INDIANAPOLIS, November 20 /PRNewswire/ --

Vertellus Biomaterials ("Vertellus"), a subsidiary of the Health and Specialty Products division of Indianapolis-based Vertellus Specialties Inc., a leading specialty chemicals company, is pleased to announce the signing of a long-term, global licence and supply agreement with Sorin Group Italia Srl ("Sorin"). The agreement, which runs until the end of 2012, covers the supply of Vertellus' PC Technology(TM) to Sorin for coating cardiopulmonary bypass equipment used during open heart surgery.

"Our expansion into the cardiopulmonary market was a strategic aim when we acquired the PC Technology in 2006," said Neil McLoughlin, Vice President, Vertellus Biomaterials. "Today's agreement both validates that investment decision and gives us a good base from which to further develop this unique and exclusive technology into other high value and specialised medical areas."

"Sorin is the world leader in cardiac surgery equipment and continues to launch innovative products," said Dr. Mike Driver, Business Director of Vertellus Biomaterials. "Sorin's use of Vertellus' PC Technology is a major endorsement for us and I am delighted we have entered into this agreement."

Paolo Benatti, Chief Executive of Sorin Group Italia commented, "The agreement signed with Vertellus confirms our intention to continue supplying products for extracorporeal circulation with improved features and biocompatibility for our patients' benefit."

PC Technology is a proprietary portfolio of innovative biocompatible polymers containing phosphorylcholine (PC). These materials have been shown to reduce biofouling and to improve the performance of medical devices. Vertellus in-licensed the PC Technology from Biocompatibles UK Ltd in 2006 and established a Biomaterials business unit in Herriard, Hampshire UK.

When a foreign material is placed in the body, it immediately begins to "reject" the material, coating it with proteins, lipids and cells from the surrounding fluids. PC inhibits this process by binding water tightly around itself, forming a barrier between the body and the coated material. As a result, when PC is coated on or incorporated into a material:

-- Protein and lipid deposition is decreased; -- Adhesion of bacteria and other micro-organisms is discouraged; -- Biofilm and clot formation is minimised; -- Inflammatory response is reduced; and -- Fibrous capsule generation is diminished.

PC Technology materials have proven themselves in many applications, including contact lenses, coronary stents and urological catheters.

About Vertellus Specialities Inc.

Vertellus Specialties Inc. is a specialty chemicals company focused on the manufacture of ingredients used in pharmaceuticals, personal care, nutrition, agriculture, and a host of other market areas affected by trends favoring "green" technologies and chemistries. Vertellus is the #1 global producer of pyridine and picolines, specialty pyridine derivatives, DEET, castor oil derivatives and systems, and citrate polymer additives and systems, and the world's #2 producer of Vitamin B-3. Vertellus Specialties benefits from a technically advanced global manufacturing base and has approximately 750 employees. The Company is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. For more information, visit

About Vertellus Biomaterials

Vertellus Biomaterials division, based in Hampshire in the UK, is part of Vertellus Specialties' Health and Specialty Products business and is focused on the development of new biocompatible materials designed to add value in healthcare and industrial applications. Key activities undertaken include coating process development, surface characterisation and new product design. The division's well-equipped office and laboratory facility, which was purpose-built from new and completed earlier his year, works under an ISO 9001:2000 quality management system and is designed to provide world-class support to customers -- primarily companies working in healthcare markets. For more information, visit

About Sorin Group

The Sorin Group (Bloomberg: SRN.IM; Reuters: SORN.MI), a world leader in the development of medical technologies for cardiac surgery, offers innovative therapies for cardiac rhythm dysfunctions, interventional cardiology and the treatment of chronic kidney diseases. The Sorin Group includes these brands: Dideco, CarboMedics, COBE Cardiovascular, Stoeckert, Mitroflow, ELA Medical, Sorin Biomedica, Bellco and Bellco-Soludia. At the Sorin Group 4,500 employees work to serve over 5,000 public and private treatment centers in more than 80 countries throughout the world. For more information, please visit

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Scott Smith of Vertellus Specialties Inc., +1-317-248-6517