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SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 13, 1998--Laser Photonics Inc. (OTC/BB:LSPT - news), a laser technology company, Tuesday announced that it has initiated a series of agreements with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) relating to the use of the company's proprietary excimer laser developed by its subsidiary Acculase Inc. The agreements, among other things, include an exclusive, worldwide, royalty-bearing license for an invention pertaining to Phototherapy Methods and Systems for diagnosis and therapy of Psoriasis, developed through research conducted by Rox Anderson, M.D. of the MGH for which the Hospital has filed a Provisional Patent Application. Additionally, the company has agreed to fund research to be conducted by Dr. Rox Anderson, Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School Department of Dermatology, using Acculase's excimer laser system. The research is expected to lead to a 510K application to the FDA for the use of the combined proprietary technologies developed by the company and MGH. The research will be performed at the Wellman Laboratories of Photomedicine at MGH.
Psoriasis, according to The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF), is a chronic skin disorder that affects more than 6 million people in the United States, with between 150,000 and 260,000 new cases each year. NPF has estimated outpatient costs of between $1.6 and $3.2 billion annually, and that 56 million hours of work are lost each year by people who suffer from psoriasis.
Psoriasis is chronic and unpredictable by its nature, making treatment challenging. The goal is to clear the skin lesions for a period of time, which is called clearance or remission. Treatment of psoriasis can be divided into three basic categories: sunlight and topical agents; phototherapy (artificial ultraviolet, UV, light); and systemic medications taken by pill or injection. The company and Dr. Anderson believe that the use of the company's excimer laser as a source of UV light, and its delivery system combined with MGH's phototherapy methods and systems technology will significantly improve the use of phototherapy by reducing the number of treatments needed to obtain clearance or remission and by treating only the skin lesions and not the healthy skin, which is currently the case.
The opportunity for the company's excimer technology in psoriasis is particularly attractive since it believes that the FDA approval time should not exceed one year from the time a 510K application is submitted.
The entry into the psoriasis market with the company's proprietary excimer laser systems demonstrates another major potential use of this technology in the medical markets. The company's other medical application of its excimer laser system is for the treatment of coronary heart disease through a procedure known as Transmyocardial Revascularization (TMR) currently in clinical trials being conducted at New York Hospital, Cornell Medical Center and The Hospital of the Good Samaritan, Los Angeles. The rights to the cardiovascular and vascular markets have been licensed to Baxter Healthcare Corp., a subsidiary of Baxter International Inc [NYSE:BAX - news]. Under the agreements Baxter is committed to fund the total effort required to bring TMR to market.
Based in San Diego, Laser Photonics/Acculase has extensive solid state and excimer laser expertise. The company's strategy is to develop and commercialize reliable cost-effective and proprietary excimer laser systems that address the medical and commercial markets.
Note to Editors: Certain of the above statements are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. In such instances, the actual results could differ materially as a result of a variety of factors, including failure to obtain regulatory approvals which could have material adverse effect on the company's business, competitive developments which could hinder the company's ability to compete effectively and other risk factors listed from time to time in the company's reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
For further information, contact Chaim Markheim, chief operating officer and chief financial officer at 619/455-7030.
Laser Photonics Inc. Chaim Markheim, 619/455-7030
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