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Olympus Announces U.S. Release of Progesterone Assay For Olympus AU3000i® Immunoassay System

Center Valley, PA, October 6, 2008 – Olympus, a leader in the field of in vitro diagnostics, has introduced a progesterone immunoassay for sale in the U.S.
Progesterone along with Estradiol is one of the two major female sex hormones. Measurement of progesterone is commonly performed when evaluating patients during pregnancy or with patients with reproductive disorders. A patient’s progesterone concentration can vary from day to day or even hour to hour; consequently, this test is ordered frequently to observe changes over time.

The Olympus AU3000i® progesterone assay is a paramagnetic particle chemiluminescent competitive immunoassay with a measuring range of approximately 0.10 - 55 ng/mL. It measures quantitative concentrations of progesterone in either 10 microliters of serum or lithium-heparin plasma samples after 28 minutes of processing time. The AU3000i system can automatically extend this range to measure samples with a progesterone concentration exceeding 55 ng/mL by diluting 20 microliters samples at a ratio of 1:10 using the onboard Olympus Sample Diluent 3. Each progesterone kit is sufficient to process 100 tests, and contains progesterone reagents, a single ready-to-use calibrator, and a single ready-to-use control. Reagents are stable on board the AU3000i system for 28 days.

“The addition of the progesterone assay to the already available Olympus fertility assays LH, FSH and Prolactin is an important step in the development of a panel of tests comprising from seven to ten percent of the test volume in a routine clinical laboratory,” said Lorraine Damico, Director of Immunoassay Marketing for Olympus America Inc.

For additional information about Olympus assays visit www.olympusamerica.com/AU3000i/, or contact Lorraine Damico at 1-484-896-5463, or via email at lorraine.damico@olympus.com.

About this test
The Olympus progesterone assay is a paramagnetic particle (DynaBeads®) chemiluminescent immunoassay for the in vitro quantitative measurement of progesterone in human serum or lithium-heparin plasma. It is traceable to USP material with progesterone values assigned by ID-GC/MS (Isotope dilution gas chromatography mass spectrometry). In conjunction with estrogen hormones, progesterone regulates the accessory organs during the menstrual cycle and the establishment and maintenance of pregnancy. Measurements of serum progesterone have also been used to check the effectiveness of ovulation induction, to monitor progesterone replacement therapy, and to detect and evaluate patients at risk of spontaneous abortion during the early weeks of pregnancy. They are not considered a suitable means for monitoring fetal wellbeing during the third trimester.

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

About Olympus
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.