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Olympus Announces Novel Small Bowel Diagnostic and Treatment Solution

Single Balloon Enteroscope Increases Efficiencies for Small Bowel Procedures

Center Valley, PA, May 8, 2007- Olympus, a precision technology leader creating innovative opto-digital solutions in healthcare, life science and consumer electronics products, today announced the introduction of the Single Balloon Enteroscope system (SBE), which is designed to provide physicians with increased efficiencies for the examination and treatment of the small bowel, while allowing physicians and hospitals to maintain high-quality patient care. The SBE is the latest in Olympus' expanding lineup of GI solutions to improve reliability and efficiency in the treatment of small bowel conditions.

The SBE can be used in antegrade or retrograde fashion and is intuitive for the first-time user. Thanks to its easy setup and simple operation, the SBE reduces average examination time compared to other small bowel enteroscopy procedures. The SBE, which utilizes the Olympus EVIS EXERA II™ universal platform, offers high-resolution images and improved insertion ability.

“Single balloon enteroscopy is an exciting and tremendous addition to the clinician's endoscopic capabilities,” said John J. Vargo, M.D., M.P.H., section head of therapeutic and hepatobiliary endoscopy, department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. “The procedure is typically performed in approximately 50 minutes in an ambulatory setting utilizing moderate sedation. The technique is easily learned and in our study the diagnostic yield is high.”

The SBE includes the SIF-Q180 endoscope, the Balloon Control Unit OBCU and the ST-SB1 single-use splinting tube. The SBE can be used with a broad range of EndoTherapy devices used in tissue sampling, hemostasis and foreign object removal. For effective utilization of existing Olympus equipment, the SIF-Q180 is compatible with the last three generations of Olympus video endoscope platforms: the EVIS 140, EVIS EXERA 160 series and the most recent EVIS EXERA II™.

The SBE, one of Olympus' many diagnostic and treatment solutions in the field of GI, will be launched in North America under the new “EnteroPro” brand and can be seen along with Endo Capsule, Olympus' new capsule endoscope system, at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) in Washington, May 19-24. The “EnteroPro” brand has been established for Olympus products designed for use in the small bowel. In addition to the SBE and EndoTherapy devices, EnteroPro also includes Endo Capsule, which in the U.S. is currently undergoing 510(k) review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

SBE Features

1. Easy Setup and Simple Operation
Pre-examination preparations for the SBE are easy. The splinting tube's smooth glide, hydrophilic coating is activated with the simple addition of water. The high-end SIF-Q180 and ST-SB1 splinting tube allow for outstanding insertion and therapeutic access to the small bowel. The SBE is controlled by repeatedly inflating and deflating a single balloon, attached to the distal end of the splinting tube, via the remote balloon controller's easy-to-use ergonomic hand controls and automatic pressure control features. This eliminates the need for complex operations, thereby reducing the time required for examinations.

2. High-Resolution Imaging and Improved Insertion Ability
Even with the use of high-resolution Charge Coupled Device (CCD) technology, Olympus was able to limit the outer diameter of the SBE's distal end to just 9.2 mm. The insertion section has been optimized for use with the ST-SB1 single-use splinting tube, while the rigid distal end and angulation section have been shortened to enhance maneuverability and insertion ability. In addition, a 2.8 mm forceps channel accommodates a wide range of EndoTherapy accessories.

3. Splinting Tube and Balloon 100 percent Latex Free
The ST-SB1 single - use splinting tubes for the SIF-Q180 series endoscope are all 100 percent latex-free. This makes them less prone to cause latex allergy.

SBE Background
The small bowel is more difficult to completely access compared to other parts of the gastrointestinal tract, such as the esophagus, stomach and large intestine. In recent years, the development of capsule endoscopes, led by researchers in Europe and North America, has made the entire small bowel accessible for endoscopic observation. This new technology has given doctors the means to observe, and in many cases treat, the entire small bowel. There is now a growing need for enteroscopes to observe and, in combination with EndoTherapy products, carry out tissue sampling and treatment.

Olympus has been a leading manufacturer of gastroenterological endoscopes since its development of the world's first practical gastrocamera in 1950. Through its work in this field, Olympus has helped to improve the quality of medical care by providing reliable and efficient medical diagnostic and treatment systems. Its many contributions to endoscopy in general, including the development of the flexible fiberscope in 1973 and a video endoscope in 1987, have paved the way for Olympus' SBE today.

Medical practitioners need solutions that are easy to operate and reduce examination time. Olympus has responded to this need by introducing the SBE, along with Endo Capsule, for the observation, and treatment of the small bowel. Endo Capsule was launched in Europe in October 2005 and has also become available in Australia, New Zealand and several Asian countries. In the U.S., Endo Capsule is currently under 510(k) review with FDA. With these products, combined with its extensive line of EndoTherapy devices, Olympus will provide comprehensive support for endoscopic observation and treatment of the small bowel.

About Olympus Medical Systems Group
Olympus Medical Systems Group provides endoscopy knowledge and solutions that enable healthcare professionals in GI hospital suites, ambulatory surgical centers and private practices to achieve excellent clinical and financial outcomes across the continuum of care. Olympus offers diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopes and EndoTherapy accessories; service and repair solutions; Web-based endoscopy information products; GI lab integration services; cleaning and disinfection products and services; cost-effective financial solutions; and consulting services.

Olympus is a precision technology leader, creating innovative opto-digital solutions in healthcare, life science and consumer electronics products.

Olympus works collaboratively with its customers and its affiliates worldwide 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 cameras and voice recorders.

Olympus serves healthcare and commercial laboratory markets with integrated product solutions and financial, educational and consulting services that help customers to efficiently, reliably and more easily achieve exceptional results. Olympus develops breakthrough technologies with revolutionary product design and functionality for the consumer and professional photography markets, and also is the leader in gastrointestinal endoscopy and clinical and educational microscopes. For more information, visit www.olympusamerica.com.


Megan Longenderfer
Olympus America Inc.
(484) 896-5579

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