October 28, 2004 02:36 PM US Eastern Timezone

Revolutionizing Spine Care Through the Development of Gene-based Products: Axial Biotech to Present at Windhover Information and Medtech Insight's ``IN SPINE'' Conference

Medtech Insight 2004 IN SPINE Conference

SALT LAKE CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 28, 2004--Axial Biotech, an innovative spine company focused on the use of genetics to advance the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and deformities of the human spine, will be one of the featured companies presenting at the Windhover Information and Medtech Insight's "IN SPINE" Conference on Thursday, November 11th, 2004, at the Westin Stonebriar Resort in North Dallas, Texas.

Axial is located in Salt Lake City, Utah, a place the New York Times recently called "an ideal genetic laboratory." (NYT, July 31, 2004, page 1). Axial is the first company to pursue DNA-based pre-symptomatic and prognostic tests for common spinal conditions which will augment current clinical and surgical practices. Axial has made significant progress towards the discovery of a location in the human genome associated with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Axial also owns the revenue stream for two fusionless spinal surgical devices developed by two of its founders, including the only fusionless device currently in human use. Axial intends to use its proprietary genetic intellectual property in the development of bio-mechanical devices, and to apply its gene discovery/product development methodology to other spinal diseases.

John Climaco, President of Axial Biotech, will present the company's strategy of developing gene-based products by characterizing the genetic foundation of spinal disorders, marketing its products through partnerships with industry leaders, and using revenue generated by early sales of its tests and fusionless devices to fund development of products, including bio-mechanical implants. Axial anticipates that its tests will be marketable under the FDA's well established "homebrew" exemption, allowing the company to bring its first product to market in 18-24 months. Pre-symptomatic DNA testing will create new opportunities for intervention at an earlier stage in the progression of spinal disorders. Developing an understanding of the genetic foundation of spine disorders will allow Axial to marry its genetic and device assets to create bio-mechanical implants offering multiple therapeutic mechanisms.

In December, 2003, Axial received a seed investment from Medtronic (NYSE: MDT) as part of a strategic partnership to develop and market the diagnostic and prognostic gene tests for scoliosis. Axial has 75% of its Series A financing committed from vSpring Capital, Medtronic and Cleveland Biotech Group. Axial is seeking to raise an additional $1M to close the round.