Glaucoma is the third leading cause of blindness worldwide, and the number of affected individuals is growing as the population ages. Current treatment options, including daily eye drops and invasive shunts and stents, are suboptimal for patients and providers. Excimer Laser Trabeculostomy (ELT) is a completely implant-free microinvasive glaucoma surgery that was first used clinically in Europe in 1997. This outpatient procedure has shown superior results and a favorable safety profile in European studies with sustained, multi-year reduced intraocular pressure (IOP) and decreased medication use.
“There is a growing need for new solutions to address glaucoma, a global health challenge expected to affect 80 million people worldwide in 2020. Clinical studies in Europe have demonstrated that the ExTra ELT Laser system offers patients with glaucoma an implant-free choice to lower eye pressure,” said Elliott Friedman, CEO of ELT Sight. “Our hope is to simultaneously ramp up marketing activities in Europe while conducting clinical trials in the United States early next year.”
The ExTra ELT Laser and disposable applicator will continue to be manufactured by MLase in Germany. ELT treats the pathology leading to open-angle glaucoma exactly where it occurs by increasing the permeability of the trabecular meshwork, with studies showing lower risks than other treatment methods. The outpatient procedure is completed in less than 10 minutes.
“MLase has an excellent reputation for developing and manufacturing laser systems, and we look forward to collaborating with them as we focus on making this system available to the millions of patients affected by glaucoma worldwide,” Friedman added.
ELT Sight Inc., based in Los Angeles and Munich, Germany, is focused on safe and longer-term microinvasive glaucoma surgery. Sustained intraocular pressure (IOP) reduction and decreased medication use have been shown across multiple European studies. The product received a CE Mark in 2014, and clinical studies in the United States are expected to begin this year following a regulatory-approved pathway for ExTra ELT. ELT Sight was spun-out of MLase AG, a global developer and manufacturer of laser systems.