Sales Success in North America Drives Distribution Expansion into European Markets and Provides Co-Marketing Opportunities for Premiere Hamilton Thorne Products

BEVERLY, MA and TORONTO, Ontario March 1, 2012 -Hamilton Thorne Ltd. (TSX-V: HTL), a leading provider of precision laser devices and advanced imaging systems for the fertility, stem cell and developmental biology research markets, today announced the expansion of its distribution partnership with Leica Microsystems GmbH of Wetzlar, Germany, a leading global producer of innovative high-tech precision optics systems for the analysis of microstructures. This new arrangement will provide Leica Microsystems with access to Hamilton Thorne’s current portfolio of laser products, as well as select pipeline products including the strongly anticipated IMSI STRICT™ software for the fertility market.

The expanded partnership will enable Hamilton Thorne and Leica Microsystems to further penetrate markets that have proven successful and synergistic for both companies such as fertility and cell research markets. The new multi-year agreement provides Leica Microsystems with non-exclusive rights to market and distribute Hamilton Thorne products in Spain, Portugal and Italy, in addition to the North American market.  Hamilton Thorne and Leica Microsystems continue to collaborate on technical product integration between the two companies.

 “We are pleased to continue our strategic partnership with Leica Microsystems, a renowned global leader in microscopy and optics. In the US markets especially, Leica Microsystems has provided Hamilton Thorne with significant technical advantages, which has enabled our internal sales team to enter new and beneficial developmental biology research markets,” says David Wolf, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hamilton Thorne. “Hamilton Thorne has launched several game-changing products in 2011, like our new LYKOS™ laser system, and will continue to introduce new and innovative products in 2012. The renewed partnership with Leica Microsystems will expand the distribution channels for these new products in North America and Europe, and help drive rapid product adoption.”

“During the course of our partnership, Hamilton Thorne’s products have proven to be an ideal extension to our robust catalog of optics systems, and we are confident that our expanded relationship will continue to positively contribute to the bottom line of both companies,” says Sebastian Tille, Head of Business Segment 'Widefield Imaging', Life Science Division of Leica Microsystems. “Hamilton Thorne’s laser products offer our current customers best-in-class cell analysis capabilities, and with our combined strengths, we can further penetrate and open up new sales opportunities in areas such as advanced cell biology.”

The expansion of the existing strategic relationship will continue to focus on joint product development, manufacturing of select components for Hamilton Thorne products, and distribution arrangements in additional markets.

About Leica Microsystems (www.leica-microsystems.com)

Leica Microsystems is a world leader in microscopes and scientific instruments. Founded as a family business in the nineteenth century, the company’s history was marked by unparalleled innovation on its way to becoming a global enterprise.

Its historically close cooperation with the scientific community is the key to Leica Microsystems’ tradition of innovation, which draws on users’ ideas and creates solutions tailored to their requirements. At the global level, Leica Microsystems is organized in four divisions, all of which are among the leaders in their respective fields: the Life Science Division, Industry Division, Biosystems Division and Medical Division.

Leica Microsystems’ Biosystems Division, also known as Leica Biosystems, offers histopathology laboratories the most extensive product range with appropriate products for each work step in histology and for a high level of productivity in the working processes of the entire laboratory.

The company is represented in over 100 countries with 12 manufacturing facilities in 7 countries, sales and service organizations in 19 countries and an international network of dealers. The company is headquartered in Wetzlar, Germany.

About Hamilton Thorne Ltd. (www.hamiltonthorne.com)

Hamilton Thorne designs, manufactures and distributes precision laser devices and advanced imaging systems for the fertility, stem cell and development biology research markets.  It provides novel solutions for Life Science that reduce cost, increase productivity, improve results and enable research breakthroughs in regenerative medicine, stem cell research and fertility markets. Hamilton Thorne's laser products attach to standard inverted microscopes and operate as robotic micro-surgeons, enabling a wide array of scientific applications and IVF procedures.  Its imaging systems improve outcomes in human IVF clinics and animal breeding facilities and provide high-end toxicology analyses. 

Hamilton Thorne’s growing customer base includes pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, fertility clinics, university research centers, and other commercial and academic research establishments worldwide. Current customers include world-leading research labs such as Harvard University, MIT, Yale, McGill University, DuPont, Monsanto, Charles River Labs, Jackson Labs, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer, Oxford University, and Cambridge.

Neither the Toronto Venture Exchange, nor its regulation services provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the exchange), accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Certain information in this press release may contain forward-looking statements. This information is based on current expectations that are subject to significant risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. Actual results might differ materially from results suggested in any forward-looking statements. The Company assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those reflected in the forward-looking statements unless and until required by securities laws applicable to the Company. Additional information identifying risks and uncertainties is contained in filings by the Company with the Canadian securities regulators, which filings are available at www.sedar.com.