Continues to Execute Disposable Probe Sales Growth Strategy With New Product Introduction and Patent Application
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., June 28 / -- IRIDEX Corporation (NASDAQ:IRIX) today announced the introduction of a family of disposable laser probes called the OtoProbe(TM) for use in otology (ENT) surgery. In addition, the Company announced the acquisition of a patent application from Innovatech Surgical, Inc. for the line of Adjustable & Intuitive Disposable Laser Probes used in endophotocoagulation during retinal surgery.
In September 2005, IRIDEX announced its entrance into the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) market with the introduction of the OcuLight(R) OR (532 nm) laser. Don Todd, Vice President of Marketing at IRIDEX, said, "Since we introduced the OcuLight OR last year, we have become more knowledgeable about the specific procedures performed by ENT surgeons and our new OtoProbe will allow us to focus more closely on their needs. Our target market has expanded to operating rooms where ENT surgery is performed, as well as retinal ophthalmic surgery, and our laser and new family of probes will allow operating room staff to order all of their products from one source -- IRIDEX."
The new OtoProbes were designed, developed and will be manufactured by IRIDEX. Designed to new standards, the OtoProbes create a more ergonomic, comfortable feel, are capable of delivering a full 2500mW of power, and provide surgeons with more flexibility in treatment parameters. The new OtoProbes offer the surgeon enhanced performance while maintaining the highest standards in quality care.
IRIDEX also announced today that it has acquired a patent application from Innovatech Surgical covering the Adjustable & Intuitive line of disposable EndoProbes. Prior to this, in July 2005, IRIDEX announced a joint licensing agreement with Innovatech Surgical for the design and manufacture of disposable laser probes to be used during retinal surgery. These probes allow fine adjustments to be made in the location of desired laser light application with delicate, precise movement of only the surgeon's fingertip. IRIDEX acquired U.S. Patent Application No. 11,035,694, entitled "Adjustable Laser Probe for Use in Vitreoretinal Surgery," with an upfront payment and an ongoing royalty stream to Innovatech Surgical. Two other patent applications surrounding the technology were also acquired in the same agreement.
Barry G. Caldwell, President and CEO of IRIDEX said, "We have a good, reciprocal relationship with Innovatech Surgical that has allowed us to increase our offering of disposable laser probes. Over the long-term, acquisitions like this as, well as our own internal development of additional disposable products, allow us to execute our strategy to increase our gross margins. We remain focused on exploring new ways to utilize our existing technology and opportunistically increasing our intellectual property."
"Building upon last year's introduction and filed patent applications for our Stepped EndoProbe portfolio, these announcements today are indicative of the progress we are making in executing our strategy to increase recurring revenue at IRIDEX," continued Mr. Caldwell. "Our disposable sales increased during the first quarter by 31% and 17% of those total sales reflected sales of new laser probes introduced during the past 12 months. Our plans are to introduce between six and eight new disposable laser probes during 2006."
IRIDEX Corporation is a leading worldwide provider of therapeutic based laser systems, disposable laser probes and delivery devices to treat eye diseases in ophthalmology and skin diseases in dermatology markets (also referred to as aesthetics). IRIDEX products are sold in the United States through a direct sales force and internationally through a network of 77 independent distributors into 107 countries. For further information, visit the Company's website at www.iridex.com.