StockerYale sets sights on growing medical-product business

January 14, 2008, Salem, NH--StockerYale, a designer and manufacturer of structured light lasers, LED modules, and specialty optical fibers for OEMs, says it is placing increased emphasis on medical-market business development in 2008 that will leverage its investments in medical product research and development.

January 14, 2008, Salem, NH--StockerYale, a designer and manufacturer of structured light lasers, LED modules, and specialty optical fibers for OEMs, says it is placing increased emphasis on medical-market business development in 2008 that will leverage its investments in medical product research and development.

"StockerYale's key objective in 2008 is to substantially expand sales to the medical instrumentation markets across all three of our product lines: lasers and specialized optics for the bioinstrumentation market, specialty optical fiber for the medical-laser market, and LED systems for dermatology and dental equipment, to name a few," says Mark Blodgett, chairman and CEO. "Sales to the medical vertical increased from less than 5% of StockerYale's total revenues in 2006 to approximately 12% in 2007, and we expect that they will represent approximately 20% of 2008 revenues given our existing customer relationships and multiple sales initiatives under way."

Demand for bioinstruments is growing rapidly as the instrumentation evolves from the laboratory to higher performance, lower cost commercial clinical applications, he adds.

"The size of our addressable market for bioinstrumentation lasers and optics alone is estimated to be approximately $100 million, and revenue streams in the biomedical, dermatology and dental markets tend to be highly repeatable once a product has been designed-in," Blodgett says. "Increasing our percentage of sales to these markets will be a key factor in driving the operating leverage in our financial model. There is a large market opportunity for StockerYale in these markets and we believe we are well positioned with both our technology and products to be key provider."

For laser modules used in bioinstruments, the evolution to commercial clinical applications is driven by the transition from bulky, power-consuming, difficult-to-operate gas lasers to semiconductor diode lasers that are robust, small and require little energy to operate. Utilizing a patent-pending process that efficiently transforms the laser beam into a variety of shapes and distributions, StockerYale has developed a "plug and play" laser module solution that is easy to integrate into end-user systems and will increase system performance in terms of both accuracy and throughput. According to Blodgett, the company's Lasiris PureBeam fiber-coupled lasers and patent pending Flat-Top Generator laser beam shaping modules are enabling it to break into new markets such as spectroscopy, fluorescence, confocal microscopy, and DNA sequencing, which require laser sources with extremely high output power stabilities.

StockerYale's specialty optical fiber division is entering the medical market with fiber-based laser delivery assemblies in partnership with one of the world's leading medical equipment companies. Lasers, which are used as surgical tools for ablation, cutting and coagulation of tissue as well as a variety of minimally invasive procedures, use fiber assemblies to deliver the high power laser light from the laser to the patient.

In LED systems for the medical market, StockerYale holds unique advantages with core competencies in both chip-on-board-based LED technology and customized optics. Its advanced custom LED solutions and strong optical modeling and design skills overcome the various difficulties inherent in the engineering of LED illumination, enabling the company to develop extremely compact, high-brightness LED illumination systems for unique dental and medical applications that previously could not be realized with standard technology.

StockerYale's Lasiris PureBeam and Flat-Top Generator laser beam are currently in trials with most of the major manufacturers of bioinstrumentation systems. The company also has several existing medical customers including Erchonia Medical Instruments, a leader in low power laser therapy for dermatology and pain management treatments, for its laser modules.

Having completed significant development efforts in 2007, the company's specialty optical fiber division expects to commence shipments of its first fiber-based laser delivery assemblies for minimally invasive surgery in the first quarter of 2008.

Twenty of StockerYale's LED system modules will be used in point-of-care treatment systems under development to be used as a photo-initiator for a pharmaceutical product and will be involved in clinical trials in the spring of 2008. Each module incorporates more than 100 each of two types of LEDs with custom wavelengths. The company also expects to significantly ramp up production of its custom-engineered LED modules for the dental market for a Fortune 100 company in 2008.

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