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Axsun Technologies, A Wholly-Owned Subsidiary of Volcano Corporation, Announces Breakthrough Integrated Light Source Architecture for Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) Imaging 200kHz High Definition Swept Source (“HDSS”) Expected To Enable Rapid Proliferation of Ultra-High Speed, High Definition Medical Imaging Across a Range of Clinical Applications
Billerica, MA – (December 4, 2009) – Axsun Technologies, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Volcano Corporation (NASDAQ: VOLC), today announced the initial development and successful testing of a novel integrated light source architecture for OCT imaging. Axsun believes this proprietary optical engine design raises the bar on imaging speed and overcomes fundamental limitations of laser-based designs for swept source OCT light sources. This approach to optical engines builds on over 10 years of Axsun’s core integrated light source technology and is protected by a number of issued patents. The core technology is based on a non-laser source of photons and is called the High Definition Swept Source (or “HDSS™”) because it is expected to enable high resolution at unprecedented speeds in medical imaging systems. Axsun’s HDSS has been tested at breakthrough speeds of 200kHz – approximately 4 to 10 times faster than commercially available OCT imaging systems – all while maintaining the extraordinarily compact size, ultra-high reliability and low-cost volume manufacturability that Axsun is known for.
Caption: (L) The HDSS light source is designed to operate in a modified version of Axsun’s standard “mil-spec”, hermetically sealed package – essentially the same integrated packaging utilized for over 25,000 Axsun devices in use today in telecommunications and industrial installations worldwide. (R) Sample image of an ex vivo human coronary artery captured with Axsun’s HDSS light source.
“Axsun is a leading developer and supplier of tunable lasers for OCT imaging, offering the highest speed integrated optical products on the market today,” explained Dale Flanders, President of Axsun. “We are thrilled to further advance the speed and performance of OCT imaging with HDSS, and are very excited by the performance potential of this unique non-laser architecture. The HDSS light source will be made available to our parent company Volcano in the vascular imaging field, where we expect HDSS will enable unprecedented imaging speed, resolution and 3D image detail in Volcano’s future multi-modality imaging systems. Furthermore, the imaging speed, resolution, size, weight and durability enabled by the HDSS should open up vast areas of imaging in OCT and spectroscopy applications. We will work with Volcano to examine various partnership and vertical market opportunities for this very exciting new addition to the Axsun product portfolio.”
“We acquired Axsun for their significant expertise spanning a broad range of disciplines within optics and photonics – including the design and manufacture of MEMs-based optical and mechanical components, optical fiber design, manipulation and assembly, light sources used in optical imaging and spectroscopy, and sophisticated electronics and electro-mechanical systems needed to support complete solutions. This latest development – the HDSS light source – is yet another example of the world-class engineering capabilities at Axsun,” added Scott Huennekens, CEO of Volcano Corp. “We are confident that the HDSS will provide Volcano OCT imaging products with a sustainable competitive advantage in this exciting growth market. In addition to driving our planned OCT system for vascular imaging, we expect that this new light source will also support future offerings in spectroscopy and spectral imaging. Furthermore, given the extraordinary breadth of opportunities that we see for OCT and spectroscopy in other areas of medicine and life sciences, we also welcome partnership discussions with other vertical market medical device, diagnostic and drug development companies and researchers who are interested in exploring OEM, integration and/or collaborative research projects related to the HDSS engine.”
“The benefits of light source scanning speed in many OCT imaging applications cannot be overstated. As higher and higher speeds are attained, true three dimensional structures can be easily imaged in seconds, and field clearance/flushing can be minimized and motion artifacts reduced or eliminated. Such improvements make devices more user friendly for the operator, and allow for easier interpretation of the images. For example, at 200kHz speeds we expect to be able to scan the proximal 2/3rds of a human coronary artery in as little as one second – literally in a single beat of the heart. This should allow an OCT scan to be performed during any conventional manual flush procedure, which are routine and frequent during angiograms and percutaneous interventions. This should mean no extended flushing, no repeated or special flushing steps or protocols,” added Vince Burgess, President of Advanced Imaging Systems at Volcano Corp. “High precision minimally invasive imaging holds the promise of higher quality of care while reducing unnecessary procedures due to imprecise diagnosis and imperfect therapy delivery in many, many areas of medicine – not just interventional cardiology. As healthcare reform ushers in a new era of attention to cost-effective care – at the same or higher levels of quality and availability – we believe that the capabilities of OCT and spectroscopy-based imaging will gain greater and greater attention.”
About Axsun Technologies
Axsun Technologies, Inc., a Volcano subsidiary, established in 1998, develops and manufactures MEMS-based optical engines for industrial spectroscopy, optical telecommunications and medical imaging, applications. Through its expertise in micro-optics, packaging and precision engineering, Axsun has pioneered an entirely new class of high-performance, miniaturized instruments and devices enabling a dramatic shift from lab based measurements to on-line, at-line and in-vivo measurements, without compromising performance. Axsun was acquired by Volcano in December 2008.
About Volcano Corporation
Volcano Corporation (NASDAQ: VOLC) offers a broad suite of devices designed to facilitate endovascular procedures, enhance the diagnosis of vascular and structural heart disease and guide optimal therapies. The company's intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) product line includes ultrasound consoles that can be integrated directly into virtually any modern cath lab. Volcano IVUS offers unique features, including both single-use phased array and rotational IVUS imaging catheters, and advanced functionality options, such as VH(R) IVUS tissue characterization and ChromaFlo(R). Volcano also provides functional measurement (FM) consoles and single-use pressure and flow guide wires and is developing a line of ultra-high resolution Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) and Forward-Looking IVUS systems and catheters. Currently, more than 4,700 Volcano IVUS and FM systems are installed worldwide, and more than half of Volcano's revenues are derived from outside the United States. Through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Axsun Technologies, Volcano also develops and manufactures optical monitors, lasers and optical engines used in telecommunications, spectroscopy and other industrial applications. These products are sold to a variety of customers, including Nokia Siemens, Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent and Huawei Technologies. For more information, visit the company's website at http://www.volcanocorp.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any statements in this release regarding Volcano's or Axsun’s business that are not historical facts may be considered "forward-looking statements," including statements regarding the features, application and potential benefits of the HDSS light source and related technologies described above and of Volcano or Axsun’s products, and market adoption of the related technology. Forward-looking statements are based on management's current preliminary expectations and are subject to risks and uncertainties, which may cause Volcano's results to differ materially and adversely from the statements contained herein. Some of the potential risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from the results predicted are detailed in the company's annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and other filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. Volcano undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect new information, events or circumstances after the date they are made, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.
Axsun Technologies, Inc., a Volcano company
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