11 July 2013

Ellex Launches SLT Technology in the USA

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Ellex Medical Lasers Limited (ASX: ELX), a pioneer in medical technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of eye disease, today announced that it has launched its proprietary SLT (selective laser trabeculoplasty) technology in the United States.

The launch comes following the expiration of a patent held by Massachusetts General Hospital (sub-licensed to Lumenis), which prevented Ellex from selling its SLT technology in the US.

Therapy of Choice

Non-invasive and non-thermal, SLT is an advanced laser therapy which stimulates a natural healing response in the eye to treat glaucoma.

The second leading cause of blindness worldwide, glaucoma affects more than 60 million people1.

Compared to the use of medications, which are expensive and require the patient to take daily doses of eyed drops for the rest of their lives, SLT is a breakthrough approach in the treatment of glaucoma.

“SLT has been proven highly effective in over 200 published clinical papers and has an excellent safety profile. It also overcomes the compliance issues and side effects of anti-glaucoma medications, which have long plagued physicians and patient alike,” commented Ellex CEO, Tom Spurling.

Since its approval by the FDA in 2001 and subsequent market introduction in the USA and worldwide, SLT has steadily become the therapy of choice for glaucoma.  A highly effective approach for first-line glaucoma treatment, SLT can also be used as an adjunct therapy with medications and as alternative therapy when medications or surgery fail.

Proven Track-Record

Ellex’s proprietary SLT technology has been available in markets outside of the USA for nearly 10 years, with more than 2,500 Ellex-manufactured systems installed worldwide. In 12001, Coherent (now Lumenis) chose Ellex to develop and commercialize their Selecta Duet™ SLT/YAG technology platform. More than 500 Selecta Duet™ laser systems were manufactured under the terms of this agreement between 2001 and 2006.

Ellex’s industry-leading SLT technology platform is available in two product configurations: Tango™ SLT/YAG combination laser and Solo™ SLT laser.

The Solo™ SLT laser enables ophthalmologists  to provide their glaucoma patients with quick and highly accurate SLT treatment, maximizing treatment options and ensuring effective patient results. The Tango™ SLT/YAG combination laser system allows ophthalmologists to instantly switch between SLT and photodisruptor modes at the touch of a button – making procedures as efficient as possible.  Both Tango™ and Solo™ offer superior energy control, a sharp-edged aiming beam and the industry’s fastest firing rate at 3 shots per second.

The Tango™ is one of Ellex’s best selling products, with thousands of systems installed worldwide.

The Company plans to commence US distribution of its SLT technology effective immediately, showcasing its Tango™ SLT/YAG combination laser and Solo™ SLT laser product portfolio at the World Glaucoma Congress (WGC) in Vancouver later this month.

“With the patent barrier removed we can now begin the roll-out of our SLT technology, which we expect to deliver an immediate, positive impact on revenue during the first quarter of the 2014 financial year,” said Mr. Spurling.

“This patent did not preclude us from selling our SLT lasers outside of the USA and we now hold a 40-percent market share on an international basis. We are confident that, with the support of our in-place US direct sales subsidiary, we will progressively build market share in the USA.”

References:

H A Quigley and A T Broman.The number of people with glaucoma worldwide in 2010 and 2020. Br J Ophthalmol. 2006 March; 90(3): 262–267.doi:  10.1136/bjo.2005.081224

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. Since 1985, Ellex has evolved from a manufacturing company of primarily OEM products to direct marketing of its own branded products through subsidiaries in the United States, Japan, Germany, France and Australia, and a network of distribution partners in more than 100 countries. Today, more than 17,000 Ellex laser and imaging systems are used worldwide in the fight against blindness. In more recent times, Ellex has diversified its product range to include distribution of a number of complementary third-party ophthalmic products.