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Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

OmniVision Image Sensor Powers Avantis FDA-Cleared 'Third Eye(TM)' Disposable Endoscope Accessory for Colonoscopy

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via PRNewswire

SUNNYVALE , Calif., Oct. 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- OmniVision Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: OVTI), a leading independent supplier of CMOSCameraChip(TM) solutions for high-volume imaging applications, today announced that the smallest of its family of CMOS imaging devices, the 1/18-inch OV6920sensor, is a key component of Avantis Medical Systems' Third Eye(TM)Retroscope(TM) auxiliary endoscopy system. The new disposable miniature videoendoscope, which has already been cleared by the FDA for commercial distribution in the United States , is smaller in diameter than a ballpoint pen refill. Its distal tip diameter of just 3.5 mm allows it to fit through the instrument channels of standard-size endoscopes, called colonoscopes, used in colonoscopy.

"Before the development of the Third Eye Retroscope, endoscopes this small could typically be made only through the use of fiber optic bundles that relay the image to a larger sensor positioned outside the body," said Fred R.Seddiqui, CEO of Avantis. "Through a strategic partnership with OmniVision,Avantis has succeeded in placing a complete imaging system, including miniaturized video sensor, signal processing circuitry and integrated lens elements, right at the tip of the catheter."

Colonoscopy is widely regarded in the medical community as the 'gold standard' for the detection of abnormalities in the colon which are precursorsto almost all cases of colon cancer, of which there were over 100,000 newcases diagnosed in the United States in 2006. However, previous research has revealed that 12-24 percent of polyps and a significant number of cancers can be missed during colonoscopy, especially if they lie hidden behind folds in the colon wall. When used together, the Third Eye Retroscope and thecolonoscope will permit the physician to see both sides of the colonic folds and other structures within the colon that can hide polyps, cancers and other abnormalities from the view of a standard colonoscope.

Conventional colonoscopes have a forward-viewing camera and an instrument channel through which the physician can pass miniature surgical tools. The Third Eye Retroscope passes through that same channel to provide a continuous backward-looking view at the same time the colonoscope provides the usualforward view.

"It is critically important that this technology complements existing instrumentation and does not seek to replace it," added Dr. David Watts ,co-founder of Avantis and member of the Avantis Scientific Advisory Board."The Third Eye Retroscope works in conjunction with a standard colonoscope,making the best existing technology even better. This means that medical facilities don't need to make major capital outlays to replace existing equipment, and medical personnel have to make only minor adjustments to the techniques that they've used successfully for many years."

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