STAAR Surgical Company (NASDAQ: STAA), a leading developer, manufacturer and marketer of implantable lenses and delivery systems for the eye, today announced that it has received regulatory approval to market its Visian® Implantable Collamer® Lens (ICL™) with CentraFLOW™ technology from the CDSCO in India.
"Following our recent approval in Korea, we are delighted to add India to the growing list of markets in which we now have the CentraFLOW technology to help drive market share growth in the Asia Pacific region," said Don Todd, President of the Asia Pacific Region for STAAR Surgical. "During the first half of this year, the Visian ICL with CentraFLOW contributed to the 54% growth in European markets. During the past four years, the Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) for the Visian ICL has been 48% in India. Our marketing partner, Spica Medical, has seen a lot of anticipation in the market for the CentraFLOW technology as inquiries from surgeons and clinics over the past few weeks have been tremendous. With this approval in India, we can now leverage this growing acceptance to further penetrate a significantly large market."
Several key refractive surgeons in India have expressed their excitement about the new technology. Dr. Sri Ganesh, Chairman and Managing Director of Nethradhama Hospital, said, "STAAR has just made an excellent product better. The Visian ICL with CentraFLOW is a very innovative design which improves patient safety and efficiency for the surgeon. The patient experience now with the Visian ICL CentraFLOW technology will be as good as or even better than LASIK."
Dr. Kasu Prasad Reddy, founder of Maxivision Eye Hospitals who has conducted over 45,000 refractive procedures, added, "A little hole in the Visian ICL optic, which eliminates a surgical peripheral iridotomy procedure, is a brilliant step towards surgical ease and patient comfort."
According to a Market Scope 2013 Comprehensive Report on The Global Refractive Surgery Market, India has a population of approximately 1.2 billion and approximately 149,000 refractive procedures were performed last year. The demand for refractive surgery in India is lower than other markets based upon a couple of key factors which make the Visian ICL procedure an attractive option. The investments required to purchase and maintain an excimer laser are high and there are documented studies that the population of India generally has thinner corneas making LASIK a more challenging procedure for treatment. The Market Scope estimate for 2012 is that overall refractive procedures grew 5% while the Visian ICL grew 26%. The Company believes the Visian ICL has over a 4% market share of all refractive procedures in India.
The Visian ICL CentraFLOW technology was launched from a marketing perspective at two major meetings in India during the past few weeks. The first meeting was the Intraocular Implant and Refractive Society, India (IIRSI) meeting which was held on July 6 and 7 in Chennai, India. During the Congress meeting on July 6th, Dr. M. Alaa El Danasoury, Chief Medical Officer at Magrabi Hospitals and past President of the International Society of Refractive Surgery, performed live bilateral toric surgery utilizing the Visian ICL CentraFLOW technology. On July 7th,a Visian ICL User's Meeting was held with leading ICL surgeons including: Dr. Alaa, Dr. Ganesh, Dr. Paul (Butch) Harton from the U.S., and Dr. Rajesh Fogla and Dr. Matthew Kurian from India. The Moderators for the Visian User's Meeting were Dr. Partha Biswas and Dr. Anand Parthsarathy, both from India.