A Medical Device Daily

The European ophthalmic surgical devices market is undergoing “strong expansion,“ consulting firm Frost & Sullivan (F&S; London) says, buoyed by high levels of customer awareness and an increasingly aging population.

F&S said the market is anticipated to grow from $1.22 billion in 2004 to $2.10 billion in 2011.

According to Frost & Sullivan, nearly 2.4 million people underwent cataract surgery across Western Europe including the Benelux countries, France, Germany, Italy, Scandinavia, Spain and the UK in 2004.

The company said that with more than half of the population over age 60 suffering from some form of cataract-related vision impairment and with the percentage of that demographic steadily increasing, the potential customer base for cataract surgery also is expanding.

It said the European cataract and vitreoretinal surgical devices segment is the largest in the total ophthalmic surgical devices market, accounting for more than three-quarters of total market revenues in 2004. F&S said that as the aging population within Europe grows, the cataract and vitreoretinal surgical devices segment will continue to swell, totaling about $1.524 billion in 2011.

Almost half of the over-60 population also suffers from some form of refractive ocular disorder, which means the prospective patient base for related ophthalmic surgical devices is “enormous,“ according to the consulting firm. It said there also is a high level of awareness about the detrimental effects of these ocular conditions, which further promotes demand for corrective ophthalmic surgeries, thus boosting uptake of associated devices.

Frost & Sullivan forecast an 8.9% growth rate for refractive surgical devices in Europe between 2004 and 2011. However, it acknowledged that a key concern remains the fact that refractive surgery is considered an elective procedure and generally is not covered under government healthcare budgets.

“For this reason, the growth of the refractive surgical devices market is highly linked to the economic state of Europe,“ says Frost & Sullivan healthcare analyst Claire Staniforth. “If the economy is low, then there will be low levels of disposable income and people will choose to continue managing with [eyeglasses] or contact lenses. If the economy receives a boost, then people will be more willing to . . . pay for this elective surgical procedure.“

Staniforth cited developments in intraocular lenses (IOLs) as “transforming ophthalmic surgical devices for cataract surgery.“ She noted that such IOLs are now available preloaded in a syringe, so that the device, which is to be implanted into the eye, is held in a sterile and controlled environment until the moment it leaves the syringe and is placed immediately and directly in position.

“Such innovative solutions, with their emphasis on ensuring high success rates and safety standards, are triggering greater acceptance of novel ophthalmic surgical procedures and related devices,“ Staniforth said, adding: “The mainstream ophthalmic surgical devices market could be penetrated and dominated by companies that consider developing products that encourage time-saving measures.“

CE mark for CT/NG test

Abbott (Abbott Park, Illinois) said that its highly sensitive new test for the simultaneous detection of the sexually transmitted pathogens Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neissera gonorrhoeae (NG) has received CE mark certification.

The test is designed for use on the Abbott m2000, an automated instrument using magnetic particle and real-time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) technology.

“Chlamydia and gonorrhea are the two most common sexually transmitted diseases in the world, and accurate detection of these infections is extremely important in order to avoid serious illness,“ said Edward Michael, president of Abbott Molecular. “The Abbott RealTime CT/NG assay combined with the automated Abbott m2000 system gives European laboratories an important new option for delivering highly reliable test results to patients quickly and efficiently.“

Unlike conventional methods, amplified nucleic acid tests can be performed non-invasively on urine samples.

The Abbott RealTime CT/NG test will be offered in Europe by Abbott as part of its alliance with Celera Diagnostics (Foster City, California). The companies also will offer the Abbott RealTime CT assay, a real-time PCR test for the sole detection of Chlamydia trachomatis. Offered along with the tests will be the Abbott multi-Collect Specimen Collection Kit.

The Abbott m2000 system's test menu also includes real-time PCR tests for HIV-1 and hepatitis C virus. Abbott said additional tests are in development for the system, including methods for detecting hepatitis B virus. The company said it plans to submit the CT/NG test for U.S. regulatory approval this year.

JMAR selects UK distributor

JMAR Technologies (San Diego), a developer of laser technologies, has named ExcelFirst (Guildford, UK) as its distributor for the BioSentry water-quality monitoring system in the UK, Ireland, and Belgium. The BioSentry is a laser-based system that monitors and detects waterborne microorganisms in water delivery systems in real time.

ExcelFirst will focus its BioSentry sales efforts on the municipal water utilities market. Robert Siaens, managing director of ExcelFirst, has more than 15 years of direct experience in that industry and is a former chairman of the Institution of Water Officers, an organization whose membership and includes all the major water utilities in the UK.

“With the addition of this respected sales organization, JMAR is taking its first step to expand the BioSentry customer-base worldwide,“ said CEO Ronald Walrod.

JMAR Technologies is a developer of nano-scale, laser-based equipment for imaging, analysis and fabrication, targeting the bioscience, nanotechnology and semiconductor industries.

No Comments