While it can't turn you into the bionic man, hearing technology firm Advanced Bionics can help restore hearing to the deaf. A leading provider of cochlear hearing devices, Advanced Bionics (also known as AB) makes the HiResolution (HiRes) Bionic Ear System, which includes a cochlear implant, sound processor, and other equipment that together can help severe-to-profound hearing loss to hear. The implants are compatible with several processing systems (sold under the Auria, Neptune, and Platinum Series brand) and T-Mic microphone system. The company provides mentoring and support services to implant customers worldwide. Advanced Bionics is a subsidiary of global hearing aid manufacturer Sonova.
Advanced Bionics has facilities in the US, France, and Japan. Its products are sold in more than 50 countries.
Advanced Bionics operates independently, while benefiting from access to Sonova's technologies and distribution network. Advanced Bionics' implant system was first marketed in 1996.
Parent Sonova -- maker of the Phonak and Lyric hearing aids -- acquired Advanced Bionics to dominate both the hearing aid and hearing implant markets. However, in late 2010 the shiny new relationship hit a snag when Advanced Bionics issued a recall for its HiRes 90K cochlear implant device after two customers complained of pain and loud noises. Sonova then reduced the unit's workforce and revamped its management, and the HiRes 90K system was approved by the FDA for re-entry into the US market in 2011.
Through its history, the company has conducted R&D programs to produce newer, improved versions of its ear implants and related equipment, such as the Harmony processor and Fidelity 120 software. It launched a waterproof Neptune sound processor product in 2012.
Advanced Bionics was acquired by global hearing aid manufacturer Sonova for $489 million in early 2010. Founder and co-CEO Alfred Mann retired upon the acquisition's closure; Mann owned about 60% of Advanced Bionics prior to the sale.
Advanced Bionics' acquisition by Sonova came only a couple of years after the company parted ways with former parent Boston Scientific. The medical device giant had acquired Advanced Bionics in 2004; however, after a rocky post-acquisition process, the marriage was terminated through a reverse merger transaction in early 2008. – less