12 September 2014

Ellex 2RT and YAG Laser Vitreolysis Clinical Update at EURETINA/ESCRS 2014

12 September 2014, Adelaide, Australia – Ellex Medical Lasers Limited (ASX:ELX), a pioneer in medical technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of eye disease, will spotlight its proprietary Retinal Rejuvenation Therapy (2RT™) for the treatment of early age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and YAG laser vitreolysis for the treatment of floaters during the European Society of Retina Specialists (EURETINA) and European Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgeons (ESCRS) meetings in London, UK from 13-17 September 2014.

Revolutionising the Treatment of Early AMD

The world’s third leading cause of blindness, AMD is the most common cause of vision loss in developed countries in people over the age of 50.1 Of the total number of patients diagnosed with AMD each year, the vast majority suffer from the disease in its early stages. Other than vitamin supplements and various lifestyle factors, recommended by the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) to have a moderating effect on the disease, no treatment option exists for patients with early AMD.

2RT™ is a potential, early intervention treatment which aims to slow retinal degeneration, thus helping to delay or prevent the progression to late-stage AMD. This, in turn, may eliminate or delay the vision-threatening complications associated with the disease.

Associate Professor Wilson Heriot (MBBS, FRACO, FRACS), a principal at Eye Surgery Associates, Melbourne, Australia, and a leading authority in retinal disease and treatment, is one of the first physicians to adopt 2RT™ in the treatment of AMD patients. He is also a co-investigator in the 2RT™ “Laser Intervention in Early Age-Related Macular Degeneration” (LEAD) clinical trial, a multi-centre, double-blind, randomised, controlled trial launched in late 2012 to validate the clinical efficacy of 2RT™ in the treatment of early AMD.

2RT™ stimulates a natural, biological healing response in the eye to improve retinal function and to halt or delay the degenerative processes that cause AMD. Affecting a cellular response in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) only, this non-thermal laser therapy uses nanosecond laser pulses to achieve the desired therapeutic effect while protecting the retina from the thermal tissue damage inherent in conventional retinal photocoagulation laser treatment.

Findings from a 12-month pilot study conducted at the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA), showed that 2RT™ reduced drusen (a key risk factor for progression of AMD to its blinding end stage) in the majority of treated eyes, demonstrating a partial reversal of the degenerative processes which cause AMD.2

According to Associate Professor Heriot, 2RT™ offers new hope to the millions of patients worldwide affected by early AMD. Accordingly, the outcomes of current clinical investigations are eagerly awaited.

“For the first time, we have the potential to apply treatment much earlier in the disease process before significant vision loss occurs. A minimally invasive, simple, in-office procedure, which can be
performed in minutes, and with no risk of infection, 2RT is potentially a significant breakthrough in the treatment of early AMD,” he said.

Associate Professor Heriot will provide a clinical update for 2RT™ in the treatment of early AMD as part of the EuroTimes Satellite Education Programme during ESCRS/EURETINA 2014 on Sunday, 14 September 2014.

Redefining the Treatment of Floaters

Often a result of the normal ageing process in the eye, many people are affected by the presence of vitreous strands and opacities (commonly known as “floaters”). While not sight threatening, the cobweb-like shadows caused by floaters can result in significant visual disturbance.3

YAG laser vitreolysis is a simple, outpatient-based procedure, which involves the use of a nano-pulsed ophthalmic YAG laser to vaporise floaters. The Ellex Ultra Q Reflex™ is the only YAG laser designed specifically for the treatment of floaters, optimised for performing YAG laser treatments in both the anterior segment and posterior segment of the eye.

An outpatient-based procedure, clinical studies have shown YAG laser vitreolysis to offer a high degree of clinical efficacy.4-6 A key benefit of the procedure is that it provides the ophthalmologist with a non-invasive treatment option for patients who they would ordinarily not treat because of the risks associated with traditional (vitrectomy) surgery. Vitreolysis can also delay or obviate the need for surgery.

According to Paul Singh, MD, of the Eye Centers of Racine and Kenosha in Wisconsin, USA, one of the most important advantages of the YAG laser for vitreolysis is its robust safety profile.

³From my perspective, the risks associated with YAG are a lot lower than with vitrectomy, so I feel comfortable using YAG laser vitreolysis as a first-line treatment for symptomatic floaters,² said Dr Singh.

Dr. Singh will address ESCRS 2014 delegates regarding his results using the Ellex Ultra Q Reflex YAG laser to perform vitreolysis on 198 patients. Based on these results, Dr. Singh reports a 93% patient satisfaction rate with few complications.

Dr. Singh will also moderate a roundtable discussion regarding the clinical use of YAG laser vitreolysis during ESCRS 2014.

References

  1. European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations. Age-related Macular Degeneration. http://www.efpia.eu/diseases/107/59/Age-related-Macular-Degeneration Last accessed, July 9, 2014.
  2. Retinal functional improvement with nano-laser treatment in high risk early age-related macular degeneration. Robyn H. Guymer, Kate Brassington, Peter N. Dimitrov, Mary Varsamidis.
  3. Sebag, J et al. Floaters and Quality of Life. Am J Ophthalmol. 2011 Jul;152(1):3-4.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2011.02.015 (2011)
  4. Fankhauser F, Kwasniewska S, van der Zypen E. Vitreolysis with the Q-Switched Laser. Arch Ophthalmology 103:116-1171, 1985 (1985).
  5. W F Tsai, Y C Chen, and C Y Su. Treatment of vitreous floaters with neodymium YAG laser. Br J Ophthalmol. 1993 August; 77(8): 485–488 (1993).
  6. Tassignon MJ, Kreissig I, Stempels N, Brihaye M.Indications for Q-switched and mode-locked Nd: YAG lasers in vitreoretinal pathology. Eur J Ophthalmol. 1991 Jul-Sep;1(3):123-30 (1991).

ABOUT ELLEX

Ellex Medical Lasers Limited (ASX:ELX) is a pioneer in the development of medical technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of eye disease. With more than 20,000 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, France, 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 distribution of a number of complementary third-party ophthalmic products. On 31 December 2013 Ellex acquired the Canaloplasty microcatheter glaucoma treatment, providing a recurring revenue stream, which Ellex manufactures at a plant in Menlo Park, California.

For further information on Ellex please contact:

Tom Spurling, CEO
Ellex Medical Lasers Limited
82 Gilbert Street, Adelaide, SA, 5000
W +61 8 8104 5293 | M +61 417 818 658
tspurling@ellex.com

Maria Maieli, Company Secretary
Ellex Medical Lasers Limited
82 Gilbert Street, Adelaide, SA, 5000
W +61 8 8104 5200
mmaieli@ellex.com

Victor Previn, Chairman
Ellex Medical Lasers Limited
82 Gilbert Street, Adelaide, SA, 5000
W +61 8 8104 5200 | M +61 414 661 994
vprevin@ellex.com

For media enquiries please contact:

Kate Hunt, Corporate Communications
Ellex Medical Lasers Limited
82 Gilbert Street, Adelaide, SA, 5000
W +61 8 8104 5214
khunt@ellex.com