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Olympus And Biotest Redefine Distribution Relationship For Tango® Systems


CENTER VALLEY, PA, and DREIEICH, GERMANY , October 20, 2006 - Olympus America Inc. and Biotest AG of Germany have redefined the agreement under which Biotest's TANGO ® Automated Blood Bank systems will be sold, serviced and supported throughout the U.S. Under the new relationship, Biotest will market TANGO directly to American hospitals through its U.S. subsidiary, Biotest Diagnostics Corporation. Olympus will continue to serve its well-established blood donor market in the U.S. with TANGO instrumentation, software and reagents, and will also provide instrument service and technical telephone support to all TANGO customers.

“We have made a strategic decision to focus U.S. marketing efforts for TANGO systems into two primary user markets – hospitals and blood donor centers,” said Prof. Gregor Schulz, CEO of Biotest AG. “Biotest is rapidly expanding its existing hospital diagnostic business to include a dedicated transfusion diagnostic sales and support organization. Marketing TANGO directly to hospitals in the U.S. will allow Biotest to realize our maximum growth potential in America and take advantage of our newly developed sales and marketing infrastructure.” Candace Williams, formerly Director of Immunohematology with Olympus America, has joined Biotest as Vice President of Transfusion Diagnostics to lead and direct the new organization.

“The change is well timed,” said Michael Argentieri, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Olympus America's Diagnostic Systems Group, “and it benefits our customers because it will allow each company to focus its own strengths on its specific target group.” Argentieri noted that the new agreement does not affect Olympus' substantial PK blood analyzer business in the U.S. Olympus will continue serving blood donor centers with the full PK product line.

The TANGO system is capable of performing a host of functions including blood group determination; antibody screening and identification; phenotyping; and compatibility testing. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared the system and licensed its blood grouping and anti-human globulin reagents for use in the U.S. in July 2005.

The change in TANGO marketing strategy became effective October 15.


About Olympus Diagnostic Systems Group
Olympus Diagnostic Systems provides innovative solutions that meet the high productivity demands of hospitals, integrated healthcare delivery networks, reference labs, blood banks and pharmaceutical labs. Olympus offers the broadest standardized line of random access chemistry-immuno analyzers, along with lab automation systems, blood bank analyzers and reagents. Olympus solutions save laboratories time, maximize productivity, and deliver fast, reliable results.

About Olympus
Olympus is a precision technology leader, designing and delivering imaging solutions in healthcare, life science and photography. 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 consumer electronics business spans North and South America. For more information, visit www.olympusamerica.com .

About Biotest

Biotest AG, Dreieich, is a fully integrated pharmaceutical and diagnostics company with approximately 1,000 employees world-wide. Biotest is specialized in the development, production and marketing of therapeutic and diagnostic systems with a focus on clinical immunology, autoimmune diseases, haematology and intensive care medicine. The product portfolio includes human plasma derivatives such as immunoglobulin preparations and blood factors as well as test systems for cell diagnosis, transfusion diagnosis and tests for hygiene monitoring. In addition to further innovative plasma derivatives, Biotest´s therapeutic pipeline comprises several monoclonal antibody candidates. Biotest AG´s shares are admitted to Prime Standard trading. For more information please visit www.biotest.com.