A Medical Device Daily

Reliant Technologies (Mountain View, California) reported that it is providing more than $1 million in research funding to expand the science of fractional skin treatment in search of new laser-based therapies for dermatological conditions.

It is making the grant over three years to the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH; Boston), where its Wellman Center for Photomedicine will undertake the effort, including studies that test technology developed at MGH and Reliant.

"This important funding will help us find new ways to optimize the benefits of fractional skin treatment technology for a broad array of skin conditions," said Dr. Dieter Manstein of MGH's Wellman Center, principal investigator for the fractional technology research grant. "We want to ensure that this therapy is widely available to help patients around the world."

Reliant said that fractional skin treatment is growing as it has proven to offer safe and effective treatments for a number of conditions.

Reliant's flagship product is the Fraxel SR laser, developed through an earlier collaboration between MGH and Reliant. Reliant says that in 2004 it was the first company to introduce a commercial product based on the science of fractional skin treatment, licensed exclusively from MGH. It says that since then, the laser, marketed as Fraxel-brand laser systems, has become the "category leader" in the laser skin rejuvenation market.

"This research is critical to expand the use of fractional skin treatment throughout the dermatological community," said Len DeBenedictis, Reliant's chief technology officer. "Only through rigorous studies can we confidently continue to develop the kinds of breakthrough products that physicians have come to expect from Reliant. Collaborating with the Wellman Center, the leader in photomedicine in the treatment of skin conditions, ensures that the science and the technology we develop will be well-grounded and effective.

Dr. Rox Anderson, director of the Massachusetts General Hospital's Wellman Center for Photomedicine and on the faculty of the Harvard Medical School dermatology department, described the technology as "nothing short of a revolution for safe and effective treatments in dermatology. These tools are something the dermatology community has wanted for some time."

Reliant's laser devices are used to treat periorbital wrinkles, pigmented lesions of the face and body, acne scars and surgical scars.