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February 21, 2001

Westaim Biomedical receives FDA Over-the-Counter clearance for Acticoat ™ products

Exeter, NH, USA -- - 

First Acticoat® antimicrobial bandage for the consumer market
The Westaim Corporation’s subsidiary, Westaim Biomedical Corp., today announced that it has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration clearance to market over-the-counter silver-based antimicrobial bandages for consumer use. The bandages will be a lower-dose version of Westaim Biomedical’s successful Acticoat® burn and chronic wound dressings.

With the new marketing clearance, Westaim Biomedical can adapt its technology to over-the-counter products for the local management of superficial wounds, cuts, scrapes, abrasions, lacerations and minor burns.

The company will pursue similar approvals from Canada’s Health Protection Branch.

“Consumers will be able to use a lower dosage form of the same powerful technology employed in burn units to treat the most severe, life threatening infections humans can face,” said Scott H. Gillis, President of Westaim Biomedical. “We believe there is a significant market opportunity for a proven antimicrobial consumer bandage.”

Westaim Biomedical’s Acticoat® antimicrobial technology uses a proprietary nanocrystalline coating of pure silver to coat dressings and other medical devices. Acticoat® - coated products are effective against more than 150 pathogens, including antibiotic-resistant superbugs such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE).

“Popular over-the-counter bandages are not as effective against superbugs as Acticoat dressings,” said Gillis. “In laboratory tests, Acticoat products kill more bacteria, more quickly than ointment-based products such as the currently available antibacterial bandages.”

To bring its over-the-counter products to market, Westaim Biomedical is engaged in discussions and collaborative research projects with some of the world’s leading over-the-counter bandage producers. Time to market is expected to be approximately two years.

About Westaim Biomedical Corp.
Westaim Biomedical Corp. develops medical devices based on its Acticoat® antimicrobial technology, a patented method of applying a thin layer of antimicrobial silver to base materials. The first commercial product based on this technology is the Acticoat® Burn Dressing, launched into the burn wound market in 1998. Since then, the Acticoat® technology has demonstrated its clinical effectiveness in preventing infection in burn wounds. Acticoat® burn dressings are used in more than 100 of the 120 North American burn hospitals. Acticoat® burn dressings have become a commercial success with sales of over $5 million in the second full year of availability. In 2000, Westaim Biomedical introduced Acticoat® 7 dressings into the specialized chronic wound market. Future applications based on Acticoat® antimicrobial technology include catheters, orthopaedic implants and other medical devices.

About The Westaim Corporation
The Westaim Corporation is a technology accelerator that launches exceptional technologies into the marketplace. In addition to its investment in Westaim Biomedical, Westaim’s technology investments include iFire Technology Inc., which has developed a revolutionary low-cost flat panel display and Savvion, a leader in e-business management software. Westaim’s common shares are listed on Nasdaq under the symbol WEDX and on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol WED.


For more information contact:
Tony Johnston, Senior Vice President
The Westaim Corporation
(403) 234-3103

Westaim Legal Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements 
This news release may contain forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations that are subject to risks and uncertainties, and the Company can give no assurance that these expectations are correct. Various factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in such statements, including financial considerations and those predicting the timing and market acceptance of future products. The Company disclaims any intention or obligations to revise forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise. All forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by this Cautionary Statement.

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