17 November 2010

Ellex To Preview New Laser For Treatment Of Amd

Adelaide, Australia, 17 November 2010: Ellex Medical Lasers Limited (ASX:ELX), a global leader in ophthalmic laser and ultrasound technology, today announced that it will preview a prototype of its new Retinal Regeneration Therapy (Ellex 2RT™) laser at the upcoming Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmology (RANZCO) meeting in Adelaide, Australia, from Sunday 21 November.

The novel laser device, named Regeneris™, is designed and manufactured by Ellex to deliver a controlled nanosecond dose of laser energy into the eye to treat a range of degenerative retinal diseases, including Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).

Ellex CEO, Mr. Simon Luscombe, said that the preview of the Regeneris™ prototype was an important opportunity to harvest physician feedback on the Ellex 2RT™ design concept and clinical approach.

“Feedback from ophthalmologists involved in early testing and clinical trials has been positive and encouraging, but the opportunity to preview our prototype laser at RANZCO will enable us to engage with a broad cross-section of the ophthalmic community in order to explore the full range of clinical capabilities for this exciting new product,” said Mr. Luscombe.

Since launching the Ellex 2RT™ research program in 2001 the Company has undertaken a number of clinical trials to evaluate the safety profile and clinical efficacy of Ellex 2RT™ for the treatment of retinal disease. Results to date have demonstrated the potential of Ellex 2RT™ to reverse the degenerative processes which cause AMD, offering hope for the millions of people who suffer from the disease worldwide. In Australia, AMD is responsible for 48% of all vision loss with around 17,700 new cases reported each year. In the United States, the U.S. National Eye Institute estimates that more than 3 million Americans will suffer from AMD by 2020.

“We believe that Ellex 2RT offers the first real hope for early treatment of one of the most common causes of blindness. Currently, when a patient is diagnosed with AMD they’re told that nothing can be done until the disease reaches its late stages, by which time many patients have already suffered irreversible vision loss,” commented Mr. Luscombe. “In contrast, with Ellex 2RT we aim to treat the causes of the disease before vision loss occurs.”

“This is a significant global technology that has the potential to reduce the onset of blindness with a gentle, non-invasive laser treatment,” said Mr. Luscombe.

The Company will continue to move forward with plans to undertake a multi-centre, randomised clinical trial in 2011 to validate the efficacy of Ellex 2RT™ for the treatment of AMD, before bringing Ellex 2RT™ technology to market.

The 2010 meeting of RANZCO will also mark the start of Ellex’s educational marketing program for Ellex 2RT™. The Company will host an educational symposium for key members of the Australian ophthalmic community on Monday 22 November, featuring clinical insight from researchers involved in the Ellex 2RT™ Clinical Trial program. Keynote speaker Professor Robyn Guymer, MB, BS, PhD, FRANZCO, Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA), will provide an update on the AMD clinical trial currently underway at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital during the symposium.

“We continue to make progress with our clinical research in parallel with engineering development for the Regeneris product, and it is important that we share these advances with the market,” said Mr. Luscombe.

Professor John Marshall, PhD, FRCPath, FRCOphth (Hon), St. Thomas’ Hospital, London, will also play an integral role in the symposium, addressing the underlying principles of Ellex 2RT™ technology. Professor Marshall is one of the pioneers of Ellex 2RT™ and has been at the forefront of ophthalmic technology for the past 30 years. He is the co-inventor of the world’s first diode laser for ophthalmology and the inventor of excimer laser technology for refractive surgery.

For more information on the symposium please contact Kate Hunt, Corporate Communications Manager, atkhunt@ellex.com or +61 8 8104 5214.

ABOUT ELLEX

Ellex Medical Lasers Limited (ASX:ELX) is a global leader in the design and manufacture of ophthalmic laser and ultrasound systems used by ophthalmologists to diagnose and treat eye disease. With more than 15,000 systems delivered to the market, Ellex has evolved since 1985 from a manufacturing company of primarily OEM products, to direct marketing of its own branded products through subsidiaries in the United States, Japan, Germany and Australia, and a network of distribution partners in more than 100 countries. In recent years, Ellex has diversified its product range beyond lasers and ultrasound equipment to include a number of third-party ophthalmic products.

For additional information about Ellex and its products, please visit www.ellex.com

ABOUT ELLEX 2RT

Ellex 2RT™ is a non-damaging laser treatment that stimulates a therapeutic response to regenerate retinal tissue that has been compromised by disease or age. This breakthrough therapy is aimed at treating a range of degenerative diseases that ultimately result in blindness, including Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Early clinical trials have been conducted at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London, with further clinical trials currently underway in Australia to validate the efficacy of Ellex 2RT™ for a number of clinical indications.

For additional information about Ellex 2RT™, please visit www.ellex.com/2RT