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Mauna Kea Technologies Announces the Publication of World's First Direct Visualization of the Digestive Tract's Nervous System  
11/27/2012 11:05:40 AM

PARIS--(Marketwire - November 27, 2012) - Mauna Kea Technologies (NYSE Euronext: MKEA), leader in the optical biopsy market and developer of Cellvizio®, the fastest way to see cancer, today announced that gastroenterologists in Japan and Germany have used Cellvizio to directly view the enteric nervous system of the digestive tract during an endoscopy procedure for the first time. This study opens the door to applying optical biopsies to improve how physicians diagnose and treat functional gastrointestinal (GI) and motility disorders, the most common digestive disorders affecting the general population.

These findings were recently published online in the medical journal, Gastroenterology, the leading journal in the digestive field.

"The enteric nervous system controls the digestion process and operates independently from the human body's central nervous system linked to the brain and spine," said Prof. Ralf Kiesslich, M.D., head of the interdisciplinary endoscopic unit at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, in Mainz, Germany. "Functional GI and motility disorders like dyspepsia, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), GERD and chronic constipation are associated with changes in the neurons and function of glial cells in the enteric nervous system. The ability to see the framework of the digestive tract's nervous system during an endoscopy should yield incredibly important information that could have a deep impact on the diagnosis and treatment of some of the most common diseases in the world."

The enteric nervous system resides in the submucosal layer of the GI tract. Investigators tested endomicroscopic imaging after they removed a tumor from a patient's colon. Endomicroscopy allowed investigators to see single muscle fibers, glial cells, neurons and the neuronal network.

"This exciting research out of Germany and Japan extends Cellvizio's value as a tool to bring a new dimension to visualization and knowledge of the GI system," said Sacha Loiseau, founder and Chief Executive of Mauna Kea Technologies. "For years, clinicians focused on pre-cancerous and cancerous conditions when using Cellvizio. Now they can explore functional and chronic diseases. The GI nervous system is often referred to as our 'second brain.' Any improvement on the management of patients with diseases with such high prevalence and tremendous detrimental impact on patients' lives will be a game changer for patients and physicians."

According to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD), about one in four people in the U.S. have some activity limitation of daily function due to these disorders. The conditions account for about 41% of digestive problems seen by doctors and therapists. People being treated for functional GI and motility disorders have lower quality-of-life scores -- the measure of physical, social, and emotional wellbeing -- than population norms, and those with other chronic illnesses, the IFFGD says.

About Mauna Kea Technologies

Mauna Kea Technologies is a global medical device company dedicated to the advent of optical biopsy. The company researches, develops and markets innovative tools to visualize and detect cellular abnormalities during endoscopic procedures. Its flagship product, Cellvizio®, a probe-based Confocal Laser Endomicroscopy (pCLE) system, provides physicians and researchers high-resolution cellular views of tissue inside the body. Large, international, multicenter clinical trials have demonstrated Cellvizio's ability to help physicians more accurately detect early forms of disease and make treatment decisions immediately. Designed to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs within a hospital, Cellvizio can be used with almost any endoscope. Cellvizio has 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European CE-Mark for use in the GI tract, biliary and pancreatic ducts and lungs.

For more information on Mauna Kea Technologies, visit www.maunakeatech.com


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