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STAAR Surgical Celebrates Over 300,000 Successful Visian® ICL Implants at ASCRS Congress

MONROVIA, Calif., April 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- STAAR Surgical Company (NASDAQ: STAA), the leading developer, manufacturer and marketer of implantable refractive lenses for the eye, today announced that the total number of its Visian® ICL implants in patients worldwide has exceeded 300,000. Over 75,000 of these lenses have been the Visian Toric ICL which is approved in all the major markets in the world with the exception of the U.S. The Company will highlight the benefits of its Visian ICL lenses, as well as its premium Intraocular Lenses (IOLs) for cataracts at the annual Symposium of the American Society for Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) to be held in Chicago from April 20 through 24.

STAAR's Implantable Collamer® Lenses (ICLs) have been used in refractive eye surgery as an alternative to LASIK since 1994.  Manufactured with STAAR's proprietary Collamer material, Visian ICLs provide a safe and effective alternative to the permanent correction of myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.

"Achieving the milestone of over 300,000 successful implants of our Visian ICL illustrates the increasing growth in popularity of our ICL," said Barry G. Caldwell, president and CEO of STAAR Surgical. "With the introduction over the past year of several truly innovative technologies that offer improved visual results and comfort for the patient and a simpler, more efficient procedure for the surgeon, we have seen increased interest in our solutions, especially as an alternative to LASIK surgery. We look forward to the presentations during the ASCRS conference of recent clinical data from many leading ophthalmologists from around the world relative to their experience with our recently introduced Visian ICL V4c, as well as our premium IOLS, including the nanoFLEX family."

"We are excited about welcoming surgeons from throughout the world to the ASCRS Congress in Chicago," added Don Fagen, Vice President of Sales in North America.  "On Friday evening, STAAR and Dr. Manus Kraff will be hosting a VIP Party in the Sky at the home of Dr. Kraff overlooking the skyline of downtown Chicago to help celebrate the implanting of 300,000 Visian ICLs. Over 200 STAAR customers, friends and employees will be enjoying dinner and the breath taking view of downtown Chicago. We appreciate very much Dr. Kraff and Mary Jo opening their home for this celebration."

During a breakfast presentation on Saturday morning, Dr. Georges Baikoff of France will present his most recent experience with the V4c ICL. Dr. Baikoff has over thirty years of experience with phakic IOLs in Europe. There will also be briefings on the V5 ICL with prototypes of the first preloaded ICL and the manufacturing consolidation project underway at the Company.

In the newly designed STAAR booth a total of 17 presentations by 15 surgeons are scheduled during the Symposium. The topics on which the speakers will focus include Low Diopter ICL Results, V4c ICL Results, Premium IOLs, nanoFLEX and STAAR Toric IOLs.  Presentations will be made by:

  • Dr. Jaime Aramberri of Spain
  • Dr. Scott Barnes of the U.S.
  • Dr. Juan Battle of the Dominican Republic
  • Dr. Alan Carlson of the U.S.
  • Dr. Paul Dougherty of the U.S.
  • Dr. Richard Erdey of the U.S.
  • Dr. Paul Harton of the U.S.
  • Dr. Greg Parkhurst of the U.S.
  • Dr. Rob Rivera of the U.S.
  • Dr. Anthony Sensoli of the U.S.
  • Dr. Mohamed Shafik of Egypt
  • Dr. Colby Stewart of the U.S.
  • Dr. Karl Stonecipher of the U.S.
  • Dr. Bill Wiley of the U.S.
  • Dr. Helen Wu of the U.S.
  • During the Free Paper Sessions of the ASCRS Symposium there will be 16 presentations on the ICL by surgeons from 12 countries.  Some of the surgeons making presentations include Dr. Mohamed Shafik from Egypt, Dr. Howard Gimbel from Canada, Dr. Jaime Aramberri from Spain, Dr. A. Danassoury from Saudi Arabia, Dr. M. Jaimes from Mexico, Dr. J.K. Patel from India and Dr. L. Berghmans from Belgium. In addition, surgeons from six countries will participate in eight electronic poster presentations on STAAR technology.

    "We are in various stages of launching several new Visian ICL and IOL products which are receiving growing acceptance with leading surgeons in Europe," said Hans Blickensdoerfer, President of Europe, Middle East and Latin America for STAAR. "The Visian ICL and Toric ICL V4c with STAAR's CentraFLOW technology utilizing the KS-AquaPORT™ were launched in Europe in the fourth quarter of 2011. CentraFLOW eliminates the need for the surgeon to perform a YAG peripheral iridotomy procedure days before the ICL implant. The result is more comfort for the patient and a more convenient, efficient ICL experience for both the patient and the surgeon. Shipments of the nanoFLEX IOL began late last year in Europe and we are still in the beginning stages of that launch. In addition, the nanoFLEX Toric IOL should be available for implants during the second quarter."

    "The Asia Pacific markets represented 55% of STAAR's revenues during 2011 and we are working to gain key regulatory approvals for the V4c ICL in our markets during 2012," said Don Todd, President of Asia Pacific for STAAR. "During this meeting we will be asking key surgeons to evaluate the ergonomics and lens delivery of the V5 ICL preloaded injector system which will save operating time for the surgeon and provide additional ease of use and consistent delivery of the ICL. This will be another key step in the ongoing evolution of the ICL technology and we look forward to making this available to our customers."

    About STAAR SurgicalSTAAR, which has been dedicated solely to ophthalmic surgery for over 25 years, designs, develops, manufactures and markets implantable lenses for the eye.  All of these lenses are foldable, which permits the surgeon to insert them through a small incision.  STAAR's lens used in refractive surgery as an alternative to LASIK is called an Implantable Collamer® Lens or "ICL." A lens used to replace the natural lens after cataract surgery is called an intraocular lens or "IOL." Over 300,000 Visian ICLs have been implanted to date; to learn more about the ICL go to: STAAR has approximately 300 full time employees and markets lenses in approximately 60 countries. Headquartered in Monrovia, CA, it manufactures in the following locations: Nidau, Switzerland; Ichikawa City, Japan; Aliso Viejo, CA; and Monrovia, CA. For more information, please visit the Company's website at or call 626-303-7902. 

    Collamer® is the registered trademark for STAAR's proprietary biocompatible collagen copolymer lens material.

    Safe HarborAll statements in this press release that are not statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements, including any estimates of future revenues or revenue growth, any statements about the effect of new product approvals on our business, statements about planned product launches, any 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 the following: the effect of poor global economic conditions on sales, especially sales of products like the ICL used in non-reimbursed elective procedures; our limited resources to promote new products; the risk that product launches may be affected by unplanned delays or be less successful than we expect; the risk that greater than expected demand for new products can result in backlog, the willingness of surgeons and patients to adopt a new product and procedure; the entrenched market position of laser-based procedures for many conditions treated by the Visian ICL; and patterns of Visian ICL use that have typically limited our penetration of the refractive surgery market. STAAR assumes no obligation to update its forward-looking statements to reflect future events or actual outcomes and does not intend to do so.CONTACT:


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    EVC GroupJenifer Kirtland/Doug Sherk

    Christopher Gale 415-568-9349



    SOURCE STAAR Surgical Company
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