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Ready-to-Use PK™ Blood Grouping Reagents from Olympus Streamline Operations, Save Time

Melville, NY, November 1, 2003 - Blood banks can now be free of time-consuming ABO/Rh reagent dilution studies, pre-qualification and preparation, with the PK™ Blood Grouping Reagent System from Olympus. The new standardized reagents improve system performance, enhance process control and streamline workflow and paperwork.

The reagent system, which received FDA and Health Canada licensures on April 10 and October 2, 2003, respectively, is a complete line of monoclonal ABO and Rh reagents designed to determine blood groups in donors using the Olympus PK7200™ analyzer. The system includes a negative control for all the PK Blood Grouping antisera. These antisera are designed to complement the recently-introduced PK RBC reagents, which were released in October 2001.

Unlike prior off-the-shelf reagents, the new Olympus reagents take laboratory staff out of the business of reagent manufacturing, as the antisera come ready to use in 55ml vials. Because they require no periodic dilution studies or routine preparation as is required with manual typing reagents, the new PK blood grouping reagents are faster, easier and less error-prone for busy laboratory staff members to use. The reagents do not require the use of potentiators, such as bromelin or dextran, and are color-coded for improved process control.

In addition, because the new reagents have been standardized for use on the PK7200 analyzer, they should lead to fewer "no type determined" (NTD) findings, further enhancing performance and saving money and time. Initial field trials of the PK Blood Grouping Reagents has indicated that their NTD rate was less than 50 percent of the rate found with conventional reagents. Finally, having the ready-mixed reagents simplifies paperwork and ensures lot-to-lot consistency.

"I tell people that they don't have to be in the reagent manufacturing business any more," said Candace Williams, Director of Immunohematology Systems for Olympus Diagnostic Systems Group. "We take the drudgery and errors out of pre-qualifying and preparing reagents, and this standardization yields both performance and financial benefits."

The reagents, which are manufactured for Olympus by Gamma Biologicals, Inc., Houston, TX, are available now. For additional information about Olympus reagents for blood banking, users can visit www.olympusamerica.com/diagnostics or call 1-800-628-7152, x2681.

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About Olympus Diagnostic Systems Group
Since 1981, Olympus Diagnostic Systems Group has provided innovative solutions that meet the high productivity demands of hospitals, integrated healthcare delivery networks, reference labs, blood banks and pharmaceutical labs. Offering the broadest standardized line of random access, chemistry-immuno analyzers and lab automation systems, Olympus' solutions save laboratories time, maximize productivity and deliver fast, reliable results.

About Olympus
Olympus is a precision technology leader, designing and delivering innovative solutions in healthcare and consumer electronics worldwide.

Olympus works collaboratively with its customers and its parent company, Tokyo-based Olympus Corporation, 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;
  • Lab automation systems, chemistry-immuno and blood bank analyzers and reagents; and
  • Digital and film cameras, and digital voice recorders.
  • In the U. S. and Canada, Olympus serves healthcare, scientific and commercial laboratory markets with integrated product solutions and financial, educational and consulting services that help customers efficiently, reliably, safely, and easily achieve superior results. Olympus is the leader in gastrointestinal endoscopy and clinical and educational microscopes. The company's market-leading consumer electronics business spans North and South America. For more information, visit www.olympusamerica.com.