented clinical applications, today announced the acquisition of a 14 percent stake in Medis Holding B.V., based in Leiden, the Netherlands.

Medis is a leading developer and supplier of software for the quantification of a wide range of image data of the cardiovascular system. The software provides cardiovascular specialists with tools that help improve diagnosis, treatment planning and follow-up of cardiovascular diseases based on X-ray, MR and CT data sets, as well as intravascular ultrasound images. Medis distributes its products worldwide via major original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), such as GE Healthcare, Toshiba, Hitachi, Agfa, TomTec, Fujifilm Medical Systems, SECTRA and 3D advanced visualization companies such as Vital Images, as well as specialized regional distributors such as Goodman in Japan, and its own dedicated sales teams based in Leiden, NL and Raleigh, NC, USA. In particular, Medis has built up a strong brand name and installed base in Japan since 1998.

Cardiovascular disease, in its various forms, is by far the most common cause of death in both women and men in industrialized countries. Current estimates by the American Heart Association indicate that approximately a third of the adult population in the USA suffers from some form of cardiovascular disorder. In 2006, more than seven million interventional procedures were performed in the United States. According to Germany’s Federal Statistical Office (Statistisches Bundesamt), some 25 percent of all deaths in Germany in 2007 were attributable to cardiovascular diseases.

Coronary (ischemic) heart disease is a chronic disorder of the coronary vessels, leading to inadequate blood supply to the heart. It is caused by hardening of the arteries due to various risk factors, such as cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, impaired lipid metabolism and diabetes. Myocardial infarction (heart attack), in which heart muscle tissue dies off, is a particularly serious complication of coronary heart disease because of the high mortality rate.

The Medis product families QAngio® XA for analysis of the coronary and peripheral arteries from X-ray angiograms, and QMass® MR and QFlow for cardiac analysis and flow through the vessels using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and other products are successfully established on the market and approved by the most important health authorities. Medis currently employs a workforce of approximately 50 engineers, scientists and business professionals at its wholly owned operational subsidiary Medis medical imaging systems bv in Leiden, the Netherlands. It has been involved in a worldwide network of cardiology and radiology experts for over twenty years, and has a long history of close collaboration with the Leiden University Medical Center, in Leiden, the Netherlands. This provides a sound, extensive research base, similar to the MeVis model, in which the MeVis Group collaborates with the Fraunhofer Institute for Medical Image Computing MEVIS in Bremen, Germany.

The European market for cardiovascular imaging is expected to reach approximately 1 billion euros by 2012, according to market research firm Frost & Sullivan. “The epidemiological impact of cardiovascular disease on the global population makes the Medis products, knowhow and distribution channels a strategically significant addition to our portfolio,” states Dr. Carl J.G. Evertsz, Chairman and CEO of MeVis Medical Solutions AG. “We are delighted about this strategic alliance, in which we will collaborate with the Medis team to develop and market new products for the multi-modality diagnosis of cardiovascular disease, and cardiovascular interventions.”

As part of the strategic alliance, Medis will get access to MeVis’ proprietary product development platform MeVisAP™ and its rapid prototyping platform MeVisLAB™. These technologies form the core of MeVis’ multi-modality software solutions. “Our strategic partnership with MeVis means an incredibly valuable joining of forces in research, development and sales. Our customers will be able to benefit from the synergy that this partnership with the MeVis Group brings, while continuing to profit from working with familiar, high-quality products in cardiovascular quantification software”, says Prof. Dr. Hans Reiber, co-founder and proprietor of Medis Holding BV.

“Our combined extensive research experience in the field of cardiology and radiology will secure significant competitive advantages for future software products aimed at the cardiovascular imaging market – utilizing our successful technology platform,” added Thomas E. Tynes, CMO of MeVis Medical Solutions AG.

The acquisition of additional shares in Medis Holding BV, and even a complete takeover, is possible, on a step-by-step basis, between now and 2011. The company will decide on any expansion of the minority shareholding on the basis of specific factors at any one time.

“Initially, the stake in Medis will be reported as a Group holding valued at equity,” added Christian H. Seefeldt, CFO of MeVis Medical Solutions AG. “Any further shares could be acquired by also using treasury stock, which we have obtained through our stock buy-back program. In this way, we could maintain our comfortable liquidity position even in the event of a complete takeover of Medis.”

The two parties have agreed not to reveal details of the transaction.

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