Biolase expands business with dental imaging division

In efforts to impact equipment sales in the second half of this year and beyond, Biolase (Irvine, CA) has formed a new division to design and distribute extra-oral and intra-oral dental imaging devices. Named Biolase Imaging, the new division will offer diagnostic solutions in addition to the minimally invasive dental treatment solutions offered by its existing Laser division.

Digital imaging produces only 10 percent of the radiation of conventional film radiology, thereby reducing risks to the patient's safety. As such, the first series of products that Biolase Imaging plans to roll out includes 3D Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT), portable digital x-ray and intra-oral camera devices, with FDA 510(k) clearance for each anticipated in the second quarter of 2011.

Biolase plans to introduce a 'Comfort Dentistry' complete solution, which will integrate the imaging and laser technologies together, as well as introduce more products laser this year. Based on recent independent marketing studies, dental imaging and laser equipment are now at the top of the 'wish-list' of high-tech purchases of domestic dental practices, as there is a need to upgrade their equipment and tools for competitive reasons to cater to more demanding patients, according to Federico Pignatelli, Biolase chairman and CEO.

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PRESS RELEASE

BIOLASE Announces the Formation of a New Division: BIOLASE Imaging       

BIOLASE Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: BLTI), the World's leading dental laser manufacturer and distributor, today announced that it has formed a new division, BIOLASE Imaging, to design and distribute state-of-the-art extra-oral and intra-oral dental imaging devices. The creation of BIOLASE Imaging will enable the Company to offer high-quality diagnostic solutions to complement the minimally invasive dental treatment solutions offered by the BIOLASE Laser division.

BIOLASE Imaging has the potential to substantially impact equipment sales in the second half of this year, beyond the current guidance provided for 2011, and be a major factor in the Company's equipment revenues for 2012 and thereafter.

Chairman and CEO Federico Pignatelli said, "While BIOLASE continues to actively pursue various medical applications of its patented technologies, in dentistry we are now advancing from being a laser equipment provider to becoming a high-tech solutions-provider. For more than a decade, BIOLASE's laser technology has enabled thousands of dentists to provide clinically advanced treatments, with no pain or much less discomfort than with conventional dental drills and other instruments. With its Imaging and Laser divisions, BIOLASE is now the only company that can provide both high-precision intuitive diagnosis treatment planning solutions, fundamental to the delivery of quality dentistry, together with truly advanced laser treatment solutions thereby delivering the best biological and therapeutic results for dentists and patients."

The first series of BIOLASE Imaging products planned to be available include 3D Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT), portable digital x-ray, and intra-oral camera devices. United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 510(k) clearance for these products is anticipated in the second quarter of 2011. The 3D CBCT device produces some of the most stable and highest quality images in the industry -- a critical feature in dental implant and oral surgery cases.

Digital imaging produces only 10 percent of the radiation of conventional film radiology, thereby reducing risks to the patient's safety.

Pignatelli added, "As planned, the product line will be manufactured under an OEM cooperative agreement with a leading European manufacturer and marketed worldwide under the BIOLASE Imaging brand. The systems offer cutting-edge imaging technology at competitive prices, while still providing a 50 percent plus gross margin to BIOLASE. We expect the product line to be comprised of several systems and range in price from $5,000 to $130,000. This is the next step in the evolution of the BIOLASE business model, as later in the year we plan to introduce more products and also start to integrate the imaging and laser technologies together in a complete solution that we plan to call 'Comfort Dentistry.' Our goal is to provide the most accurate diagnosis, minimally invasive and high precision treatment, and superior clinical outcomes with our truly biological surgical laser approach coupled with the latest and safest digital imaging instruments, including a non-contact 3D laser scanning system to allow for the ultimate mapping of a patient's mouth, with wide applications in restorative and cosmetic dentistry."

Pignatelli concluded, "Based on recent independent marketing studies, dental imaging and laser equipment are now at the top of the 'wish-list' of high-tech purchases of domestic dental practices, as there is a need to upgrade their equipment and tools for competitive reasons to cater to more demanding patients. The BIOLASE brand is synonymous with high-tech dentistry and biologically advanced equipment and is recognized by approximately 80 percent of dentists in North America, and in many other Countries around the World. In that respect, BIOLASE, in introducing its new imaging product line, is expected to not only leverage its extensive and highly regarded brand recognition, but also its valuable access to more than 10,000 dental practices that currently use its laser products."

BIOLASE markets through a direct sales force in the United States and Canada and a selected group of high end distributors, including Henry Schein, Inc. (NASDAQ: HSIC) and Benco Dental, and internationally through a multitude of local distributors.

About BIOLASE Technology, Inc.
BIOLASE Technology, Inc., the World's leading Dental Laser company, is a medical technology company that develops, manufactures and markets dental lasers and also distributes and markets dental imaging equipment, products that are focused on technologies that advance the practice of dentistry and medicine. The Company's laser products incorporate patented and patent pending technologies designed to provide clinically superior performance with less pain and faster recovery times. Its imaging products provide cutting-edge technology at competitive prices to deliver the best results for dentists and patients. BIOLASE's principal products are dental laser systems that perform a broad range of dental procedures, including cosmetic and complex surgical applications, and a full line of dental imaging equipment. Other products under development address ophthalmology and other medical and consumer markets.

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Posted by Lee Mather

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