Olympus America has signed a non-exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with BioImagene of Sunnyvale, California, allowing BioImagene to access an extensive portfolio of Olympus patents in the field of digital pathology and virtual microscopy.

Olympus said that this is the most recent of several licenses that the company has granted for the technologies, which are considered critical for developing future digital imaging and data handling systems for pathology.

Digital pathology technology has the potential to change the way doctors review and manage millions of biopsy slides and other pathology specimens now handled using glass slides and traditional optical microscopes.

The patents included in the licensing deal cover methods and equipment for creating, storing and delivering virtual microscopy slides. The technology enables pathologists to view and share high-resolution virtual microscopy images over the Internet.

Mark Gumz, president and CEO of Olympus Corporation of the Americas, said: “The digital pathology field is evolving rapidly.and allowing other companies in this field like BioImagene to license these important patents will help advance the field of pathology, and ultimately promote better access to healthcare for patients around the world.”

Ajit Singh, president and CEO of BioImagene, said: “Digital pathology is at an important inflexion point, moving very rapidly towards broad-based adoption. We believe that our relationship with Olympus will be a catalyst for this trend. Olympus has been a pioneer in this field, and their patent portfolio will complement BioImagene’s innovations in end-to-end digital pathology.”