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Olympus TANGO® Automated Blood Bank System Now Available for Use in United States

Automation For ABO/Rh Testing and Antibody Screening

MELVILLE, NY, July 28, 2005 – Olympus America Inc., the leading provider of high-throughput automated blood bank instruments to the North American donor market since the 1980s, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared the TANGO ® Automated Blood Bank System for use in the United States. The FDA has also licensed Blood Grouping and Anti-Human Globulin Reagents specifically formulated and manufactured exclusively for use on the TANGO instrument. The TANGO System is designed for transfusion services, donor centers and reference laboratories performing blood group serology testing. It is capable of performing a host of functions including blood group determinations; antibody screening, and donor ABO/Rh confirmation testing. It is already widely used in Europe. The TANGO System is manufactured by Biotest AG, Germany ( www.biotest.de/ww/en/pub/folder_ag/der_konzern.htm ).

“This is an extraordinary development, not only for Olympus, but for the entire blood banking arena,” said Stephen Wasserman, Group Vice President for the Olympus America Inc. Diagnostic Systems Group. “TANGO offers outstanding flexibility, value, performance, accuracy and ease of use to transfusion services, with enhanced specificity and sensitivity. There is already substantial pent-up demand for the system.”

With a throughput of approximately 190 wells per hour depending on the test configuration, TANGO provides laboratorians a more efficient tool in areas where real estate is tight and functionality is key. The benchtop analyzer measures just 4.2 (L) x 2.2 (W) x 2.4 (H) feet and weighs 286 pounds. The TANGO automates positive sample identification; recording of reagents (lot numbers, expiration dates); sample dilutions; reagent addition and mixing; incubation; washing; centrifugation and result interpretation.

The system uses eight-well strips for both flexibility and value. ABO/Rh testing is performed using strips containing dried antisera in the wells. Antibody screening is performed using a new solid phase methodology that eliminates the need for indicator red cells as found in other solid phase systems. Multiple configurations are available for the antibody screen testing (pooled, two-cell and three-cell screens). In field trials, this methodology showed superior or equivalent specificity and sensitivity when compared to all reference methods.

For greater flexibility, TANGO systems also features batch and random access operating modes and STAT sample interrupt. For easy use and maximum efficiency, it will use a Windows® 2000 operating system, Pentium® processor, touch screen interface and image analysis software.

Olympus will offer a variety of acquisition options including leases, cost per test programs and outright instrument purchase. For additional information, contact Marie Foyt, Product Manager, Olympus Diagnostic Systems Group, at (800) 628-7152, ext. 2623. Fax: (972) 432-9532. Email Marie.Foyt@olympus.com .

About Olympus Diagnostic Systems Group

Olympus Diagnostic Systems Group provides innovative solutions that meet the high productivity demands of hospitals, integrated healthcare delivery networks, reference labs, blood banks and pharmaceutical labs. Olympus offers the broadest standardized line of random access chemistry-immuno analyzers, along with lab automation systems, comprehensive patient safety systems, blood bank analyzers and reagents. Olympus solutions save laboratories time, enhance patient safety, maximize productivity, and deliver fast, reliable results.

Olympus is a precision technology leader, designing and delivering innovative solutions in healthcare and consumer electronics worldwide.

Olympus works collaboratively with its customers and its parent company, Tokyo-based Olympus Corporation, to leverage R&D investment in precision technology and manufacturing processes across diverse business lines. These include:

  • Gastrointestinal endoscopes, accessories, and minimally invasive surgical products;
  • Advanced clinical and research microscopes;
  • Lab automation systems, chemistry-immuno and blood bank analyzers and reagents;
  • Digital and film cameras and digital voice recorders.

Olympus TANGO ® Automated Blood Bank System

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