SOURCE: Carl Zeiss Meditec, Inc.

November 08, 2006 11:00 ET

Carl Zeiss Meditec Announces Installation of 6000th Stratus OCT

More Doctors Have Access to Powerful Tool for Diagnoses in Fight Against Sight-Threatening Diseases

DUBLIN, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 8, 2006 -- Carl Zeiss Meditec, Inc., one of the world's premier medical technology companies, today announced installation of its 6,000th Stratus OCT™ system at the Cleveland Eye Clinic. Over 37,000 scans are performed daily in the United States with this revolutionary imaging system, which is rapidly becoming the standard of care for a wide array of ophthalmic applications.

"We purchased the Stratus OCT because of its high level of diagnostic information, which provides us with significantly more data to help confirm diagnoses," said William Wiley, M.D., medical director of the Cleveland Eye Clinic. "This is clearly an exciting time for leading-edge technological solutions such as the Stratus OCT."

According to Thomas Chester, O.D., F.A.A.O., clinical director of the Cleveland Eye Clinic, "The system enhances our diagnostic abilities for glaucoma patients, diabetic patients and patients with other retinal pathologies."

The Stratus OCT, which was granted Food & Drug Administration (FDA) clearance in January 2002, incorporates optical coherence tomography to provide comprehensive imaging and measurement of glaucoma and retinal disease. The system is often referred to as the "gold standard in vivo imaging device for the posterior segment" and offers proven reproducibility for disease management.

"We are very pleased to have the Cleveland Eye Clinic as part of the increasing list of physicians using the Stratus OCT to help optimize their diagnoses and therapy decisions," said Jim Taylor, president and chief executive officer for Carl Zeiss Meditec, Inc. "This established platform continues to offer high value with expanded capabilities that make a difference in diagnostic imaging. As a result, our customers receive a premium-quality system they can count on today and in the future."

The Stratus OCT is used in landmark pharmaceutical trials and studies worldwide to help define end-points, as well as help titrate pharmaceutical interventions for age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Most recently, the instrument was used in a variable-dosing, open-label uncontrolled study of 40 patients with neovascular AMD to help determine if OCT could help guide retreatment of patients undergoing intravitreal injections of ranibizumab (Lucentis™).

In this study, called PrONTO for Prospective OCT imaging of Neovascular AMD patients Treated with intra-Ocular Lucentis, the Stratus OCT was used to determine when retreatment was necessary over two years.

The visual acuity and OCT outcomes in the PrONTO study were achieved with an average of 5.6 injections over 12 months versus 12 consecutive monthly injections in the original ranibizumab protocol. Three injections were given monthly to initiate therapy, then subsequent injections were performed as increases in retinal thickness on the Stratus OCT analysis were detected. As a result, the PrONTO study concluded that the Stratus OCT was the single best diagnostic tool for guiding retinal pharmacotherapy with ranibizumab.

"By using the Stratus OCT to follow patients, we were able to take advantage of this non-invasive, quantitative and qualitative imaging technique to give fewer injections compared with the standard monthly dosing regimen, and for a majority of the patients, obtain visual improvement comparable to the monthly dosing regimen," said Philip J. Rosenfeld, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of ophthalmology at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, and the principal investigator of the PrONTO study.

About Carl Zeiss Meditec

Built on an unparalleled 160-year heritage of optical innovation, Carl Zeiss Meditec AG (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: vision defects (refraction), cataracts, glaucoma and retinal disorders. The company has incorporated its technological expertise into a stream of product innovations throughout the years, from slit lamps and fundus cameras; to the Humphrey® Field Analyzer, recognized as the global standard for glaucoma detection and management; to its newest applications of lasers as embodied in its leading-edge MEL 80™ refractive laser, and innovative Stratus OCT™ device as an aid for glaucoma detection and management. Since 2005, the company has also been present in the market for intraocular lenses and consumables, and now covers almost the entire value chain of ophthalmic surgery. The company is looking to continue its profitable growth in the future. The acquisition of Carl Zeiss Surgical further supplements the product portfolio in ophthalmic surgery and opens up additional growth prospects in neuro and ENT surgery. Carl Zeiss Surgical is the world's leading provider of visualization solutions in the two named fields.

Carl Zeiss Meditec AG is based in Jena, Germany, with subsidiaries in Pirmasens, Germany (Carl Zeiss Meditec Systems GmbH), the USA (Carl Zeiss Meditec Inc.), Japan (Carl Zeiss Meditec Co., Ltd.), Spain (Carl Zeiss Meditec Iberia S.A.) and France (IOLTECH S.A., Carl Zeiss Meditec SAS). The rapidly aging global population and other trends are expected to grow the ophthalmic market in the long term. The company is focused on applying innovative optical technologies to protect and enhance vision now and into the future.

Thirty-five percent of Carl Zeiss Meditec shares are in free float. The remaining 65 percent are held by Carl Zeiss, one of the world's leading international groups engaged in the optical and opto-electronics industry.

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