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Fox Chase Cancer Center and VisEn Medical Announce Program to Advance First Clinical Trials of Novel Fluorescence Molecular Imaging Technologies
Date:6/16/2008

Olympus Corporation to Support the Joint Program through the Provision of

Novel Imaging Systems Collaboration Will Bring Innovative Fluorescent Imaging Agent and System

Technologies into Clinical Trials in Ovarian Cancer

PHILADELPHIA, TOKYO and WOBURN, Mass, June 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Fox Chase Cancer Center and VisEn Medical today announced a partnership to advance Phase I clinical trials of one of VisEn Medical's "smart" fluorescence activatable imaging agents to enable physicians to identify and characterize early stage disease in oncology patients. Olympus Medical Systems Corp. will provide paired fluorescence laparoscopic imaging systems to enable the detection and evaluation of ProSense highlighted tumors in patients in the trials. The clinical trials will initially focus on ovarian cancer and are planned to begin in 2009 at Fox Chase Cancer Center.

Under terms of the program, VisEn will develop and submit an Investigational New Drug (IND) application on a clinical analog of its proprietary fluorescence molecular imaging agent, ProSense(R), which highlights certain enzymatic processes associated with early stage cancer development in vivo. In addition to conducting the clinical trials, Fox Chase Cancer Center will invest in the ProSense clinical program through VisEn and will receive certain rights, equity and royalties on future sales.

"These clinical molecular imaging technologies should provide the foundations for earlier and more accurate disease detection, and more importantly, enhanced functional imaging capabilities that will eventually help guide therapeutic interventions," said Michael V. Seiden, MD, Ph.D., President and CEO of Fox Chase Cancer Center. "Promoting advances in diagnosis that may lead to improved cancer treatments is a key part of Fox Chase's approach to solving the cancer problem, and we are pleased to be working with two of the leaders in molecular imaging to help bring these new approaches into clinical medicine."

"We are gratified for the opportunity to work jointly with Fox Chase Cancer Center and Olympus Corporation to develop the first clinical applications of our fluorescence molecular imaging technology platforms," said Kirtland Poss, President and CEO of VisEn Medical. "This program is a major step forward in VisEn Medical's central mission, which is to lead the development and commercialization of fluorescence in vivo imaging technologies in a range of translational applications from research through clinical medicine, enabling substantial benefits for researchers, pharmaceutical companies, doctors and patients."

Both Dr. Seiden and Mr. Poss noted the contributions to the project by Olympus Medical Systems Corp. "We are pleased to receive the system support from Olympus Medical Systems Corp. through their provision of these novel fluorescence imaging systems into the program," said Mr. Poss. "These advances will help open up new opportunities for more effective and efficient cancer detection, surgery and treatment."

The ProSense(R) Activatable Imaging Agent platform was developed to provide in vivo readouts of some of the key protease activities known to underlie disease states in oncology, inflammation, and cardiovascular disease. A pre-clinical version of ProSense is currently being used by leading academic institutions and pharmaceutical customers worldwide to image disease-related in vivo protease profiles in pre-clinical research and drug development. The IND program and the planned Phase I clinical trials are designed to translate the benefits of ProSense into humans, as well as to further develop the multi-channel white light and near infrared fluorescence laparoscopic imaging systems used in collecting and analyzing fused images in real time in the operating room. The planned trial is also designed to gather safety and imaging data for the agent, which will be administered systemically, and to collect preliminary pharmacokinetic information on the metabolism of the agent to support expanded Phase II clinical trials.

About Fox Chase Cancer Center

Fox Chase Cancer Center is one of the leading cancer research and treatments centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as the nation's first cancer hospital, Fox Chase became one of the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, treatment, and community outreach.

About Olympus

Established in 1919, Olympus Corporation, Tokyo, Japan, manufactures and sells precision machinery and instruments for medical and healthcare, imaging and information, and industrial applications, whose core competency is opto-digital technology. With a focus on innovation and quality, Olympus Corporation is improving medical and healthcare services by developing molecular imaging system technology with Olympus Medical Systems Corp. for early detection and treatment of oncological diseases to better serve our customers' needs. Olympus Medical Systems Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Olympus Corporation, develops a wide range of medical equipment, including gastrointestinal endoscopes, minimally invasive surgical endoscopes, endoscope disposal equipment, ultrasonic endoscopes and other endotherapy products.

About VisEn Medical

VisEn Medical, Inc. was founded in 2000 based on fluorescence in vivo imaging technologies initially developed by industry-leading researchers and clinicians at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. VisEn develops and commercializes the industry's highest performing fluorescence in vivo imaging technology platforms, from research through medicine. The Company also works with large pharmaceutical partners to design ranges of tailored molecular imaging agents and applications that are targeted to their specific pre-clinical and clinical research areas. Privately-held VisEn is headquartered in Woburn, Massachusetts and has been financed by leading venture firms including Flagship Ventures, Merck Capital Ventures and The Bollard Group. For further information please visit http://www.visenmedical.com.


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