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USHIFU Announces First Sonablate(R) HIFU Device in India for Minimally Invasive Prostate Cancer Treatment

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- USHIFU, a worldwide leader in the development, distribution and use of minimally invasive high intensity focused ultrasound technologies, announced today the establishment of India HIFU and the launch of Sonablate(R) HIFU services in Hyderabad, India at Dr. Ramayya's Pramila Hospital for the treatment of prostate disease.

Dr. Ramesh Ramayya, President of Urology and Nephrology Services at the hospital said, "The introduction of the Sonablate(R)500 and the HIFU technology for the treatment of prostate cancer marks a major milestone in the practice of urology in the Indian sub-continent."

The Sonablate(R) HIFU will be launched in India officially at an inauguration event held on December 3, 2008 at the Taj Krishna by the Chief Minister Dr. Y.S. Rajashekar Reddy. Additionally, Dr. Madhav Kamat of Jaslok Hospital in Mumbai and Dr. A. Ranganadha Rao, past president of the Urological Society of India will be guests of honor at the inauguration. Dr D. Ramanaidu, film producer, will launch the Prostate Cancer Awareness Program on the same day. The following day, the first HIFU treatments in India will be performed by Dr. Ramayya. USHIFU medical director, Dr. George Suarez will observe the procedure remotely through a virtual private network (VPN) and be able to provide commentary.

"As the population is aging with a healthy lifestyle it is imperative that patients with prostate cancer are offered a viable alternative to the existing therapy options of surgery and radiotherapy. HIFU technology is minimally invasive, far safer than and as effective as existing alternatives. I am sure Sonablate(R) HIFU and India HIFU Centers will be a resounding success in India," continued Dr. Ramayya.

"I have seen HIFU in action and I believe it is a good decision. There are many patients I feel who will benefit with HIFU in India, especially those that do not like surgery. There are also many patients who have had radical prostatectomy or radiotherapy in India; surely there must be some failures, HIFU will be useful in this group too," said Dr. Ganesh Gopalakrishnan, Professor of Urology in CMC, Vellore and President Elect Urological Society of India.

Steve Puckett, Jr., Chief Executive Officer, USHIFU said, "We are extremely enthusiastic about the growth opportunity in the Indian market. Using our unique hybrid medical device-service model we will be able to quickly enter all the major Indian healthcare markets without having to rely on sometimes slow hospital capital spending decisions. We are proud to be able to expeditiously arm Indian physicians with an alternative modality to combat prostate cancer and the significant side effects associate with traditional treatments."

India HIFU is affiliated with USHIFU and International HIFU, the entity through which USHIFU conducts its international business operations and makes the HIFU technologies available to patients at centers outside the United States. India HIFU is the exclusive distributor of the Sonablate(R) system in India, and is responsible for marketing and developing Sonablate(R) HIFU Centers throughout the country.

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