Iridex to fill large orders from developing countries for ophthalmic laser systems

Iridex (NASDAQ: IRIX; Mountain View, CA) has received two significant orders for its proprietary ophthalmic laser systems. The orders, totaling more than $500,000, signal growth of the ophthalmology market in Brazil, Russia, India, and China, notes Will Moore, president and CEO of Iridex.

Related: Iridex laser delivery system cleared for noninvasive treatment of retinal diseases

"We believe that the growth in the market for lasers is being driven in large part by the rapid spread of diabetes and diabetes-related eye diseases in developing countries as well as the practicality of new laser treatments," Moore adds.

"Diabetes is reaching epidemic proportions in many developing parts of the world, and with that comes the spread of diabetes-related eye diseases such as diabetic macular edema, or DME," Moore says. "The health systems in many countries, because of logistics and cost, do not support the current drug treatment model for these diseases we see here in the U.S., which typically includes a regular series of drug injections in the eye. These ongoing injections are neither practical in remote areas, nor are they cost-effective. Our laser-based medical systems are as effective as drugs in terms of outcomes, are much less costly to a healthcare system, and are much easier to administer from a logistics standpoint because they provide durable results."

Moore adds that the advances in laser-based therapies are causing the beginnings of a paradigm shift in the U.S. and European ophthalmology markets as well.

"We believe the treatment pendulum, which shifted from lasers to drugs for diseases like DME several years ago, is beginning to shift back to lasers, thanks to the new advances in modern laser technology," Moore says.

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