11 July 2013
Ellex Launches Glaucoma Laser Platform in the USA
Adelaide, Australia, 11 July 2013 – Ellex Medical Lasers Limited (ASX:ELX), a pioneer in medical technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of eye disease, today announced the launch of 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 USA.
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 is estimated to affect more than 60 million people.*
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 treatment, SLT can also be used as an adjunct therapy with glaucoma medications and as alternative therapy when medications or surgery fail.
Compared to the use of glaucoma medications, which are expensive and require the patient to take daily doses of medication for the rest of their lives, SLT is a breakthrough approach in the treatment of glaucoma.
“SLT has been proven highly effective in over 250 published clinical papers and has an excellent safety profile. It also overcomes the compliance issues and side effects of medications, which have long plagued physicians and patients alike,” commented Ellex CEO, Tom Spurling.
“Today, SLT is seen as the therapy of choice for glaucoma.”
The Company plans to commence US distribution of its SLT technology effective immediately, showcasing the Tango™ SLT/YAG combination laser and Solo™ SLT laser product portfolio at the World Glaucoma Congress (WGC), taking place in Vancouver from 17-20 July 2013.
“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.”
*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)
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 and Australia, and a network of distribution partners in more than 100 countries. Today, more than 20,000 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.