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Olympus America and Inter Medico Announce Distribution Agreement for Canada

Melville, NY -- Inter Medico, the largest Canadian-owned distributor of in vitro diagnostics, and the Diagnostic Systems Group of Olympus America Inc. announced today that they have finalized an agreement for distribution of the Olympus AU400TM, AU640TM, and AU2700TM Chemistry Immuno Systems for the Canadian market.

Inter Medico will have exclusive distribution rights for Canada, including all of its Provinces and Territories. The agreement provides Inter Medico rights to promote, sell and service the Olympus AU systems within the Canadian territory to hospitals, universities, the biopharmaceutical industry, and clinical reference laboratories. The Olympus AU systems will complement Inter Medico's diagnostic products in immunochemistry, autoimmune diseases, genetics, histochemistry, blood banking, microbiology, critical care, and electrophoresis.

"We're very pleased with the addition of the Olympus AU400TM, AU640TM, and AU2700TM to our portfolio of diagnostic systems. The Olympus AU chemistry systems meet the customer demand for superior performance and cost-effective operation. With this agreement, Inter Medico will be able to deliver comprehensive solutions for key areas in the laboratory," said Dan Lichtman, president, Inter Medico.

"Inter Medico is a company with an excellent reputation for sales and service," said Stephen Wasserman, group vice president, Diagnostics Systems Group of Olympus. "We believe that Canadian customers will benefit from an agreement that combines our instruments and reagents with Inter Medico's sales and support organization."

The Olympus AU systems are automated chemistry immuno analyzers designed to deliver efficient workflow for small, medium, and large hospitals and reference labs. A broad menu of 122 tests, easy user interface, fast throughput, and on-board automation help deliver quality care. Commercial and hospital labs rely on Olympus AU systems to produce one billion tests every year or approximately 1 of 4 chemistry tests in the U.S.

About Inter Medico
Inter Medico, founded in 1979 by Mr. Dan Lichtman, president, is the largest Canadian-owned distributor of in vitro diagnostics. Inter Medico's products can be found in Canadian hospitals, reference laboratories, universities, and the biopharmaceutical industry. Exclusive strategic alliances with world-class manufacturers have allowed Inter Medico to consistently deliver innovative diagnostic solutions that advance medicine and patient care. Inter Medico is also active in the continual pursuit and development of new diagnostic technologies and medical research endeavors. Inter Medico's mission is to exemplify excellence through a never-ending commitment to customer support and the sophisticated distribution of the most advanced biomedical technologies. For more information, please visit www.inter-medico.com.

About Olympus America Inc.
Olympus America Inc. distributes a wide range of products that leverage its core expertise in optics and digital information technology for the consumer, scientific, health care, commercial and industrial markets. These products include film and digital cameras, microcassettes and digital voice recorders, binoculars, film scanners, personal photo printers, medical and industrial endoscopes, biological and metallurgical microscopes and measuring instruments, clinical diagnostic analyzers, and other high-technology products. Olympus America Inc. is responsible for sales, marketing, and distribution in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Located in Melville, NY, Olympus America Inc. is a subsidiary of Olympus Optical Co., Ltd. with worldwide revenues of $3.8 billion for the fiscal year 2000.