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SYSMEX AND TOSHIBA ANNOUNCE DEVELOPMENT OF MINIMAL-INVASIVE BLOOD GLUCOSE SELF-MEASURMENT TECHNOLOGY THAT DOES NOT REQUIRE BLOOD SAMPLING

17 April, 2003


Sysmex and Toshiba combine technologies in joint development effort

Sysmex Corporation
Toshiba Corporation

Sysmex Corporation (HQ: Kobe, Japan; president: Hisashi Ietsugu) and Toshiba Corporation (HQ: Tokyo; president: Tadashi Okamura) today announced the joint development of technology for micro-invasive self-measurement of blood sugar levels. This technology newly developed by combining Sysmex’s micro-invasive tissue fluid extraction technology with Toshiba’s optical sensing technology allows glucose levels to be measured using interstitial fluids instead of the blood samples currently required by conventional techniques. Eliminating the need to puncture a fingertip to obtain a blood sample will contribute to improved quality of life for diabetes patients. Development of the technology for practical use is currently underway from this year, aiming at commercialization in 2005.

So-called “lifestyle-related diseases” -- that is, those caused by poor dietary habits, insufficient exercise, excessive stress and other aspects of modern life -- have been increasing annually. Among these, the number of people suffering from diabetes worldwide had climbed to approximately 170 million as of 2000, with projections suggesting further increases to as many as 370 million by 2030. The market associated with the blood glucose testing currently amounts to approximately ¥400 billion, or about 16% of the overall diagnostics market, and average annual growth of 10% or more is expected in the years ahead.

Diabetes is a disease typically showing few subjective symptoms, but if left untreated it can easily lead to any or all of three major types of complications, including neurological disorders, retinopathy (affecting the retinas of the eyes), and nephropathy (causing reduced kidney function). In treating diabetes, it is necessary to control the level of blood glucose in order to prevent the occurrence and/or progression of these conditions. Among the ways to control blood glucose, some of the most important include dietary treatment, physical exercise, and medicines, but to ensure the effectiveness of these approaches it is important to monitor blood glucose levels regularly and constantly.

Diabetes patients typically measure their own blood glucose levels by pricking a finger to obtain a droplet-sized sample of blood. The pain and discomfort caused by repeating this procedure several times a day provided the incentive for undertaking the development of a device to monitor blood glucose levels less invasively.

The minimal-invasive blood glucose self-measurement technology developed jointly by Sysmex and Toshiba measures the amount of glucose in interstitial fluids rather than in blood samples, resulting in a method that improves the quality of life by avoiding the need for painful blood sampling. Sysmex handled development of technology for painless and stable extraction of interstitial fluid samples, while Toshiba was responsible for developing the biosensor chips and detection unit hardware for precisely measuring the minute amounts of glucose contained in the samples.
Development of the technology for practical use is currently underway from this year, aiming at commercialization in 2005.

Sysmex Corporation

Sysmex Corporation is a global supplier of clinical laboratory testing devices, reagents and software for hematology, hemostasis, immuno-chemistry, particle counting and urinalysis. Sysmex Corporation is distributing its comprehensive products in more than 125 countries and counted as one of the top ten diagnostics companies worldwide. Sysmex Corporation is a technology oriented company and committed to contribute to a healthy society by developing innovative technologies for clinical laboratory testing as well as new core technologies in life sciences. Sysmex website: http://www.sysmex.co.jp

Toshiba Corporation

Toshiba Corporation is a leader in information and communications systems, electronic components, including optoelectronics, consumer products, and power systems. These capabilities, and an R&D focus on information technology, nanotechnology and biotechnology, support the company in developing innovative solutions in diverse areas, including biosensors. Toshiba has 176,000 employees worldwide and annual sales of over US$40 billion. Toshiba website: http://www.toshiba.co.jp/index.htm

Please direct inquiries regarding this press release to

Sysmex Corporation
Public Relations Office
Takashi Demachi
Tel: 078-265-0508 / Fax: 078-265-0527
E-mail: info@sysmex.co.jp

Toshiba Corporation Corporate
Communications Office
Makoto Yasuda
Tel: 03-3457-2105 / Fax: 03-5444-9202
E-mail: press@toshiba.co.jp


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