updated 12/15/2010 12:16:21 PM ET 2010-12-15T17:16:21

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, Dec. 15, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Presbia, a leading medical device company specializing in a corneal inlay optical micro-lens solution for presbyopia, announced today that ophthalmologist and Presbia-certified surgeon Dr. Marco Fantozzi of Marconi, Italy, has agreed to apply his extensive expertise in refractive surgery to its Medical Advisory Board. Dr. Fantozzi has performed more than 10,000 refractive operations throughout his career, and will add to the collective expertise of the advisory board, which is chaired by Professor Ioannis Pallikaris, M.D., widely regarded as the "father" of LASIK surgery.

Dr. Fantozzi was the Principal Investigator at Studio Osculistico Fantozzi Dot Marco in Marconi, Italy—one of Presbia's post market surveillance sites—and has been working with the Flexivue Microlens™ since its early stages. He has personally implanted the lens in hundreds of patients since 2005.

"Dr. Fantozzi has been an integral member of Presbia's development team, and has played a significant role in making the Flexivue Microlens™ what it is today—a leading and effective solution to treat presbyopia," said Vladimir Feingold, Chief Technology Officer of Presbia. "In addition to his extensive career in refractive surgery, Dr. Fantozzi's first-hand experience with implanting the Flexivue Microlens™ and observing the progress of his patients will be invaluable to our efforts as we continue to expand the reach of our proven solution for this common age-related vision condition."  

Dr. Fantozzi is known for performing the first refractive procedures using the femtosecond laser as well as the first procedures for keratoconus in Tuscany. He was a member of the surgical team at the Ophthalmological Department of Prato Hospital that performed the world's first corneal transplant using only a laser, thus requiring no sutures.

 "Compared to other surgical techniques to treat presbyopia, the most important advantage of Presbia's Flexivue Microlens™ is its reversibility," Dr. Fantozzi said. "Moreover, the lens possesses superior biological compatibility with the patients' eyes, is paired with an easily-learned surgical procedure, and results in a quick visual recovery—making this the most reliable, safe and effective option for the treatment of presbyopia."

In his distinguished career, Dr. Fantozzi has served as a member of several medical associations, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and has authored numerous articles in international ophthalmology and medical trade publications. Dr. Fantozzi received his medical degree, followed by a specialization in ophthalmology, from the University of Pisa. 

About Presbia's Flexivue Microlens

Presbia's revolutionary solution for presbyopia involves implanting the Flexivue Microlens™ in the corneal stroma of one of the patient's eyes. The hydrophilic polymer lens, just 3 mm in diameter and approximately 15 microns in edge thickness, is made of similar materials to those that have been used in intraocular lenses for the past 20 years. Using Presbia's proprietary insertion tool, the lens is placed in a pocket created in the cornea by a femtosecond laser—the same kind of laser routinely used for LASIK surgery.

The pocket then seals itself, holding the lens in place in the center of the visual axis. The lens can stay in place permanently, or can be easily and safely removed if, for example, the patient's presbyopia advances and a stronger prescription is required. The procedure typically takes less than 10 minutes, is performed on the non-dominant eye, and only requires topical anesthesia. Since the Flexivue Microlens™ is implanted utilizing standard femtosecond lasers, the procedure requires no significant additional capital investment by the surgeon's practice.

An animated video of the procedure is available at www.presbia.com.

ABOUT PRESBIA

Presbia is a leading ophthalmic-device company focused on the development of solutions for presbyopia, the age-related loss of the ability to read or focus on near objects.  Chief among these approaches is the Flexivue Microlens™, a 3 mm-diameter lens implanted using femtosecond laser technology.  Further information is available at www.presbia.com

Note: The Flexivue Microlens™ and related medical procedures are not available in the United States and have not been evaluated or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

CONTACT:  Mendel Communications
          Sarah Troutt
          212-397-1030
          sarah@mendelcommunications.com

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