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December 11, 2006
Olympus and VisEn Medical Sign Exclusive Distribution Agreement for Asia
- Sales Area for Near Infrared Fluorescence In Vivo Imaging Platforms Expanded
Olympus Corporation (Olympus, President: Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, headquarters: Tokyo) and VisEn Medical, Inc. (VisEn, CEO: Kirtland G. Poss, headquarters: Woburn, Massachusetts, U.S.A.) have signed an exclusive distribution agreement covering sales of VisEn's fluorescence molecular tomography (FMT) systems and in vivo near infrared fluorescence probe portfolio in Asia (South Korea, Singapore, China, Taiwan). Olympus previously signed an exclusive distribution agreement covering Japan and commenced sales of equipment and probes in September 2006. Under the new agreement, Olympus will expand its sales territory to include Asian markets, where the level of bio-industry investment is high. It plans to commence sales in South Korea and Singapore in January 2007, followed by China and Taiwan.
Outline of VisEn Products Covered by Exclusive Distribution Agreement
Product Start of Sales Markets
Near infrared fluorescence molecular imaging platforms
· Fluorescence molecular tomography (FMT) systems
· In vivo near infrared fluorescence probes
January 2007 South Korea, Singapore, China, Taiwan
Bio-technology is seen as a growth sector in Asian countries. There has been intensive investment, as well as government-led industry development initiatives, especially in South Korea, Singapore, China and Taiwan. Olympus already sells VisEn's FMT systems and in vivo near infrared fluorescence probes in Japan and will progressively introduce the products in other Asian markets with buoyant bio-technology industries. With its FMT systems and in vivo near infrared fluorescence probes, VisEn has created the most advanced and highest performance in vivo molecular imaging systems available today. By combining these products with Olympus molecular imaging systems and using near infrared probes, it will be possible to generate an unprecedented range of in vivo molecular imaging data, from the cellular and tissue levels to the quantification of molecular activities throughout the body in real time. These products will accelerate progress in disease research and in drug development by significantly expanding molecular imaging applications and enhancing data quality in diseases including cancer, inflammation, cardiovascular disease, and bone disease.
Overview on Near Infrared Fluorescence Imaging
Three basic methods used in optical molecular imaging are: near infrared imaging using biocompatible molecular probes, imaging by means of fluorescent proteins, and luminescent imaging. Near infrared fluorescence imaging using biocompatible molecular probes is an extremely effective and highly sensitive method of in vivo imaging and is increasingly playing a central role in disease research and drug development, from animal research today through medicine tomorrow. All life phenomena, including disease onset, progression and recovery, occur through known molecular chains in the body. In advanced life science research, in vivo imaging is used extensively to analyze cellular, protein and molecular dynamics. These new technologies and imaging approaches are expected to result in the earlier discovery and characterization of disease states including cancers, a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in the onset and progression of disease, and the factors that make ranges of therapeutic drugs effective. These technologies are particularly applicable in the field of cancers.
VisEn Suite of Fluorescent Product Solutions
By using the FMT system described below with near infrared fluorescence probes, it is possible to observe and quantify a wide range of molecular activity and other in vivo biological phenomena relating to various conditions, including tumors, inflammations, cardiovascular diseases, and bone diseases.

· Fluorescence Molecular Tomography (FMT) System: VisEn's Fluorescence Molecular Tomography (FMT) technology platform enables true quantification and three-dimensional tomographic reconstruction of fluorescence in vivo.

· Near Infrared (NIR) Fluorescence Probe Portfolio: VisEn's portfolio of biocompatible Near Infrared (NIR) fluorescence probes are specifically tailored to enable a range of imaging readouts of key in vivo disease-associated biological processes, including angiogenesis, protease activity, vascular permeability, inflammation, cell migration and tracking, and bone remodeling.

Using VisEn and Olympus Products in Combination
The molecular imaging systems developed and sold by Olympus are the OV100 in vivo imaging system, which can be used for a wide range of observations, from full views of small animals down to the cellular level, and the IV100 in vivo laser scanning microscope, which supports direct in vivo observation of small animals. These products are already on sale in some Asian markets. The conclusion of an exclusive Asian distribution agreement with VisEn will allow Olympus to combine its imaging systems with VisEn products to provide customers with today's leading fluorescence technologies for in vivo observation and data generation at all levels from cells and tissues to the entire body.
Overview of VisEn Medical, Inc.
CEO Kirtland G. Poss
Address 12B Cabot Rd Woburn, Massachusetts 01801, USA
Founded 2000
Number of employees about 30
About VisEn Medical, Inc. VisEn Medical, Inc. was founded in 2000 based on fluorescence imaging technologies initially developed at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. VisEn is developing today's highest performing fluorescence molecular imaging technology platforms, from research through medicine. VisEn also works directly with its partners to design ranges of tailored probes and applications that are targeted to their specific research areas. Privately-held VisEn is headquartered in Woburn, Massachusetts and has been financed by leading venture firms including Flagship Ventures and The Bollard Group. For further information please
* “FMT” is a registered trademark of VisEn Medical, Inc. in the United States.
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