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Clinical Results of Cryolife's Synergraft Technology Presented at 31st Cardiovascular Conference at Snowmass

January 24, 2000 at 8:04 AM EST

Clinical Studies Of Tissue-Engineered Synergraft(R) Replacement Heart Valves In The Aortic Position Of Two Human Patients Continue to be Encouraging

ATLANTA--(BW HealthWire)--Jan. 24, 2000-- CryoLife, Inc. (NYSE:CRY), the leader in the development and commercialization of living human tissue implantable devices and a manufacturer and distributor of stentless heart valves and surgical adhesives, today announced that the clinical results from the implantation of CryoLife's tissue-engineered SynerGraft(R) replacement heart valve in two female humans were presented at the American College of Cardiology's 31st Cardiovascular Conference. Dr. Mark O'Brien, a consultant to CryoLife, Inc. and a member of the CryoLife Cardiovascular Medical Advisory Board, delivered the presentation on Thursday, January 20, 2000, in Snowmass, Colorado.

CryoLife's SynerGraft technology is based on the use of a porcine heart valve, which is depopulated of its cells and in animal studies has demonstrated the repopulation of the tissue-engineered heart valve with the recipient's own cells. CryoLife expects the SynerGraft valve will function similarly to the patient's own native heart valve. In mid-August 1999, this technology was used to create tissue-engineered porcine heart valves that were implanted into two female patients. To date, post-operative echocardiograms show that the SynerGraft valves appear to be functioning normally. Both patients have returned to their normal, pre-surgery activities.

Dr. Mark O'Brien said, "It is very gratifying to be able to present the encouraging clinical results of the first ever tissue-engineered heart valves in the world. To date, these surgeries appear to be successful. From all indications, we have found a technology which may revolutionize the replacement of heart valves, making life-enhancing surgery available to individuals who might otherwise be restricted in their activities due to the need of anticoagulants (blood thinners)."

Steven G. Anderson, President and Chief Executive Officer of CryoLife, said, "We are very encouraged by the results of these patients and by the progress which continues to be made in our efforts to make this technology available to the medical community. Our confidence in our SynerGraft technology and our belief in the importance of this technology to patients in need of heart valve replacements continue to grow."

Founded in 1984, CryoLife, Inc. is the leader in the development and commercialization of implantable living human tissues for use in cardiovascular, vascular, and orthopaedic surgeries throughout the United States and Canada. The Company's BioGlue(R) surgical adhesive is approved as an adjunct for acute thoracic aortic dissections under HDE regulations in the United States and is CE marked in the European Union for use in vascular and pulmonary repair. The Company also manufactures CryoLife-O'Brien(R) and CryoLife-Ross(R) Stentless porcine heart valves which are distributed only within the European Community.

Statements made in this press release which look forward in time involve risks and uncertainties and are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such risks and uncertainties include the possibility that future clinical results will prove less encouraging, the technology will not be widely accepted by surgeons, changes in economic cycles, competition from other companies, changes in laws and governmental regulations applicable to the Company and other risk factors detailed in the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including the Company's Prospectus dated March 30, 1998, contained in its Registration Statement on Form S-3 (No. 333-46545).

For additional information about the Company, visit CryoLife's web site: http://www.cryolife.com


     CONTACT:  CryoLife Inc., Atlanta
               Roy Vogeltanz, 800/438-8285