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Olympus Introduces the VisiGlide, a Single Use Guidewire Expected to Make Procedures Easier and Faster

Specifically Designed for Endoscopic Treatment in Biliary Pancreatic Duct

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., October 23, 2009 – Olympus, a precision technology leader creating innovative opto-digital solutions in healthcare, life science and consumer electronics products, today announced the availability of VisiGlide, its new single use guidewire developed with advanced technology from Terumo Corporation to facilitate ERCP procedures performed by gastroenterologists. Designed for use in endoscopic treatment of the bile and pancreatic ducts, the new 0.025 inch VisiGlide provides the same level of support and stiffness as a traditional 0.035 inch guidewire. Its enhanced design includes a super-elastic alloy and hydrophilic coatings to facilitate passage through strictures, an abnormal narrowing of a body passage, and make selective insertion into the bile and pancreatic ducts easier.

By integrating Terumo's advanced materials processing technology with Olympus' endoscope and device combination technology, VisiGlide is expected to provide improved guidewire insertability and maneuverability in the bile and pancreatic ducts – sites that are traditionally difficult to reach endoscopically. The core wire of VisiGlide is made of a super-elastic alloy with a thin fluorine coating on its shaft. Its supportive and kink-resistant design combined with its coatings enable the guidewire to pass smoothly through strictures while facilitating the exchange of ERCP devices. These advances in design are expected to make gastrointestinal procedures performed with the ERCP technique faster and easier.

VisiGlide provides visible markings to indicate various distances from the distal end in order to facilitate placement and confirmation of the guidewire’s position in the endoscopic field of view during endoscopic treatment and when exchanging devices. This feature is expected to save X-ray radiation time. In addition, two radiopaque markers are incorporated to improve the visibility of the guidewire under fluoroscopy.

Market Introduction Background
In recent years, the occurrence of pancreaticobiliary diseases, such as drainage dysfunction of digestive fluids (bile and pancreatic juice) into the duodenum caused by biliary stricture and papillary stricture due to bile stones and malignant tumors, has been increasing. At the same, therapeutic modalities have been shifting from conventional surgery to endoscopic treatments that are less invasive for patients. The pancreatobiliary ducts are the most difficult site in the gastrointestinal tract to approach endoscopically, resulting in complex and protracted procedures in which multiple devices are variously advanced along a guidewire inserted into the papilla of Vater subsequent to observation of the exterior of the papilla (the opening of the bile and pancreatic ducts) with an endoscope that has been advanced to the duodenum. The VisiGlide is designed to reduce the demands this procedure imposes on doctors and staff and to reduce the time taken to perform it.

About Olympus Medical Systems Group
Olympus is transforming the future of healthcare by advancing less invasive procedures. Olympus, which incorporates surgical market leader Gyrus ACMI, provides knowledge and solutions in advanced diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy, early-stage cancer evaluation and treatment, and innovative, less invasive surgical procedures. Olympus is dedicated to developing solutions for customers that help provide earlier detection, improved outcomes and enhanced quality of life for patients.

About Olympus
Olympus is a precision technology leader, creating innovative opto-digital solutions in healthcare, life science and consumer electronics products.

Olympus works collaboratively with its customers and its affiliates worldwide 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;
  • Digital cameras and voice recorders.

Olympus serves the healthcare field with integrated product solutions and financial, educational and consulting services that help customers to efficiently, reliably and more easily achieve exceptional results. Olympus develops breakthrough technologies with revolutionary product design and functionality for the consumer and professional photography markets, and also is the leader in gastrointestinal endoscopy and clinical and educational microscopes. For more information, visit www.olympusamerica.com.


“VisiGlide” is the brand name for Olympus G-240-2527S/A, 2545S/A, 3527S/A and 3545S/A Single Use Guidewires. “VisiGlide” is a term coined to  represent the product’s improved “visibility” in endoscopy and fluoroscopy and its improved “glidability” in passage of the stricture and in exchange of devices.

VisiGlide stems from a comprehensive business collaboration agreement in 2001 between Olympus and Terumo for medical device development.  VisiGlide is manufactured by Terumo and will be marketed by Olympus in the United States in October 2009.