A new nanosecond laser used to treat age-related macular degeneration (AMD) will be officially launched in Spain next month.
Developed by Australian company Ellex, the 2RT laser will be launched at the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ESCRS) congress in Barcelona in September. The 2RT uses a short pulse of energy lasting just three nanoseconds – three-billionths of a second – to target the retina. Hailed as “pain free,” the laser offers a potential treatment to slow the progression of macular degeneration.
Managing director of Ellex, Tom Spurling, said: “The agitation of the cells prompts the body to regenerate and provide new cells to the macular area which appears, in the work we have done so far, to give rise to an increase of visionary health and acuity for the patient. Surprisingly, we also found that an intervention in one eye can prompt the body to heal both eyes.”
While ESCRS marks the official launch of the 2RT, several of the lasers are already being used in Germany, Holland, France, Italy, New Zealand and France. The ongoing LEAD trial at the Centre for Eye Disease Research Australia is testing the efficacy of the laser treatment in slowing AMD progression in patients.
“We began our clinical trials in March this year with 290 patients and we will run the trial for three years, closely monitoring, analysing and recording the results,” said Mr Spurling.
He added: “This success is the result of an incredible amount of research and development, bringing together engineers, business people and speaking to doctors around the world.”