CU Medicine and Olympus Corporation sign MoU to develop innovative endoscopy and laparoscopy technologies
The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)’s Faculty of Medicine (CU Medicine) and Olympus Corporation (Olympus) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) yesterday (9 October) to strengthen collaboration in the development of innovative endoscopy and laparoscopy technologies, promoting translation of innovative research to clinical practice.
Under the MoU, CU Medicine and Olympus will establish a joint research centre in Hong Kong, with the aim of developing innovative endoscopic and laparoscopic devices for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes, promoting clinical translation and technology transfer, as well as encouraging education and training in flexible endoscopy and laparoscopic surgery.
Professor Francis Chan, Dean of Medicine at CUHK, remarked, “CU Medicine’s Gastroenterology and Hepatology team has been recognised as the leading institution for diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal diseases in Asia and worldwide. Over the past 40 years, we have achieved major breakthroughs in research that has had an impact on the diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal diseases, changing practice to enable better patient care. Our team will be strengthened by this collaboration with Olympus, a leading global medical technology company, and will aim to develop game-changing diagnostic and therapeutic innovations that take patient care to the next level.”
CU Medicine has partnered with Olympus since the 1980s in clinical research and translation of innovative endoscopic and laparoscopic devices developed by the company. Over the past four decades, the Faculty has achieved tremendous success with its innovative research in endoscopy, which has had widespread clinical impact, including Hong Kong’s first endoscopic submucosal dissection for treatment of early gastrointestinal cancer, in 2004; the city’s first oral endoscopic myotomy for treatment of achalasia, in 2010; and the world’s first colorectal endoscopic submucosal dissection using a flexible robotic endoscopic system, in 2020.
To train medical professionals, CU Medicine started holding the International Workshops on Therapeutic Endoscopy in 1984 with valuable support from Olympus, and it is now one of the most renowned live endoscopy educational conferences, with more than 800 delegates typically joining from around the globe.
Mr. Hironobu Kawano, Corporate Officer, Endoscopic Solutions Division Head, Olympus Corporation, said, “We are very pleased to partner with CUHK in the development of future endoscopic innovations. The endoscopic field has changed in the past decades, from diagnostic and therapeutic in the 1990s to AI today. We don’t know what the future holds but we shall continue to live our dreams of promoting Olympus endoscopic systems and providing medical solutions for patients around the world.”
Professor Philip Chiu, Associate Dean (External Affairs) at CU Medicine, Director of CUHK’s InnoHK Multi-Scale Medical Robotics Center, Director of the Endoscopy Centre at the Prince of Wales Hospital, and Cluster Director of Endoscopy, New Territories East Cluster, Hospital Authority, said, “This MoU cements the deep collaboration between Olympus and CU Medicine to establish an R&D centre in Hong Kong, with a view to enhancing technological innovation in and the translation of endoscopy and minimally invasive surgery through preclinical evaluation and clinical trials. Our shared vision drives us to work closely with each other, and this collaboration will enhance translation of innovative medical technology to clinical application through the innovation platform and a committed healthcare leadership in Hong Kong.”