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STAAR Surgical Company (STAA) to Highlight New Direct Selling Presence During Society of Spanish Ophthalmologists Conference



9/26/2012 10:12:50 AM

MONROVIA, Calif., Sept. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- STAAR Surgical Company (Nasdaq: STAA), a leading developer, manufacturer and marketer of minimally invasive ophthalmic products, today announced that it will be participating in the 88th Congress of the Society of Spanish Ophthalmologists (88 Congresco de la Sociedad Espanola de Oftalmologia, SEO) being held in Barcelona from September 26 to 29. Between 2,000 and 2,500 surgeons are expected to attend the conference. STAAR will have a booth at SEO for the first time as in all previous meetings the Company's Visian ICL technology has been in its distributor's booth. The Company will be celebrating nearly 50,000 successful ICL implants in Spain and highlighting the success of the Visian ICL with CentraFLOW technology since its introduction in Spain.

STAAR also announced the initial structure of its sales team in Spain. Alicia Ranz-Sanchez has been appointed Country Manager of Spain. Since 2006 she has worked in Spain serving as STAAR's Area Sales Manager Europe South with added responsibility for Latin America. She previously worked for various ophthalmic distribution companies including STAAR's previous distributor BLOSS. She holds a bachelor degree in Optometry. The Company has also hired Gemma Manso as Area Manager, Visian ICL Product Specialist in Spain. Ms. Manso has been in various sales positions in the ophthalmic field since 1992 working for companies like Bausch & Lomb and Indo. From 2005 to 2007 she was responsible for sales and marketing in Madrid's Refractive Clinic Real Vision Clinic. She holds a bachelor degree in Optometry and Optics. STAAR plans to add a second Visian ICL Product Specialist in Spain during October.

"Alicia's experience and deep understanding of the Spanish ophthalmology market should allow her to immediately contribute to our growth and market share gains," said Hans Blickensdoerfer, President of Europe, Middle East, and Africa. "Gemma's addition to the team in Spain will help us focus on deeper Visian ICL penetration into some of the key larger refractive practices in the market. We are excited about our prospects in Spain. Going direct will allow us to establish significantly closer relationships with Spanish ophthalmologists and consumers. We currently have a 3% to 4% market share of total refractive procedures in Spain and plan to increase that to 10% over the next few years."

During the SEO Congress the focus with be on the nearly 7,000 successful implants of the new Visian ICL with the CentraFLOW technology. This new technology allows for the elimination of steps to improve aqueous flow, resulting in a more convenient procedure for both the surgeon and patient. Additionally Intraocular pressure (IOP) is more stable with Visian ICL CentraFLOW technology. "Surgeons using the new technology are reporting the improved flow from our AquaPORT enhances the vault of the ICL in the eye," commented Barry Caldwell, president and CEO of STAAR. "In addition, we have heard from several surgeons that the new technology is producing even more predictable visual results compared with the already superior results they were seeing from the V4 ICL. I look forward to meeting more Spanish ophthalmologists during this meeting in Barcelona."

Scheduled activities at SEO include:

  • Presentations from the podium on the Visian ICL
  • An official course organized by the Spanish ICL Study Group
  • On Thursday evening STAAR will host a reception for key refractive surgeons with presentations focused on STAAR's Visian ICL. Key presenters include:
    • Dr. Jose F. Alfonso presents a summary of the one year clinical experience with the Visian ICL CentraFLOW technology.
    • Dr. Robert Montes-Mico will highlight the Visian ICL as the Premium Refractive Procedure.
    • Dr. Francesc Duch presents on how to increase Visian ICL procedures and shares the highlights from the Clinical Survey from the ICL Experts Meeting in Milan.
    • Dr. Daniel Elies discusses ten years of excellence with the Visian Toric ICL.

In August, STAAR announced the transition from a distributor model to a direct model in Spain. This resulted in a credit against second quarter 2012 sales for the inventory the distributor was holding at that time. The distributor will continue to operate as STAAR's logistics partner in the Spanish market and will hold STAAR's inventory in the market, take orders and ship product to customers. For the second half of this year, if the Visian ICL unit shipments are flat as compared to the same period in 2011, the STAAR revenues from Spain to be approximately double.

About STAAR Surgical
STAAR, which has been dedicated solely to ophthalmic surgery for over 25 years, designs, develops, manufactures and markets implantable lenses for the eye. All of these lenses are foldable, which permits the surgeon to insert them through a small incision. A lens used to replace the natural lens after cataract surgery is called an intraocular lens or "IOL." A lens used in refractive surgery as an alternative to LASIK is called an Implantable Collamer® Lens or "ICL." Over 300,000 Visian ICLs have been implanted to date; to learn more about the ICL go to: www.visianinfo.com. STAAR has approximately 300 full-time employees and markets lenses in approximately 60 countries. Headquartered in Monrovia, CA, it manufactures in the following locations: Nidau, Switzerland; Ichikawa City, Japan; Aliso Viejo, CA; and Monrovia, CA. For more information, please visit the Company's website at www.staar.com or call 626-303-7902.

Collamer® is the registered trademark for STAAR's proprietary biocompatible collagen copolymer lens material.

Safe Harbor
All statements in this press release that are not statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements.

These statements are based on expectations and assumptions as of the date of this press release, which may prove inaccurate and are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. The risks and uncertainties include, among other things, the following: the effect of global economic conditions on sales, especially sales of products like the ICL used in non-reimbursed elective procedures; our limited resources to promote new products; the risk that product launches may be affected by unplanned delays or be less successful than we expect; and government approval of our new products. STAAR assumes no obligation to update its forward-looking statements to reflect future events or actual outcomes and does not intend to do so. Additional information concerning the above-referenced risk factors and other risk factors can be found in STAAR's public periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the discussion under the heading "Risk Factors" in STAAR's 2011 Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.

CONTACT:

Investors

Media


EVC Group

EVC Group


Jenifer Kirtland/Doug Sherk

Christopher Gale


415-568-9349

646-201-5431

SOURCE STAAR Surgical Company


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