Healthcare Industry News:  Glaucoma 

Devices Ophthalmology Distribution

 News Release - May 11, 2006

STAAR Surgical Announces New Canadian Distributor

Coherent-AMT is Largest Private Medical Products Distributor in Canada

MONROVIA, Calif., May 11 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- STAAR Surgical Company (Nasdaq: STAA ), a leading developer, manufacturer and marketer of minimally invasive ophthalmic products, today announced that it has entered into a new distributor agreement for Canada with Coherent-AMT, a medical products distributor headquartered in Ontario, Canada.

Under the terms of the exclusive agreement, Coherent-AMT will have the right to sell STAAR's products that are currently approved for sale in Canada, including the Visian ICL(TM), the Visian TICL(TM), cataract lenses and related products. In addition, Coherent-AMT will not market any products that compete with STAAR products that it offers for resale. Coherent-AMT will carry an inventory of STAAR products and will provide service and sales coverage to all of Canada.

"We are very pleased to partner with Coherent-AMT and believe that their strong positioning in the ophthalmic medical device market in Canada will allow us to continue to build market share and mindshare for STAAR products," said David Bailey, President and CEO of STAAR Surgical. "Coherent-AMT is well known in Canada. With more than 100 employees and a strong base of knowledgeable product technology consultants they have a presence in most of the hospitals and laser vision centers in Canada. Coherent-AMT is a proven leader in bringing innovative vision solutions to this market. We believe our strategic agreement with Coherent-AMT will allow us to capitalize on the opportunities in the region."

"We were very impressed by STAAR's differentiated ophthalmic medical device offerings and are very excited to partner with them to continue to bring their innovative refractive and cataract products to the Canadian marketplace," said Dan Webb, CEO of Coherent-AMT. "Together, Coherent-AMT and STAAR are well-positioned to provide Canadian physicians with new, innovative products that can provide better vision and quality of life to patients."

About STAAR Surgical

STAAR Surgical is a leader in the development, manufacture and marketing of minimally invasive ophthalmic products employing proprietary technologies. STAAR's products are used by ophthalmic surgeons and include the Visian ICL, a tiny, flexible lens implanted to correct refractive errors, as well as innovative products designed to improve patient outcomes for cataracts and Glaucoma. STAAR's ICL is approved by the FDA for use in treating myopia, has received CE Marking and is approved for sale in 42 countries. More than 50,000 ICLs have been sold worldwide. More information is available at

About Coherent-AMT

Coherent-AMT is a medical distributor of innovative technology solutions. Coherent-AMT has been operating in Canada since 1990. Over that time, the Company has gained a superior reputation for its dedication to the Canadian healthcare community (hospitals and clinics) within the aesthetic, ophthalmic and surgical marketplaces.

Coherent-AMT is the largest laser distributor in Canada, representing over 40 technologies. The Company offers national service support (over 30 in-field trained technicians) and 7 clinical trainers for hands-on training to assist clients as required.

Safe Harbor

All statements in this press release that are not statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements, including any statements about future growth, any statements of the plans, strategies, and objectives of management for future operations, any statements regarding expectations for success of the ICL or other products in U.S. or international markets, any statements concerning proposed new products and government approval of new products, services or developments, any statements regarding future economic conditions or performance, statements of belief and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. These statements are based on expectations and assumptions as of the date of this press release and are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. The risks and uncertainties include our limited capital resources and limited access to financing, our ability to overcome negative publicity resulting from warning letters and other correspondence from the FDA Office of Compliance, the willingness of surgeons and patients to adopt a new product and procedure, and our ability to successfully launch and market the ICL in the U.S. while overcoming the foregoing challenges. Our ability to capitalize on the opportunity presented by the U.S. ICL approval depends on our overall financial condition, which can be adversely affected by our ability to implement our cost savings strategies and realize our expected savings, our ability to reverse the decline in domestic sales of intraocular lenses, our ability to maintain or enhance our existing product sales and gross profit margin and reduce compliance expenditures, the rapid pace of technological change in the ophthalmic industry, our ability to compete with much larger ophthalmic companies, general domestic and international economic conditions, and other factors beyond our control, including those detailed from time to time in our reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. STAAR assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect future events or actual outcomes and does not intend to do so.

Source: STAAR Surgical

Issuer of this News Release is solely responsible for its content.
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