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Alcon to Acquire LenSx Lasers

Photonics.com
Jul 2010
FORT WORTH, Texas, July 7, 2010 — Eyecare company Alcon Inc. will acquire privately held LenSx Lasers Inc., developer of a femtosecond laser used in cataract surgery, for $361.5 million, Alcon announced Tuesday.

The LenSx system, the first femtosecond laser to receive US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance, enables surgeons to perform some of the most delicate manual steps of cataract surgery with image-guided visualization and micron-level laser precision. Venture capital investors in LenSx Lasers, which is based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., are Versant Ventures, SV Life Sciences, InterWest Partners and Venture Investors.

Femtosecond lasers have been used for more than 3 million lasik refractive surgical procedures, and now the LenSx system brings laser technology to cataract surgery for the first time, Alcon said.

"The LenSx femtosecond laser has been designed to advance the precision and reproducibility of key manual portions of the cataract procedure, something we have seen lasers do repeatedly in other ophthalmic procedures," said Stephen Slade, MD, Slade and Baker Vision, Houston, who performed the initial series of LenSx laser procedures in the US. "This laser delivered improved post-surgical refractive outcomes for my patients with a more exact size, shape and centration of the capsulotomy and precise centering of the intraocular lens."

Alcon could pay as much as $382.5 million for the company if certain femtosecond unit and procedure fee revenue milestones are met. Completion of the acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

For more information, visit: www.alcon.com


GLOSSARY
closing
In morphological image processing, a series of dilations followed by the same number of erosions.
femtosecond laser
A type of ultrafast laser that creates a minimal amount of heat-affected zones by having a pulse duration below the picosecond level, making the technology ideal for micromachining, medical device fabrication, scientific research, eye surgery and bioimaging.
image
In optics, an image is the reconstruction of light rays from a source or object when light from that source or object is passed through a system of optics and onto an image forming plane. Light rays passing through an optical system tend to either converge (real image) or diverge (virtual image) to a plane (also called the image plane) in which a visual reproduction of the object is formed. This reconstructed pictorial representation of the object is called an image.
lens
A transparent optical component consisting of one or more pieces of optical glass with surfaces so curved (usually spherical) that they serve to converge or diverge the transmitted rays from an object, thus forming a real or virtual image of that object.
ophthalmic
Pertaining to the human eye.
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