Presbia strengthens its surgical team

January 27, 2010

Presbia , which develops and markets a surgical solution for presbyopia has appointed ophthalmic surgeons Dr Jorge L. Alio of Madrid, Spain (an OTEurope editorial advisory board member) and Dr Kerry K. Assil of California, have agreed to serve on its Medical Advisory Board.

Presbia , which develops and markets a surgical solution for presbyopia has appointed ophthalmic surgeons Dr Jorge L. Alio of Madrid, Spain (an OTEurope editorial advisory board member) and Dr Kerry K. Assil of California, have agreed to serve on its Medical Advisory Board. These two seasoned medical professionals join the advisory board, which is chaired by Prof. Ioannis Pallikaris, MD, who is widely regarded as the 'father' of LASIK surgery.

Drs. Alio and Assil join the Presbia board at a pivotal stage in the company's development as it accelerates toward the commercialization of its FLEXIVUE Micro-Lens - a reversible implantable lens designed to treat presbyopia and eliminate the need for reading glasses. Since receiving CE certification to market its product in the European Economic Area, Presbia has been advancing post-market surveillance under Prof. Pallikaris's direction at the Institute of Vision and Optics at the University of Crete. Two other post-market surveillance centres are anticipated to be opened in Europe by the end of the second quarter of 2010.

“With the addition of these two world-renowned leaders in refractive surgery to our distinguished panel of medical advisors, we are making significant strides in achieving our goal of bringing a safe and reliable solution to the 40 percent of the world’s adult population who may prefer to toss their reading glasses away and see close items clearly,” Presbia Chief Executive Officer Zohar Loshitzer commented. “I am confident Drs. Alio and Assil's expertise will be a valuable resource in Presbia's future success.”

Dr. Jorge L. Alio, founder and medical director of the Instituto Oftalmologico de Alicante (now VISSUM Corp.) and founder of the Fundacion Jorrege Alio for the Prevention of Blindness, is recognized as a leading authority in the field of refractive surgery. Since 1997, Dr. Alio has served as a professor and chairman of ophthalmology at Miguel Hernandez University, located in Alicante, Spain, and is the author of 61 books and hundreds of articles as well as the holder of 36 patents. He served as president of the International Society of Refractive Surgeons of the American Academy of Ophthalmology from 2006 to 2007, and headed the Mediterranean Ophthalmological Society in 2003-04. He earned both his medical and doctoral degrees from Complutense University in Madrid.

“Corneal compensation will be the easiest and most straightforward way to compensate for presbyopia in the coming five years,” Dr. Alio said. “Reversible techniques will indeed be extremely attractive for patients and doctors, as they involve minimal risk and do not prevent the patient from any future treatment should it become available. Near technologies centered at the cornea seem to be the way ahead, from my point of view, as they appear to be the most physiological and adequate for the purpose.”

Dr. Kerry K. Assil, also one of the world's foremost experts in refractive surgery, is founder and medical director of the Assil Eye Institute with locations in Beverly Hills and Santa Monica, Calif. Dr. Assil has made significant advances in the field with numerous refractive inventions and has trained thousands of eye surgeons in the latest refractive surgical techniques. He is the author of more than 100 textbooks, textbook chapters and scientific articles on refractive surgery, and has served as editor and reviewer of multiple scientific journals. In 1992, the International Society of Refractive Surgery appointed Dr Assil to its board of directors. He earned his medical degree at the University of California at San Diego. Presbia's revolutionary solution to presbyopia involves implanting of the FLEXIVUE Micro-Lens in the corneal stroma of the eye. The hydrophilic polymer lens is just three millimeters in diameter and less than 20 microns in edge thickness, and is made of similar materials to those that have been used in intraocular lenses for the past 20 years. The lens is placed in a 'pocket' created in the cornea by a femtosecond laser - the same kind of laser routinely used for LASIK surgery. The eye surgeon inserts the lens into the pocket using a proprietary device developed by Presbia.

The pocket then seals itself, holding the lens in place in the centre of the visual axis. The lens can stay in place permanently, or can be easily and safely removed if, for example, the patient's presbyopia advances and a stronger prescription is required. The procedure typically takes less than 10 minutes, is performed on the non-dominant eye, and does not require general anesthesia. The FLEXIVUE Micro-Lens is implanted utilizing standard femtosecond lasers to create the pocket, therefore the procedure requires no additional capital investment by the surgeon's practice. An animated video of the procedure is available at www.presbia.com