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NOSCAR® Increases NOTES® Research with Olympus Medical Systems Corporation Grant

Olympus funds an additional $250,000 in grants for research


OAK BROOK, Ill., July 11, 2009 – The Natural Orifice Surgery Consortium for Assessment and Research®(NOSCAR®), a joint effort of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) and the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES), today announced Olympus’ continuing commitment to funding research in an emerging minimally invasive transdisciplinary therapy known as Natural Orifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery™, with a $250,000 grant to the existing Olympus Research Fund supporting NOTES™ research. This grant increases Olympus’ total funding to $1.25 million.

NOTES, which is performed by using the patient’s natural openings for surgery, will be discussed among more than 250 medical experts, researchers and physicians, from July 9-11, 2009 at the 4th International NOSCAR Conference on NOTES in Boston, Massachusetts.

“NOSCAR® is grateful to Olympus Medical Systems Corporation for supporting NOTES® research and helping to advance this minimally invasive technique,” said Steven D. Schwaitzberg, MD, NOSCAR® Research Subcommittee Co-Chair.

“For the third consecutive year Olympus, a world leader in endoscopy, is proud to support the pioneering effort of NOTES® research,” said Haruhito Morishima, President, Olympus Medical Systems Corporation. “As a company committed to surgical innovation and to the advancement of less invasive patient care, we believe that funding the responsible, effective and safe development of this new modality may lead to an approach that could ultimately represent a major paradigm shift in minimally invasive therapy.”

“We continue to receive an outstanding response for basic research funding reflecting the momentum this revolutionary technique has created,” said Michael L. Kochman, MD, FASGE, NOSCAR® Research Subcommittee Co-Chair.

In July 2008, NOSCAR leadership granted funds to determine topics requiring further basic research in order to make the NOTES platform feasible.  That grant, used for research called the Delphi Study, gathered data from physicians and researchers around the world to identify those areas requiring additional research and investigation.  The topics to be funded will be announced when the call for submissions is sent later this month.

For more information on this grant, visit www.noscar.org or call 630-570-5616.

About NOSCAR
Natural Orifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery® (NOTES®) might represent the next major advancement in minimally invasive therapy. To address this emerging technology, a working group consisting of expert laparoscopic surgeons from SAGES and a group of expert interventional endoscopists representing ASGE have joined together as the Natural Orifice Surgery Consortium for Assessment and Research® (NOSCAR®) Working Group on NOTES®.
The growing capabilities of therapeutic flexible endoscopy have ushered in a new era in treatment of gastrointestinal conditions. Refinements in laparoscopic surgery have progressed to the point that complex surgical procedures, such as gastric bypass, can now be performed in a minimally invasive fashion. These trends have set the stage for the development of even less invasive methods to treat conditions in both the gut lumen and in the peritoneal cavity. It seems feasible that major intraperitoneal surgery may one day be performed without skin incisions. The natural orifices may provide the entry point for surgical interventions in the peritoneal cavity thereby avoiding abdominal wall incisions.  For more information, visit www.noscar.org.
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About the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons
The Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) was founded in 1981 to foster, promote, support and encourage academic, clinical and research achievement in gastrointestinal endoscopic surgery.  Our members are general and colorectal surgeons who perform endoscopy and laparoscopy as part of their practice as well as surgical residents, fellows, and other allied health personnel. The Society has grown from fewer than 50 original members to more than 5,500 from every state and over 80 countries. Visit www.sages.org for more information.

About the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Founded in 1941, the mission of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy is to be the leader in advancing patient care and digestive health by promoting excellence in gastrointestinal endoscopy. ASGE, with nearly 11,000 members worldwide, promotes the highest standards for endoscopic training and practice, fosters endoscopic research, recognizes distinguished contributions to endoscopy, and is the foremost resource for endoscopic education. Visit www.asge.org and www.screen4coloncancer.org for more information and to find a qualified doctor in your area.

About Olympus Medical Systems Corporation
Olympus developed the first gastrocamera in 1950, and has since developed a wide range of fiberscopes and videoscopes for direct internal observation of the human body. Today, we are expanding our minimally invasive treatment business to offer a wide range of instruments and peripheral devices for medical treatment and clinical diagnoses, including endoscopic surgery. We are improving medical and healthcare services by developing “more patient-friendly medical care” technology for early detection and treatment of diseases, even “greater reliability” in our unsurpassed devices and “high efficiency” in our products and services to better serve our customers' needs. More information on the company can be found at www.olympus.co.jp/en/.

Media Contacts:

Barbara Connell
NOSCAR
630-570-5616
barbara@noscar.org

Anne Brownsey
ASGE
630-570-5635
abrownsey@asge.org

Megan Longenderfer
Olympus America
484-896-5579
megan.longenderfer@olympus.com