Lumenis Ltd., a maker of laser and light-based devices for medical, aesthetic, ophthalmic, dental and veterinary applications, announced it has received exclusive worldwide licensing rights for a new laser therapy, selective retina treatment (SRT), for the treatment of retinal diseases. The rights include licenses issued to Lumenis by Medizinisches Laserzentrum Lubeck GmbH; Massachusetts General Hospital; and Reginald Birngruber, chairman of the Medizinisches Laserzentrum Lubeck (Germany) and a visiting professor at Harvard Medical School. SRT targets and confines laser treatment to specific cells (the retina pigment epithelium) at the back of the retina. Lumenis said it has the potential to enhance sight preservation for patients affected by several retinal diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration. Lumenis, based in Yokneau, Israel, with a US office in Santa Clara, Calif., has also entered into separate research agreements with Birngruber at Medizinisches Laserzentrum Lubeck GmbH and with Mark Latina, MD, a member of the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and has provided a grant to Charles Lin, a faculty member at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, to advance the development of SRT. The company has sponsored international multicenter studies to evaluate the efficacy of SRT in the treatment of various other eye conditions, and is now conducting research into laser system designs. It said it plans to begin an expanded international multicenter clinical SRT study later this year.