FDA Approves New Innovative Cochlear Implant System

Nucleus(R) Freedom(TM) Designed to Mimic Natural Hearing

Mar 14, 2005, 00:00 ET from Cochlear Americas

    DENVER, March 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Cochlear Americas announced
 today that it recently received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug
 Administration (FDA) to market the Nucleus(R) Freedom(TM) cochlear implant
 system.  The Nucleus Freedom, which features both an internal component and an
 external speech processor, will begin shipping to clinics on April 3, 2005.
 The Nucleus Freedom is designed to mimic functions of the human ear and fit
 seamlessly into a user's lifestyle.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20050314/NYM180-a )
              http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20050314/NYM180-b )
     "The Nucleus Freedom offers a variety of innovative features designed to
 provide users with an experience more similar to natural hearing, allowing
 them the freedom to interact more fully with the world around them," said
 Chris Smith, President, Cochlear Americas.  "For instance, the Nucleus Freedom
 is the first device to offer SmartSound(TM), a combination of three unique
 sound technologies designed to enable better hearing in everyday listening
 situations. It is also the only cochlear implant system with a water resistant
 speech processor, allowing users to participate in activities around water
 while wearing the speech processor."
     The Nucleus Freedom implant features the Contour Advance(TM) electrode, a
 self-curling electrode array that allows the electrodes to be placed close to
 the hearing nerve for targeted stimulation and increased power efficiency,
 while applying minimal pressure on the cochlear structures.  The Contour
 Advance is the only electrode array designed to protect cochlear structures
 during surgery, which leading medical professionals say is essential in
 preserving residual hearing.
      Additional Features of the Nucleus Freedom
      The Nucleus Freedom also offers the following features:
      * SmartSound(TM) Beam(TM), the first and only two-microphone system
        designed to soften distracting background sounds allowing for focused
        listening in crowds.
      * SmartSound(TM) ADRO(TM), which automatically adjusts sound levels to
        deliver a balance of clarity and comfort.  Ideal for listening to music
        and in dynamic environments.
      * SmartSound(TM) Whisper(TM), which enhances softer sounds allowing
        recipients to understand them more clearly.
      * Up to five days of battery life.  Unlike other systems that rely on
        brand-specific rechargeable batteries that last only a few hours, the
        Nucleus Freedom can operate on one set of commercially available
        batteries for up to five days, depending on the user's coding strategy
        and rate.
     About Cochlear Implants
     Cochlear implants are a proven medical option for adults and children with
 severe to profound hearing loss.  They are electronic devices, which bypass
 damaged hair cells in the inner ear, or cochlea, and stimulate the hearing
 nerve directly.  Cochlear implants provide useful hearing and improved
 communication abilities to those who receive little or no benefit from hearing
 aids.  They are the only medical device designed to restore one of the five
 key senses.
     About Cochlear(TM) Americas
     Since launching the world's first cochlear implant system more than
 20 years ago, Cochlear Limited and its US headquarters, Cochlear Americas,
 have brought the miracle of sound to more than 60,000 hearing-impaired
 individuals across the globe. Cochlear's state-of-the-art technologies, based
 on extensive research and development at preeminent academic institutions,
 restore the ability to hear sound and understand speech-enhancing both
 learning capabilities and quality of life for those with severe to profound
 hearing loss. Cochlear has remained the market leader in its field thanks to
 an unwavering commitment to innovation, reliability and customer support.
 Numerous awards, as well as published scientific data, attest to Cochlear's
 outstanding product line and unsurpassed performance. Cochlear's promise "Hear
 Now. And Always." reflects its dedication to durability and service. For more
 information about Cochlear's products, call the Cochlear Nucleus(R) Hotline at
 800/458-4999 (Voice) or 800/483-3123 (TTY) or visit the Web site at

SOURCE Cochlear Americas