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Esaote enters Japanese MR market with local distributor agreement

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Expansion follows pattern of growth elsewhereItalian medical instrumentation company Esaote has secured a deal to sell its MR scanners in Japan. The low-cost MRI machines, dedicated to extremity imaging, will be available to

Expansion follows pattern of growth elsewhere

Italian medical instrumentation company Esaote has secured a deal to sell its MR scanners in Japan. The low-cost MRI machines, dedicated to extremity imaging, will be available to Japanese customers through a local distributor from Jan. 1, 2003. Esaote received confirmation of the agreement just prior to the RSNA meeting.

Esaote's MRI portfolio currently comprises two open-style scanners: the E-Scan XQ and the C-Scan. Both offer imaging at 0.2T, with radio-frequency receiving coils tailored to musculoskeletal joints. About 950 systems have been sold over the past decade to hospitals, private clinics, and sports medicine centers.

The Japanese launch underscores Esaote's increasing commitment to Asian markets and its policy of working with local distributors. Prior to 2001, Esaote's MR scanners were available only in the U.S. and Western Europe. Sales channels have now opened in Mexico and Korea, again via local third parties.

The scanners are sold in Brazil through GE Medical Systems. In China, one of Esaote's subsidiary companies handles MRI equipment sales.

India may be the next country added to the distribution list, given the price-oriented nature of the country's medical imaging market, according to Massimo Guerra, area manager for Esaote's MRI division. E-Scan systems sell for about half the price of standard low-field MR scanners. But Esaote will first have to find a good partner in India.

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