AIX-EN-PROVENCE, France, November 30 /PRNewswire/ -- SuperSonic Imagine today announced that it has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Canon Marketing Japan Inc. (Canon MJ) to develop the Japanese market.

After receiving CE approval and 510K clearance from the FDA for its Aixplorer(R) MultiWave(TM) Ultrasound System, SuperSonic Imagine, has developed commercial networks on 4 continents and in more than thirty countries. SuperSonic Imagine is honoured to announce that Canon MJ has signed on as the exclusive distributor for the Aixplorer(R) in Japan.

Jacques Souquet, CEO of SuperSonic Imagine commented,

The agreement with Canon MJ is quite important to us as it opens the door to one of the largest ultrasound markets in the world. In order to assess our product in this very competitive market, having Canon MJ as a partner is essential. I see our relationship with Canon MJ as a long term collaboration extending potentially to other domains in the future. Aixplorer, with its unique disruptive technology, is well suited for markets looking for new innovative approaches.

Kunio Kurihara, Director of Canon MJ commented,

This distribution agreement with SuperSonic Imagine is perfectly aligned with our corporate strategy, and builds on the value that Canon MJ offers to the Japanese medical market. Adding Aixplorer to our portfolio of products will allow us to further meet the needs of the Japanese medical community. We have high expectations for our new co-operation and believe that SuperSonic Imagine's expertise in ultrasound will bring new and innovative solutions to the Japanese market.

The Aixplorer is the only commercially available system of its kind with MultiWave Technology, which is based upon the interaction between conventional longitudinal waves and shear waves in tissue. The system consists of an all software-based architecture which provides both impeccable B-mode images and, for the first time, uses shear waves (ShearWave(TM) Elastography) to quantify true tissue stiffness or elasticity information in kilopascals. With MultiWave Technology, the Aixplorer brings clinicians significantly enhanced real-time diagnostic information that is quantitative and reproducible.*

Aixplorer's SonicSoftware(TM), the power behind MultiWave Technology, has ingeniously benefited from a combination of the most advanced technology in the graphic video industry and the latest generation of multi-core processors to provide a complete ultrasound system with enhanced speed, accuracy and flexibility. The effect of this innovation is superior B-mode image clarity and an open door to new imaging possibilities, such as ShearWave(TM) Elastography.

Aixplorer is the only ultrasound system on the market which can generate, capture and quantify shear wave velocity resulting in the bi-dimensional display of true tissue elasticity. ShearWave Elastography is different from conventional or strain elastography which relies on manual compression for palpation and is therefore subjective and operator dependent. Instead, ShearWave Elastography is user-skill independent as it does not rely on compression but is based on the simultaneous use of both ultrasound waves and shear waves to assess tissue stiffness. ShearWave Elastography uses remote palpation to provide a truly quantitative (in kilopascals), real-time, local assessment of tissue stiffness in a color-coded map. In addition, because these results are reproducible, lesions can be monitored over time.

Major technological breakthroughs in the ultrasound medical imaging field were necessary to provide local, quantifiable tissue elasticity information. Generating shear waves through SonicTouch(TM) demands advanced software capabilities, while capturing and quantifying shear waves in tissue requires acquisition rates of at least 5,000 Hz (conventional ultrasound acquisition speeds are approximately 100 Hz). With UltraFast(TM) Imaging, Aixplorer can acquire data at speeds of up to 20,000 Hz which is 200 times faster than conventional ultrasound.

Dr. David Cosgrove, Emeritus Professor of Clinical Ultrasound at Imperial College London and the lead investigator of a multi center, 2,300 patient clinical breast trial, stated:

No matter how innovative a scanner's technology, ultimately it is its imaging performance that counts since this determines its clinical usefulness. The Aixplorer has superlative B-mode imaging: we have had the opportunity to compare it with reference systems for breast imaging and the Aixplorer images have superior contrast resolution, meaning that abnormalities are more obvious, without compromise to the spatial resolution. Its unique version of elastography (ShearWave elastography) simplifies obtaining reproducible elastograms and provides quantitative readouts of the Young's modulus. Most cancers have the expected high values and are strikingly heterogeneous while fibroadenomas have uniform, low-stiffness values. In situ carcinomas seem to share the features of the invasive carcinomas.

Preparations to obtain the Japanese certification to market Aixplorer in Japan are in progress with a target to launch the product in the spring of 2010.

* Aixplorer's quantification tool is available outside the USA

About SuperSonic Imagine

SuperSonic Imagine, based in Aix-en-Provence, France, is a young, innovative, multicultural company with a commitment to providing advanced technology to improve medical diagnosis. Founded in 2005 by world renowned ultrasound and medical imaging research scientists, SuperSonic Imagine has developed Aixplorer(R), a complete ultrasound system with a revolutionary imaging technology. With offices on 4 continents, the company holds twenty-three international patents and submissions that are solely owned and solely used by SuperSonic Imagine.

About Aixplorer(R)

Aixplorer(R) is a next-generation ultrasound imaging system with unique technology that offers advantages in lesion detection and characterization. Using a method of imaging called ShearWave(TM) Elastography; Aixplorer can assess true tissue elasticity, in kilopascals and in real time providing user-skill independence and reproducible results. The Aixplorer ultrasound system also provides impeccable images and sophisticated features all packaged in an ergonomic design, to assist in the imaging diagnostic process. Aixplorer was named after its birthplace, Aix-en-Provence, in France.

About Canon MJ

Canon Marketing Japan Inc. is the independent marketing arm of Canon Inc. wholesaling and retailing a broad range of products developed and manufactured by Canon. In addition to the parent company, the Canon Marketing Japan Group currently includes 23 consolidated subsidiaries. Its operations are concentrated in the following business areas: business solutions, consumer equipment and industrial equipment. The Group seeks to boost revenue and income through more efficient operations. It therefore makes concerted efforts to expand high-revenue businesses and reduce costs through superior inventory and logistical systems. Equally important, the Group is firmly committed to strict compliance and effective, customer-oriented management.

SOURCE: SuperSonic Imagine

CONTACT: Michele Debain of SuperSonic Imagine, +33486790305,; or Dan Conley of BeaconCommunications, +1-312-593-8461,, for SuperSonicImagine