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FDA APPROVES REFRACTEC’s® CKSM (Conductive KeratoplastySM)

NON-LASER PROCEDURE FOR FARSIGHTEDNESS

CK Uses Radiofrequency Energy, Instead of a Laser, to Reshape the Cornea

Without Cutting or Removing Tissue

IRVINE, Calif., April 16, 2002 – Ophthalmic device manufacturer Refractec Inc. today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved CK (Conductive Keratoplasty), a procedure for farsightedness (hyperopia) in people over age 40. CK utilizes the controlled release of radiofrequency (RF) energy, instead of a laser or scalpel, to reshape the cornea. The minimally invasive CK procedure takes less than three minutes and is done in-office with only topical (eye drop) anesthesia.

Farsightedness, which occurs when the cornea is too flat or the eye is too short, is the most common vision disorder in America and affects more than 60 million people over age 40. Symptoms include difficulty reading menus, a computer screen and seeing to drive at night, or the need to constantly reposition reading material to find the right focus.

“For years, the farsighted have been left behind as vision correction progressed: RK (radial keratonomy), PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) even LASIK (Laser In-situ Keratomileusis) initially, were all treatments designed specifically for the nearsighted,” said world-renowned ophthalmologist Marguerite B. McDonald, MD, medical monitor for the FDA clinical trials, director of the Southern Vision Institute and clinical professor of ophthalmology at Tulane University, New Orleans, La. “CK is one of the first procedures designed specifically for the millions of people with hyperopia.”

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FDA Approves CK

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Due to the flatness of the cornea, farsightedness is the most difficult disorder to treat with LASIK and the most likely to cause complications, according to Robert K. Maloney, MD, principal FDA clinical investigator and director of the Maloney-Seibel Vision Institute in Santa Monica, Calif.

“Hyperopic LASIK accounts for about 20 percent of my practice, but 80 percent of the complications, because hyperopic patients are more likely, after LASIK, to get dry eyes, hazy vision or poor quality of vision,” said Dr. Maloney.

Procedure Appeals to Risk-Adverse Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) comprise the largest segment of the farsighted population, and many view the need for glasses as a sign of aging. Yet, hyperopic procedures comprised only a small percentage of the nearly 2 million U.S. refractive surgeries performed last year. Consumer research indicates that, to date, very few people between the ages of 40 to 60 have even considered vision correction surgery, as they tend to be more conservative and risk-adverse than their younger, nearsighted (myopic) counterparts.

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