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ATS Medical Appoints James L. Cox, M.D. as Medical Director

MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- ATS Medical, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATSI), manufacturer and marketer of state-of-the-art cardiac surgery products and services, today announced that James L. Cox, M.D. has agreed to serve as the company's Medical Director. Dr. Cox' reputation as a preeminent authority in the surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation and his groundbreaking research that serves as the foundation for ATS 3f(R) tissue valve technologies, uniquely qualifies him to support the company's efforts in these key growth platforms.


Dr. Cox began a distinguished career in cardiothoracic surgery at Duke University where he trained and served as a faculty member. He went on to become the first Evarts A. Graham Professor of Surgery and Chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, a position he held for 14 years. In July, 2000, he retired as the Professor and Chairman of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, DC. He has been the President of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery and continually served the advancement of his profession through numerous journal, committee and research leadership positions. In June 2000, Dr. Cox was honored in Paris, France as one of thirty "Pioneers in Cardiothoracic Surgery" for the First 50 Years of the Specialty.

Michael Dale, President and CEO of ATS Medical noted, "Dr. James Cox is recognized and respected worldwide for his contributions to cardiac surgery. His Cox-Maze Procedure serves as the "gold standard" for the surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation, and he maintains a keen interest in developing device based approaches that will deliver similar high efficacy therapy to a rapidly growing patient cohort through more cost effective and less invasive methods. Dr. Cox was also a founder of 3f Therapeutics, subsequently acquired by ATS Medical in 2006. His seminal theories on prosthetic heart valve development led to the design concepts underlying what is now the ATS 3f(R) tissue valve technology portfolio. There is no one better equipped to provide us with clinical insights and scientific guidance as we refine our offerings for the surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation and heart valve therapy. We are privileged to gain access to his extensive clinical experience and visionary perspective."

About ATS Medical

ATS Medical, Inc. provides innovative products and services focused on cardiac surgery. The company, global in scope, is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. More than 140,000 ATS Open Pivot(R) Heart Valves, which utilize a unique pivot design resulting in exceptional performance and low risk profile, have been implanted in patients worldwide. The ATS 3f(R) brand encompasses multiple tissue heart valve product offerings at varying steps from market introductions to clinical trials to development projects that incorporate less invasive valve replacement technology. ATS Medical's focus on serving the cardiac surgery community is further strengthened by offerings that include ATS Simulus(R) annuloplasty products for heart valve repair, ATS CryoMaze(TM) surgical ablation products, and RTI-Cardiovascular for allograft tissue services. The ATS Medical web site is

Safe Harbor

This Press Release contains forward-looking statements that may include statements regarding intent, belief or current expectations of the Company and its management. Actual results could differ materially from those projected in the forward looking statements as a result of a number of important factors, including the results of clinical trials, the timing of regulatory approvals, the integration of 3f Therapeutics and the surgical cryoablation business of CryoCath Technologies, Inc., regulatory actions, competition, pricing pressures, supplier actions and management of growth. For a discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties that could affect the Company's activities and results, please refer to the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2006 and its most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q.

SOURCE ATS Medical, Inc.
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