CENTER VALLEY, Pa., March 1, 2010 – Olympus America Inc. has signed a nonexclusive worldwide licensing agreement with Omnyx, LLC, a joint venture of GE Healthcare and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, allowing Omnyx to access an extensive portfolio of Olympus America patents in the field of virtual microscopy and digital pathology, to help develop solutions in the digital pathology field. The agreement helps clear the path for future imaging and data handling technologies that may one day facilitate the way doctors review and manage millions of biopsy slides and other pathology specimens now handled using glass slides and traditional optical microscopes.
The patents involved in the licensing agreement cover software and technology related to creating, storing and delivering virtual microscopy images. Virtual microscope slides enable professionals to review biopsies and other pathology images without handling traditional glass slides, and allow doctors to share high-resolution digital microscope images over the Internet for remote pathology consultation.
“Making these patented technologies and approaches available is very important to us,” said F. Mark Gumz, President and CEO of Olympus Corporation of the Americas, the parent company of Olympus America Inc. “Allowing Omnyx to license these patents will help advance the field of pathology and may ultimately contribute to better healthcare for people around the world.”
“Omnyx is pleased with the licensing of the Olympus patents,” said Gene Cartwright, CEO of Omnyx. “This license will provide confidence to future Omnyx customers who want to know their investments in digital pathology are stable and secure.”
According to a 2010 report published by Laboratory Economics, $13.2 billion was spent in anatomic pathology testing in the U.S. during 2008. The patented technologies can help deliver valuable images to doctors, streamline the review process, improve speed of reporting, save substantial expense, and enhance patient care. Virtual microscope slide technology also has the potential to aid hospitals in moving to comprehensive patient Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems – a transition that is already beginning in some areas of the world.
The specific terms and conditions of the agreement are not being made public by the two companies.
About Olympus Scientific Equipment Group
Olympus America Scientific Equipment Group provides innovative microscope imaging solutions for researchers, doctors, clinicians and educators. Olympus microscope systems offer unsurpassed optics, superior construction and system versatility to meet the ever-changing needs of microscopists, paving the way for future advances in life science. For more information, visit www.olympusamerica.com/microscopes
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;
· Digital cameras and voice recorders.
Olympus serves the healthcare field 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
Omnyx is a joint venture of GE Healthcare and The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The company is developing an enterprise platform to transform the scope of pathology to an all-digital workflow. The company will sell their digital pathology platform to clinical labs and offer an enterprise software platform for image management, workflow automation, image analysis algorithms and system integration along with its high speed whole-slide scanners. Close collaboration with pathologists at UPMC and other institutions along with their relationship with GE Healthcare allows Omnyx to focus its innovation on the needs of anatomic pathologists worldwide. Omnyx digital pathology products are currently in development and have not been cleared by the FDA.