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KARL STORZ Announces Major Grant to Help Fund Increased Research Activities by GI Societies.

Funds Will Support Development of Promising Natural Orifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery (NOTES)

CULVER CITY, Calif. -- KARL STORZ Endoscopy-America, Inc., a global leader in endoscopy products and solutions for operating room integration, announced that it is providing a $250,000 grant to support research programs of the Natural Orifice Surgery Consortium for Assessment and Research[TM] (NOSCAR[TM]). NOSCAR[TM] represents a joint effort of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) and the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES). Its purpose is to promote Natural Orifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery[TM], or NOTES[TM], which offers promise as a significant advance in minimally invasive surgery.

"By supporting NOTES research, we are continuing a legacy at KARL STORZ in partnering with thought leaders in our joint quest to develop new and innovative techniques for minimally invasive treatments," says Ali Amiri, Vice President, Marketing and Product Development, KARL STORZ Endoscopy-America, Inc. "We are excited about the possible benefits that NOTES may bring to patients and convinced that the NOSCAR research will contribute to safe adoption of this new technique in the future."

NOTES[TM] is an emerging transdisciplinary endoscopic therapy currently being studied that enables surgeons to perform a range of complex procedures in a minimally invasive fashion and leaving virtually no external scars. The $250,000 grant from KARL STORZ will support fundamental research in the further development of NOTES[TM] techniques.

David W. Rattner, MD, SAGES past president, expressed appreciation. "Our thanks to KARL STORZ Endoscopy for its support of NOTES research; without these types of grants, the necessary research to further NOTES would not be possible."

"NOTES is moving forward more rapidly than initially anticipated," said Robert H. Hawes, MD, ASGE past president. "Three years ago, we never anticipated the progress in the research arena that has been made in such a short period." Drs. Rattner and Hawes co-chair the NOSCAR Joint Committee.

About NOSCAR[TM]

Natural Orifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery[TM] (NOTES[TM]) might represent the next major advancement in minimally invasive therapy. To address this emerging technology, a working group consisting of expert laparoscopic surgeons from SAGES and a group of expert interventional endoscopists representing ASGE have joined together as the Natural Orifice Surgery Consortium for Assessment and Research[TM] (NOSCAR[TM]) Working Group on NOTES[TM].

The growing capabilities of therapeutic flexible endoscopy have ushered in a new era in treatment of gastrointestinal conditions. Refinements in laparoscopic surgery have progressed to the point that complex surgical procedures, such as gastric bypass, can now be performed in a minimally invasive fashion. These trends have set the stage for the development of even less invasive methods to treat conditions in both the gut lumen and in the peritoneal cavity. It seems feasible that major intraperitoneal surgery may one day be performed without skin incisions.

The NOSCAR Working Group identified a number of baseline issues in July 2005. For NOTES[TM] to mature into a viable technology, both procedure and device research and development must continue. At this stage, NOTES[TM] must be performed by a team that has the skills of an advanced therapeutic endoscopist and a laparoscopic surgeon who in many instances will bring unique but complementary skills. These issues must be understood prior to the safe introduction of NOTES[TM] and are best addressed in laboratory settings. Having supportive laboratory data is an essential step prior to approval from regulatory agencies like the FDA or Institutional Review Board for performing initial NOTES[TM]. The most important areas for initial study are safe peritoneal access and secure gastric closure, intraperitoneal contamination, image display and maintenance of spatial orientation, development of stable working platforms, physiologic perturbations, and tissue approximation methods (suturing and others).

About the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), founded in 1941, is the preeminent professional organization dedicated to advancing the practice of endoscopy. ASGE, with more than 10,000 members worldwide, promotes the highest standards for endoscopic training and practice, fosters endoscopic research, recognizes distinguished contributions to endoscopy, and is the foremost resource for endoscopic education. Visit www.asge.org; www.askasge.org; and www.screen4coloncancer.org for more information.

About the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons

The Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) was founded in 1981 to foster, promote, support and encourage academic, clinical and research achievement in gastrointestinal endoscopic surgery. Our members are general and colorectal surgeons who perform endoscopy and laparoscopy as part of their practice as well as surgical resident, fellows, and other allied health personnel. The Society has grown from fewer than 50 original members to more than 5,500 from every state and over 80 countries. Visit www.sages.org for more information.

About KARL STORZ

KARL STORZ Endoscopy-America, Inc. is an affiliate of KARL STORZ GmbH & Co. KG, an international leader for over 60 years in reusable endoscope technology, encompassing all endoscopic specialties. Based in Tuttlingen, Germany, KARL STORZ GmbH & Co. KG is a family-owned company that designs, engineers, manufactures and markets all its products with an emphasis on visionary design, precision craftsmanship and clinical effectiveness. For more information, call (800) 421-0837 or visit the company's Web site at www.karlstorz.com.

NOTES, NOSCAR, Natural Orifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery and Natural Orifice Surgery Consortium for Assessment and Research are registered trademarks of ASGE and SAGES.
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Date:Apr 15, 2008
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