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BIOLASE Issued New Patent for Use of Laser Technologies for Eye Surgery
Monday, January 24, 2011
Irvine, CA -- BIOLASE Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: BLTI), the world's leading dental laser manufacturer and distributor, today announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued BIOLASE a new patent covering the use of its laser technologies for treating presbyopia and hyperopia, also known as farsightedness.
The patent is number 7,867,223 and is titled "Methods for Treating Hyperopia and Presbyopia via Laser Tunneling." It covers the use of Erbium-based pulsed lasers to increase or facilitate an increase in accommodation, mitigating the effects of presbyopia, enabling the eye to refocus at near distance without losing its ability to focus at a distance.
There are over 100 million people in the U.S. and more than 2 billion people worldwide with presbyopia, the age-related loss of near vision that comes to everyone in mid-life.
This new patent is BIOLASE's first U.S. patent to be issued in Ophthalmic Patent Family IV and outlines the apparatus and methods for laser tunneling, one of the most promising approaches to reversing presbyopia. BIOLASE currently holds a total of seven issued and 20 pending U.S. and International patents in the four families in the field of ophthalmology. Specific claims include the Company's core Er,Cr:YSGG laser technology and, with U.S. patent number 7,665,467 issued February 23, 2010 and its foreign counterparts, gives BIOLASE very broad coverage in the field.
Federico Pignatelli, Chairman and CEO, commented, "Our laser technologies have broad applications within dentistry and other medical fields such as ophthalmology. This strong patent position in combination with our already FDA-cleared general indications for using our lasers with ocular tissue and the tissue surrounding the eye and orbit makes us an attractive partner for an ophthalmic company who needs the IP, innovative technology and expertise necessary to enter the biggest potential market in ophthalmology. Presbyopia is a perfect fit for our patented Er,Cr:YSGG Waterlase technology and the first of several other major medical applications in dermatology, cosmetic surgery, orthopedics, urology and ENT that we plan to commercialize or license in the near future."
Pignatelli added, "I would also like to note that unlike the other approaches to treating presbyopia utilizing lasers, our method does not involve altering the cornea or lens, it simply restores normal accommodative function thereby improving near, intermediate and distance vision. There are no issues with glare, depth perception, or intermediate vision and patients retain natural binocular stereoscopic vision."
Chief Technology Officer Dmitri Boutoussov, PhD, said, "The unique laser-tissue interaction of the YSGG laser, which is the heart of Waterlase technology, combines the very best characteristics of the Er:YAG and short pulse CO2s that are currently the standard for many medical laser procedures. Our new 2R technology, utilized in the recently introduced Waterlase® iPlus™ which is faster, more powerful, more versatile and easier to operate, creates significant differentiation and advantages for non-dental clinical applications."
About BIOLASE Technology, Inc.
BIOLASE Technology, Inc., the World's leading dental laser company, is a medical technology company that develops, manufactures and markets lasers and related products focused on technologies that advance the practice of dentistry and medicine. The Company's products incorporate patented and patent pending technologies designed to provide clinically superior performance with less pain and faster recovery times. BIOLASE's principal products are dental laser systems that perform a broad range of dental procedures, including cosmetic and complex surgical applications. Other products under development address ophthalmology and other medical and consumer markets.
For updates and information on laser and Waterlase dentistry, find BIOLASE at http://www.biolase.com, Twitter at http://twitter.com/GoWaterlase, and YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/Rossca08.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of safe harbor provided by the Securities Reform Act of 1995 that are based on the current expectations and estimates by our management. These forward-looking statements can be identified through the use of words such as "anticipates," "expects," "intends," "plans," "believes," "seeks," "estimates," "may," "will," and variations of these words or similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are based on management's current, preliminary expectations and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the Company's actual results to differ materially from the statements contained herein, and are described in the Company's reports it files with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its annual and quarterly reports. No undue reliance should be placed on forward-looking statements. Such information is subject to change, and we undertake no obligation to update such statements.
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