Ampersand Medical's Pilot Study in China Shows New Cervical Cancer-Detection System Outperforms Pap Test

InPath(TM) System Demonstrates Near-Perfect Ability to Detect Abnormalities



Apr 19, 2001, 01:00 ET from Ampersand Medical Corp.

    CHICAGO, April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Ampersand Medical Corp.
 (OTC Bulletin Board:   AMPM) announced that its InPath(TM) Slide-Based Test
 System -- a revolutionary screening system for detecting cervical
 cancer -- detected all levels of cervical abnormalities with 95 percent
 accuracy in a pilot study conducted in a routine laboratory setting.  That
 near-perfect detection rate exceeded performance criteria for routine Pap
 testing.
     The results came from a 208-patient study preceding a 9,000-patient
 clinical trial in China, known as the Shanxi Province Screening Study (SPOCCS)
 II.  The full study which was previously announced in January and will begin
 in May, is a cooperative partnership between Ampersand and The Cleveland
 Clinic Foundation.  The pilot study's strong results raise expectations for
 similar results for Ampersand's forthcoming U.S. and international clinical
 trials, scheduled to commence later his month.
     "This marks a milestone for the company as we embark on the wide-scale,
 multi-national studies of the system necessary to validate its performance,
 and make this technology available around the world," said Peter Gombrich,
 chairman and chief executive officer of Ampersand.  "Doctors have been
 concerned about the high level of false-negative results from the Pap test, as
 well as high levels of false-positive results from alternative techniques like
 HVP DNA testing for some time.  Having the clinical data that confirms that
 the InPath System outperforms these tests brings us closer to eliminating that
 problem for women and governments worldwide."
     The pilot study is the first major clinical study of the InPath System
 using a commercial laboratory to screen slides.  In addition to an overall
 accuracy of 95 percent for detecting all stages of disease, the system
 demonstrated 100 percent accuracy for detection of high-grade squamous
 intraepithelial lesions (a condition that is characterized by the presence of
 pre-cancerous cells) and cancer.
     Specificity -- the ability to correctly identify normal samples as
 normal -- was reported to be 75 percent versus specificities below 60 percent
 routinely reported for Pap testing or the poor specificity levels reported for
 HPV DNA testing.
     "This study not only confirms the performance of the InPath Slide-Based
 Test System as both highly accurate, but also provided us additional
 information and validation that will allow Ampersand to bring this technology
 to mainstream markets cost effectively relative to anything else available,"
 said Mike Nelson, senior vice president of engineering.
     The study population for this pilot included women between the ages of 35
 and 50 who had not been previously screened for cervical neoplasia.  Jerome
 Belinson, MD, section head of gynecologic oncology in the Department of
 Obstetrics and Gynecology at The Cleveland Clinic, collected samples in two
 provinces of China.  The samples were then sent to AmeriPath, Inc. in Orlando,
 Fla., for processing.  Ampersand and AmeriPath announced a strategic
 relationship earlier this month for succeeding clinical studies and trials, as
 well as product development.
     "The InPath System appears to show promise as a means to change the way
 cervical cancer screening is conducted," said Belinson.  "By taking advantage
 of newly discovered technologies, Ampersand's system is fast, cheap and if the
 full study validates the pilot study's results, should ultimately save lives
 worldwide."
     The InPath System comprises several components, including a biomolecular
 "cocktail" of markers and stains, a collector using a new technology for
 gathering cervical cell specimens and an analyzer to detect abnormalities.  To
 date, clinical results have shown the collector to be more effective in
 obtaining an adequate sample of cervical cells on a single collection, as well
 as being more comfortable for the patient.  The InPath System simultaneously
 screens for multiple bio-molecular markers within cytology samples in less
 than 30 minutes.  Future applications will involve screening for other types
 and cancers and conditions.
 
     About Ampersand Medical
     Ampersand Medical Corporation develops cost-effective, laboratory-based
 and point-of-care screening systems to assist in the early detection of
 cervical and other cancers.  The InPath(TM) System is being developed to
 provide medical practitioners with a highly accurate, low-cost, cervical
 cancer screening system that can be used at the point-of-care.  Other products
 include AIM 2000, an automated system facilitating the analysis of medical
 samples and SAMBA(TM) Virtual Laboratory software used for medical image
 processing, database and multimedia case management, telepathology and
 teleradiology.  More information is available on the Internet at
 www.ampersandmedical.com .
 
     Certain statements throughout this release are forward-looking.  These
 statements are based on the Company's current expectations and involve many
 risks and uncertainties, such as the possibility that clinical trials will not
 substantiate the Company's expectations with respect to the InPath(TM) System,
 and other factors set forth in reports and documents filed by Ampersand
 Medical Corporation with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Ampersand
 Medical Corporation undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any
 forward-looking statements contained herein.
 
     CONTACT:  Media, Gail Cowan, ext. 212, or Investors, Kristin Anderson,
 ext. 256, both of Corporate Technology Communications, 312-832-9300, for
 Ampersand Medical Corp.
 
 

SOURCE Ampersand Medical Corp.
    CHICAGO, April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Ampersand Medical Corp.
 (OTC Bulletin Board:   AMPM) announced that its InPath(TM) Slide-Based Test
 System -- a revolutionary screening system for detecting cervical
 cancer -- detected all levels of cervical abnormalities with 95 percent
 accuracy in a pilot study conducted in a routine laboratory setting.  That
 near-perfect detection rate exceeded performance criteria for routine Pap
 testing.
     The results came from a 208-patient study preceding a 9,000-patient
 clinical trial in China, known as the Shanxi Province Screening Study (SPOCCS)
 II.  The full study which was previously announced in January and will begin
 in May, is a cooperative partnership between Ampersand and The Cleveland
 Clinic Foundation.  The pilot study's strong results raise expectations for
 similar results for Ampersand's forthcoming U.S. and international clinical
 trials, scheduled to commence later his month.
     "This marks a milestone for the company as we embark on the wide-scale,
 multi-national studies of the system necessary to validate its performance,
 and make this technology available around the world," said Peter Gombrich,
 chairman and chief executive officer of Ampersand.  "Doctors have been
 concerned about the high level of false-negative results from the Pap test, as
 well as high levels of false-positive results from alternative techniques like
 HVP DNA testing for some time.  Having the clinical data that confirms that
 the InPath System outperforms these tests brings us closer to eliminating that
 problem for women and governments worldwide."
     The pilot study is the first major clinical study of the InPath System
 using a commercial laboratory to screen slides.  In addition to an overall
 accuracy of 95 percent for detecting all stages of disease, the system
 demonstrated 100 percent accuracy for detection of high-grade squamous
 intraepithelial lesions (a condition that is characterized by the presence of
 pre-cancerous cells) and cancer.
     Specificity -- the ability to correctly identify normal samples as
 normal -- was reported to be 75 percent versus specificities below 60 percent
 routinely reported for Pap testing or the poor specificity levels reported for
 HPV DNA testing.
     "This study not only confirms the performance of the InPath Slide-Based
 Test System as both highly accurate, but also provided us additional
 information and validation that will allow Ampersand to bring this technology
 to mainstream markets cost effectively relative to anything else available,"
 said Mike Nelson, senior vice president of engineering.
     The study population for this pilot included women between the ages of 35
 and 50 who had not been previously screened for cervical neoplasia.  Jerome
 Belinson, MD, section head of gynecologic oncology in the Department of
 Obstetrics and Gynecology at The Cleveland Clinic, collected samples in two
 provinces of China.  The samples were then sent to AmeriPath, Inc. in Orlando,
 Fla., for processing.  Ampersand and AmeriPath announced a strategic
 relationship earlier this month for succeeding clinical studies and trials, as
 well as product development.
     "The InPath System appears to show promise as a means to change the way
 cervical cancer screening is conducted," said Belinson.  "By taking advantage
 of newly discovered technologies, Ampersand's system is fast, cheap and if the
 full study validates the pilot study's results, should ultimately save lives
 worldwide."
     The InPath System comprises several components, including a biomolecular
 "cocktail" of markers and stains, a collector using a new technology for
 gathering cervical cell specimens and an analyzer to detect abnormalities.  To
 date, clinical results have shown the collector to be more effective in
 obtaining an adequate sample of cervical cells on a single collection, as well
 as being more comfortable for the patient.  The InPath System simultaneously
 screens for multiple bio-molecular markers within cytology samples in less
 than 30 minutes.  Future applications will involve screening for other types
 and cancers and conditions.
 
     About Ampersand Medical
     Ampersand Medical Corporation develops cost-effective, laboratory-based
 and point-of-care screening systems to assist in the early detection of
 cervical and other cancers.  The InPath(TM) System is being developed to
 provide medical practitioners with a highly accurate, low-cost, cervical
 cancer screening system that can be used at the point-of-care.  Other products
 include AIM 2000, an automated system facilitating the analysis of medical
 samples and SAMBA(TM) Virtual Laboratory software used for medical image
 processing, database and multimedia case management, telepathology and
 teleradiology.  More information is available on the Internet at
 www.ampersandmedical.com .
 
     Certain statements throughout this release are forward-looking.  These
 statements are based on the Company's current expectations and involve many
 risks and uncertainties, such as the possibility that clinical trials will not
 substantiate the Company's expectations with respect to the InPath(TM) System,
 and other factors set forth in reports and documents filed by Ampersand
 Medical Corporation with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Ampersand
 Medical Corporation undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any
 forward-looking statements contained herein.
 
     CONTACT:  Media, Gail Cowan, ext. 212, or Investors, Kristin Anderson,
 ext. 256, both of Corporate Technology Communications, 312-832-9300, for
 Ampersand Medical Corp.
 
 SOURCE  Ampersand Medical Corp.