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 CHICAGO - April 24, 2008 - DePuy Spine, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson  company, today announced the launch of the VIPER™2 Pedicle Screw Fixation System  (VIPER2), a new minimally invasive spine system offering comprehensive  instrumentation and implant options that can be used on a wide range of spinal  pathologies including deformity, trauma, tumor and degenerative disc disease. 

DePuy Spine made the announcement here at the 76th Annual Meeting of the  American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), where it will showcase the  VIPER2 System and its full line of minimally invasive spine products and  solutions.

"The VIPER2 System will help surgeons bring the benefits of a  minimally invasive approach to a much broader range of complex spinal  pathologies," said Robert F. Heary, MD at the University of Medicine and  Dentistry of New Jersey. "This is clearly a revolutionary next generation  product."

VIPER2 is the first and only complete minimally invasive rod  and pedicle screw system that can be used to perform minimally invasive spinal  fixation across the length of the entire thoracolumbar spine (T1 to Sacrum),  with rods of any curvature and lengths from 30 to 480 mm.

The VIPER2  System consists of two unique delivery options and an innovative screw design  that reduces screw assembly and insertion steps by nearly 50 percent compared to  previous systems.

The new advanced rod insertion technique allows  surgeons to utilize existing incisions to deliver any curvature rod up to 480 mm  long, eliminating the need for remote rod insertion and complicated alignment  jigs. This allows surgeons to treat complex cases such as deformity, trauma and  tumors with minimal tissue trauma and blood loss.

"VIPER2 is the latest  addition to our comprehensive line of minimally invasive spine solutions, which  includes the SPOTLIGHT™, PIPELINE™ and CONCORDE™ systems," said Ian Burgess, (WW  Vice President, Research and Development). "Minimally invasive spine surgery is  one of the fastest growing areas for DePuy Spine."

VIPER2 includes two  screw options: traditional cannulated polyaxial screws that can be attached to  standard screw extensions or innovative, new extended tab (X-Tabs) screws. X-Tab  screws eliminate the need for complicated extension loading procedures in the  OR, require smaller (12mm) incisions and feature built-in reduction threads.  They are available in multiple diameters from 5 to 7.5 mm and lengths from 30 to  55 mm.

The system's 5.5mm diameter titanium rods come in straight,  pre-lordosed, and pre-kyphosed configurations or can be contoured on-site to  match the patient's anatomy, including dual curves. Rod placement can be  immediately confirmed as it passes through each screw extension using visual  markers and tactile feedback. Their Bulleted Hex-End design provides 360 degrees  of rotation control during and after rod placement. VIPER2 is fully compatible  with the EXPEDIUM™ 5.5 Rod System for hybrid construct options.

About  DePuy Spine

DePuy Spine has worked and partnered with leading  clinicians, researchers, and thought leaders to develop products to treat spine  disorders for over 20 years. Today, DePuy Spine stands in the forefront of the  worldwide spine market, with a substantial sales organization in the U.S. and an  expanding worldwide distribution network. The company is committed to advancing  the knowledge of all health care professionals and their patients in addressing  spinal pathologies. 

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