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May 26, 2011

Narrow Band Imaging (NBI) endoscopic technology,
useful in early cancer detection, selected for the Prime Minister Prize
at the 2011 National Commendation for Invention

EVIS LUCERA SPECTRUM endoscopic video imaging system featuring a Narrow Band Imaging function With NBI, the use of green and blue light highlights the mucosal surface and blood vessels deeper in the mucosa.

"EVIS LUCERA SPECTRUM endoscopic video imaging system featuring a Narrow Band Imaging function"

"With NBI, the use of green and blue light highlights the mucosal surface and blood vessels deeper in the mucosa."

Olympus Corporation (President & COO: Michael C. Woodford) is pleased to announce that the invention of the Narrow Band Imaging (NBI) endoscopic technology*1 has been selected for the Prime Minister Prize at the 2011 National Commendation for Invention of Japan.

The National Commendation for Invention will be held on 20 June 2011 at Hotel Okura in Tokyo.

*1 Patent application: 20 December 1999; patent registration: 13 August 2004; patent no. 3586157

Overview of the prize-winning technology

Medical endoscopy helps in the early detection of minute changes, such as cancerous lesions, that can occur in the superficial mucosal layers of the digestive tract and other parts of the body. With conventional endoscopy, observations are made using white light to illuminate the mucosal surface within the dark of the body. With Narrow Band Imaging*2 endoscopic technology, observations are made by irradiating with two narrow wave bands of light (blue: 390-445nm; green: 530-550nm) that are easily absorbed by hemoglobin in the blood. This provides enhanced images of the fine capillaries in the mucosal surface and detailed mucosal texture. Tumors promote blood vessel growth to supply nutrients for the cancer cells to grow, so characteristic changes when a tumor is growing include an increase in the number of fine capillaries and a complex texture on the mucosal surface. The use of NBI technology can therefore help in the early detection of cancer.

The NBI endoscopic system is used in the endoscopic video imaging systems EVIS LUCERA SPECTRUM, EVIS EXERA II, and VISERA PRO that were launched in 2006. Olympus is the leading manufacturer of gastrointestinal endoscopes and these mainstay medical endoscopic systems have contributed to earlier cancer diagnoses.

*2 Narrow Band Imaging is a registered trademark of Olympus Corporation

Award recipients
Kazuhiro Gono, R&D Planning Division, Olympus Medical Systems Corporation
Tetsuo Nonami, Corporate R&D Center, Olympus Corporation

National Commendation for Invention and the Prime Minister Prize
The National Commendation for Invention is a system of public acknowledgment started by the Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation (JIII) in 1919 to contribute to better science and technology in Japan and the development of industry.
The National Commendation for Invention focuses on inventions that are technologically superior and creative and produce outstanding results. The commendations are divided into two classes: Category 1 for inventions and creations that have produced remarkable achievements and Category 2 for excellent inventions that are expected to be produce major achievements. In Category 1, the best invention is awarded the Imperial Prize, while inventions of particular excellence are given special awards such as the Prime Minister Prize.

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