Flexible Medical Endoscopy Joint Venture Between PENTAX Medical and Aohua

PENTAX Medical (a division of HOYA Group) and Shanghai Aohua Photoelectricity Endoscope Co., Ltd. (AOHUA) today announced the creation of a joint venture to develop products in the field of flexible medical endoscopy. The new company will offer global endoscopy solutions and will initially focus on the needs of emerging markets.

Flexible endoscopy is approximately a $2.5B market globally that is growing at an average of 5% annually. The emerging markets are a key growth driver, based on increasing population, economic growth, investments in medical institutions and infrastructure and a growing demand for minimally invasive procedures.

“We are excited to establish this collaboration with AOHUA that further advances our mission to improve the standard of patient care and quality of healthcare around the world,” said David Woods, Chief Marketing Officer of PENTAX Medical, “The complementary nature of PENTAX Medical and AOHUA’s capabilities will address key healthcare challenges and our two companies share a vision of delivering improved healthcare through early detection of cancer and other GI diseases in these growing markets.”

“Instilling clinical confidence by delivering high performance, reliability, and value to our customers is at the core of everything we do,” said Gerald W. Bottero, Global President of PENTAX Medical“Now PENTAX Medical along with AOHUA looks forward to offering endoscopy solutions in the emerging countries all over the world.”

The new company, PENTAX-Aohua Medical Technologies Co., Ltd. will be headquartered in Asia and plans to develop and commercialize products beginning with key emerging markets in Asia, Latin America Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa. “With PENTAX Medical as our partner, this joint venture provides AOHUA with the immediate opportunity to reach more patients throughout the world,” said Dr. Xiaozhou Gu, CEO of AOHUA, “We have been committed to developing innovative technology, and our employees’ hard work and dedication will enable us to continue to deliver better and affordable endoscopy solutions that improve patient care,” Augustine Yee, Chief Legal Officer and Global Head of Corporate Development of HOYA Corporation commented, “This collaboration brings together combined strengths of PENTAX Medical’s global infrastructure and the capabilities and knowledge of the leading endoscope company in China. We look forward to the opportunity of leveraging these synergies towards the improvement of patient health globally.”

Although the partnership is expected to support the endoscopy accessory product lines, GlobalData believes that it will also have a positive influence on the flexible endoscopy product offerings due to the joint venture between Pentax Medical and Shanghai AoHua.

A closer analysis of GlobalData’s clinical trials database reveals that Pentax is currently involved in a number of trials focused on testing the efficacy of some of the company’s newer endoscopy products, which revolve around endoscopic visualization systems and colonoscopes. In terms of research and development (R&D), Pentax has an increasing focus on developing more compact and miniaturized scopes, as well as advanced image processing technology platforms.

According to GlobalData’s research, other major players within the endoscopy area include Fujifilm Corporation, Karl Storz, Olympus Corporation, and Richard Wolf. Increasingly, the market share in this space has been driven by incremental innovations within this area, which are primarily driven by improvements in visualization outputs such as 3D and 4K. A more recent trend is the development of endoscopes that are used in conjunction with disposable protective barriers, such as EndoSheath from Cogentix Medical. Using a single use barrier on an endoscope is meant to reduce the complexities associated with the decontamination of used scopes.

Competition within the endoscopy space is high, and the distinctions between different product offerings are unique to each company. Supported by the current advancements in visualization output, there is ongoing research to determine whether or not these endoscopes can be used for other applications such as the diagnosis of cancerous cells via a sort of optical biopsy. The development of an endoscope that can address newer medical applications, such as cancer, is likely to have a more disruptive effect on the endoscopy area compared to the current scale of innovations. To create a significant competitive edge, companies within the endoscopy area would need to develop products or technologies that can help redefine the applications of endoscopy.

The combination of expertise and knowledge in the flexible endoscopy area caused by the joint venture between Pentax Medical and Shanghai AoHua is expected to generate excitement among those in the endoscopy industry, particularly as Pentax Medical has an established product portfolio with a global infrastructure and Shanghai AoHua is an emerging regional player.

With the combined resources of both companies, the partnership increases the chances of developing new products in flexible endoscopy, and could possibly lead to a product that redefines the application of endoscopy entirely. Only time will tell how far and wide this collaboration’s influences will be on the endoscopy industry.


TOKYO and SHANGHAIJuly 6, 2017, /PRNewswire/ — On July the 7th 2017 Tokyo time,


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