Healthcare Industry News:  cataract 

Devices Ophthalmology

 News Release - January 26, 2006

IntraLase Announces First Use of FS Laser for Advanced Corneal Transplant Surgery

Precise Femtosecond Laser Technology Allows Surgeons to Create Optimally Shaped Incisions for Biomechanical Advantage

IRVINE, Calif.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Jan. 26, 2006--IntraLase Corp. (Nasdaq:ILSE ) today announced the first corneal transplant cases using the IntraLase® FS laser have been successfully performed in patients, marking the first major technology advancement in corneal transplant surgery in more than five years. The use of IntraLase's ultra-fast laser to create a contoured, full-thickness corneal resection in preparation for corneal transplant has the potential to make corneal transplantation a safer, more precise procedure as the all-laser approach gains favor among transplant surgeons. Full global launch of this new therapeutic application is expected in Fall 2006.

Three of the country's leading ophthalmic institutes, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami, Corneal Research Foundation of America of Indianapolis and the University of California Irvine, Department of Ophthalmology, are among the first in the country to adopt all-laser corneal transplant surgery. They've affirmed IntraLase's ability to improve the surgery, considered the last resort for patients facing blindness resulting from severe corneal disease.

The IntraLase FS laser is the first femtosecond laser cleared for use in a variety of refractive and corneal surgeries including LASIK, and intrastromal incisions used with ring implants, lamellar keratoplasty, penetrating keratoplasty, and for the preparation of the donor tissue used in corneal transplants. The IntraLase FS laser has demonstrated its superior capability in creating corneal incisions with micron-level accuracy unmatched by hand-held or mechanical blades.

"The natural progression of our laser technology is to provide corneal surgeons with the ability to shape the full-thickness resection used in corneal transplants," said Robert J. Palmisano, president and CEO of IntraLase. "With minor enhancements, our laser is capable of creating optimal incisional patterns for corneal transplants. Instead of the straight vertical cut performed in traditional full-thickness keratoplasty, the FS laser is programmed to create a stepped-edged incision that may enhance the sealing and stability of the transplanted tissue and allow for faster healing."

"The early results are excellent," noted Francis Price, M.D., director of the Corneal Research Foundation of America and Price Vision Group and first to perform corneal transplant surgery with the IntraLase laser. "One of the patients had traditional full-thickness corneal transplant surgery three years ago on one eye. The day after her laser-assisted transplant surgery, she reported seeing better in the laser-treated eye. While the long-term outcome remains to be seen, the early results are very encouraging."

In 2003, a scalpel was used to create modified-shaped tissue, resembling a top hat, during penetrating keratoplasty surgery. "The shaped top hat configuration never achieved widespread success because of the difficulty in manually creating the incision. The precision and safety of the IntraLase laser inspires the surgeon to perform the top hat incision with confidence," said William Culbertson, M.D., professor of ophthalmology and corneal surgeon at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. "The overlapping wound edge seals better biomechanically requiring less suture tension than a traditional straight-edged incision. The potential result would be enhanced wound strength, less astigmatism and accelerated recovery of vision. We feel this is a huge step forward in the rehabilitation of vision for these patients."

Latest findings on this and all other FS laser indications will be presented at this year's American Society of cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) held March 18-22, 2006 in San Francisco.

About IntraLase Corp.

IntraLase designs, develops, and manufactures an ultra-fast laser that is revolutionizing refractive and corneal surgery by creating safe and more precise corneal incisions. Delivering on the promise of ophthalmic laser technology, the IntraLase FS laser, related software, and disposable devices replace the hand-held microkeratome blade used during LASIK surgery. The unsurpassed accuracy of IntraLase's computer-controlled femtosecond laser has been shown to improve safety profiles and visual outcomes when used during LASIK. Additionally, the IntraLase FS laser creates precision-designed intracorneal incisions that when combined can be used during lamellar and penetrating keratoplasties and intrastromal ring implantation. IntraLase is presently in the process of commercializing applications of its technology in the treatment of corneal diseases that require corneal transplant surgery. The company's proprietary laser and disposable patient interfaces are presently marketed throughout the United States and 26 other countries. IntraLase is headquartered and manufactures its products in Irvine, California. For additional information, visit the company's web site:

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements contained in this press release that are not historical information are forward-looking statements as defined within the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "intend," "plan," "estimate," "project," or words of similar meaning, or future or conditional verbs such as "will," "would," "should," "could," or "may." Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or implied. Those risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: the degree of continued acceptance of LASIK surgery; potential complications revealed by long-term follow up; the extent of adoption of our product offering by LASIK surgeons; general economic conditions; changes in federal tax laws governing the ability of potential LASIK patients to use pre-tax dollars to pay for LASIK surgery; the scope of government regulation applicable to our products; patients' willingness to pay for LASIK surgery; our ability to compete against our competitors; the effectiveness of our measures to ensure full payment of procedure fees; the occurrence and outcome of product liability suits against us; our ability to adequately protect our intellectual property; whether we become subject to claims of infringement or misappropriation of the intellectual property rights of others; the continued availability of supplies from single-source suppliers and manufacturers of our key laser components; the ability of our managers, operations, and facilities to manage our growth; the success of our expansion into markets outside the United States; whether we lose any of our key executives or fail to attract qualified personnel; or if our new products or applications fail to become commercially viable.

Certain of these risks and uncertainties, in addition to other risks, are more fully described in the company's quarterly report on form 10-Q for the period ending September 30, 2005, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 8, 2005.

These forward-looking statements are made only as of the date of this press release, and the company assumes no obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

Source: IntraLase

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