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Carl Zeiss Meditec Inc. To Acquire Laser Diagnostic Technologies

10/19/2005 5:11:54 PM

DUBLIN, Calif., Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Carl Zeiss Meditec, Inc. and Laser Diagnostic Technologies, Inc. (LDT), based in San Diego, Calif., today announced that they have signed a definitive agreement for Carl Zeiss Meditec's acquisition of LDT.

The transaction is expected to close in approximately 30 - 45 days, pending the requisite company and shareholder approvals. In the interim, the two companies will continue to operate independently. Further details of the agreement were not yet disclosed.

"Carl Zeiss Meditec is committed to providing innovative and technologically superior eye care solutions that improve patient care and enhance clinicians' practices across the full spectrum of ophthalmic disease states," said Jim Taylor, President and CEO of Carl Zeiss Meditec, Inc. "This acquisition is another important milestone in our growth strategy. It will further strengthen our technology portfolio and undisputed leadership in the growing market of glaucoma diagnosis and management. Looking forward, we will continue our aggressive growth through the pursuit of both internal and external potentials."

LDT President and CEO John Moore noted that this deal is largely a reflection of the successful evolution of the company's GDx technology and the implementation of the Variable Cornea Compensation (VCC) enhancement. "We are pleased by the response of our customers to these recent advances, and this enthusiastic acceptance validates the hard work of our entire LDT team. We expect ongoing adoption and utilization of this technology, especially with the support and capabilities of the Carl Zeiss Meditec organization. I believe that this merger is in the best interests of LDT's customers and shareholders."

Carl Zeiss Meditec's innovative, globally recognized Stratus OCT(TM) system allows for analysis of the thickness of the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) (as well as the macula and the optic nerve head), while LDT's GDxVCC(TM) product measures changes to the tissue characteristics of the RNFL. These complementary systems will enhance Carl Zeiss Meditec's glaucoma portfolio and offer customers two valuable methods to evaluate the RNFL. The first indication of disease is generally identified by a change in the retinal nerve fiber layer.

The acquisition also addresses trends in the eye care market by responding to practitioners' desires for more comprehensive solution sets. For glaucoma, this requires measures of both structure and function. Carl Zeiss Meditec provides a complete line of functional diagnostic products, including the Humphrey(R) Matrix and Humphrey(R) Field Analyzer, which is recognized as the standard of care for diagnosis and management of glaucoma through measurement and tracking of changes in the visual field.

The companies' products also address the needs of a wide range of customers: LDT's GDx VCC is a dedicated glaucoma diagnosis and management tool, while the Stratus OCT is a multipurpose retinal imaging system used not only for the diagnosis of glaucoma, but also for a wide array of conditions including AMD, diabetic retinopathy and pre- and post-cataract assessment.

The global market for glaucoma products is expected to increase at an annual rate of over 10 percent as a result of the aging population and technology advances. Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness. Approximately three million Americans, and more than 60 million people worldwide have glaucoma, but almost half are unaware that they have it. Therefore, the company is well positioned with glaucoma solutions to meet future expanding demands.

About Carl Zeiss Meditec

Built on an unparalleled 150-year heritage of optical innovation, Carl Zeiss Meditec (International Securities Identification Number DE000531370) is one of the world's leading eye care solutions providers. Its product line includes systems for the diagnosis and treatment of the four main diseases of the eye: refraction, cataract, glaucoma and retinal disorders.

The company has incorporated its technologically-superior optics into a stream of product innovations throughout the years, from slit lamps and fundus cameras; to the Humphrey(R) Field Analyzer, recognized as the global standard for glaucoma detection and management; to its newest applications of lasers and light as embodied in its leading-edge MEL-80(TM) refractive laser and eye-scanning Stratus OCT(TM) optical coherence tomographer.

Carl Zeiss Meditec AG is based in Jena, Germany, with key subsidiaries in the U.S. (Carl Zeiss Meditec Inc.) and Japan (Carl Zeiss Meditec Limited). The rapidly aging global population and other trends are expected to grow the ophthalmic market through 2010, and the company is focused on applying innovative optical technologies to protect and enhance vision now and into the future.

About Laser Diagnostic Technologies, Inc.

Dedicated to the preservation of vision through technology, Laser Diagnostic Technologies, Inc. is a venture-funded emerging growth medical device company that develops and markets leading-edge diagnostic solutions with important clinical applications. The Company invented and commercialized a new standard for glaucoma detection -- a proprietary ocular nerve fiber measurement instrument. Since its inception, LDT's mission has been to refine such technologies to make them readily available and affordable to healthcare professionals and patients worldwide.

For further information, please contact Eric Beikmann of FischerHealth, +1-310-577-7870, ext. 109,, for Carl Zeiss Meditec, Inc.; or David Voris, CFO of Laser Diagnostic Technologies, Inc., +1-858-485-4703.

Carl Zeiss Meditec, Inc.

CONTACT: Eric Beikmann of FischerHealth, +1-310-577-7870, ext. 109,, for Carl Zeiss Meditec, Inc.; or David Voris, CFOof Laser Diagnostic Technologies, Inc., +1-858-485-4703

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