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STAAR Surgical Enters Into Distribution Agreement With Ellex in Australia
Date:3/9/2011

MONROVIA, Calif., March 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- STAAR Surgical Company (Nasdaq: STAA), a leading developer, manufacturer and marketer of minimally invasive ophthalmic products, today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Ellex Australia (ASX: ELX) for the exclusive distribution of STAAR intraocular lenses in Australia.  Ellex, a leading ophthalmic manufacturer and distributor that is publicly traded in Australia, will market STAAR's Visian ICL line of refractive lenses, STAAR's intraocular lenses for cataract patients and related products.  STAAR has previously distributed its products in the region through ConceptVision Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary, which is being closed.  During 2010 STAAR generated $1.7 million in sales from the region through a direct team of five employees and generated about $200,000 in net income.  

"We are very pleased to be partnering with Ellex and to have our products join the Ellex portfolio.  We expect its expertise and reputation to improve our market reach in Australia and New Zealand," said Don Todd, STAAR's President of the Asia Pacific Region. "The Ellex organization will start highlighting STAAR products at the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO) meeting in Sydney starting on March 21."

"We believe with Ellex's presence in the region, we should be able to drive additional sales and higher profits from this territory over time," said Deborah Andrews, STAAR's Chief Financial Officer.  "As part of the distribution agreement, Ellex will also be purchasing during the first quarter the current inventory of product in Australia for approximately $400,000."

"Ellex is prepared to build on the foundation established by our General Manager at ConceptVision, Phil Stoney, who passed away late last year.  Phil was instrumental to building the STAAR business in the region to
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SOURCE STAAR Surgical Company
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