Japan's leading printer and photocopier maker Konica Minolta Inc. announced at the company will be acquiring Ambry Genetic Corp. - a US diagnostic company, in a deal valued at up to USD 1 billion. This is one of the largest deals for Konica Minolta and the company will jointly carry out the acquisition with the funds provided by Innovation Network Corp of Japan. Konica Minolta, which has a market value of around $4 billion, will account for 60 percent of the investment and the Innovation Network Corp of Japan (INCJ) will provide for the remaining 40 percent. Both the companies intend to enter into the precision medicine segment which is expected to have a great potential for the treatment of cancer. KMI has its own diagnostic technique, utilising a High Sensitive Tissue Testing (HSTT) technology, while Ambry excels in genetic tests for breast, colon and cancers, heart and respiratory diseases, etc. Further, the company will combine its HSTT technology and Ambry's genetic diagnostic technology to offer high-standard cancer diagnostic services and aid the development of new reagents which will help produce new medicines. Talking about the acquisition, Shoei Yamana - Chief Executive Officer of Konica Minolta Inc., said, “Together with Ambry, we will have the most comprehensive set of diagnostic technologies for mapping an individual's genetic and biochemical makeup." The companies expect to complete the necessary procedure for the deal by the end of October, 2017 and post which, Ambry will become a subsidiary of KMI while Ambry's business will be continued in the US.
Sumitomo Chemical Co. has developed a new technology which can reduce production costs of large-format OLED panels to a great extent. The company has developed a new chemical pigment material for manufacturing OLED panels that targets to cut the production cost to half of the current deposition method. The company plans to enter quantity production by 2019 and sell to panel manufacturers in and outside Japan, expecting reduction of prices for OLED TVs to expand the market. The current deposition method requires expensive equipment and lots of the chemical pigment materials are wasted. The light-emitting elements of red, green and blue are supplied by Idemitsu Kosan Co. of Japan, Merck from Germany, and so on. The new printing method can reduce production costs because it requires less manufacturing processes than the deposition method but has a drawback of difficulty of coating light-emitting pigment evenly on the panel plate, which becomes more difficult when the panel sizes get larger. The new pigment that Sumitomo Chemical has developed is expected to reduce colouring of the light-emitting pigments on to the panel. Sumitomo Chemical said it has developed new manufacturing equipment for the printing method. To develop the new pigments, the company has cooperated with foreign panel makers and JOLED, which was established by integrating the OLED business division of Sony and Panasonic in 2015. JOLED plans to develop 21.6-inch display for medical use by using the new OELD panel produced in the printing method and market this autumn.
Venus Optics recently announced the launch of Laowa 15mm f/2 FE Zero-D for Sony Full Frame E-mount cameras. Currently the widest f/2 rectilinear lens in the market, it is an ultra-wide & ultra-fast prime lens which covers both 35mm full-frame & APS-C sensors. Weighing around 500g (~1.1 pounds), the lens is 8 cm long and comprises of 12 elements in 9 groups with 2 pcs of aspherical elements and 3 pcs of Extralow dispersion elements. It provides an extreme 110° angle of view and ultrafast f/2 aperture. The lens provides a super close focussing distance of 15cm and is specially designed to remove the optical distortion commonly exist in wide angle lenses at infinity focus. The new Laowa 15mm f/2 FE Zero-D is currently available to pre-order in the official website of Venus Optics (http://www.venuslens.net/) and their authorized resellers at an approximate retail price of USD 849.