Coherent's Selecta(R) 7000 Laser Receives FDA Clearance Providing a New Option For Treating Open Angle Glaucoma

Apr 17, 2001, 01:00 ET from Coherent, Inc.

    SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 17 /PRNewswire/ --
 Coherent, Inc. (Nasdaq:   COHR) announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug
 Administration (FDA) has  cleared its application to market the Selecta(R)
 7000 Glaucoma Laser System.  The Selecta 7000 is specifically designed to
 perform Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT), which incorporates  a new
 patent protected  technique for the treatment of open angle glaucoma, the
 leading cause of preventable blindness in Americans over the age of 40.
     Open angle glaucoma is a progressive degenerative disease in which the
 optic nerve is slowly destroyed.  It affects more than 50 million people
 worldwide.  If left unchecked open angle glaucoma cases can result in total
 blindness.  The only accepted treatment for open angle glaucoma is to lower
 intraocular pressure.
     SLT lowers intraocular pressure by using short pulses of low energy laser
 light to target melanin containing cells in the trabecular meshwork which
 drains fluid from the eye, resulting in increased fluid outflow. The selective
 technique  is much less traumatic to the eye than argon laser trabeculoplasty
 (ALT), the current laser  procedure.  The limitations of ALT are primarily
 related to its coagulative effect, which leads to scarring of the trabecular
 meshwork.  SLT retains the therapeutic benefit of laser treatment -- reduced
 intraocular pressure, without the collateral thermal damage to non-melanin
 containing cells and to the trabecular meshwork structure.
     The treatment, performed in an ophthalmologist's office, was devised by
 Mark Latina, M.D. at Wellman Laboratories, Massachusetts General Hospital in
 Boston.  Coherent has acquired an exclusive license from the Massachusetts
 General Hospital to commercialize SLT and market the relevant laser
 technology. Coherent developed the Selecta 7000 specifically for SLT.
 According to Dr. Latina, "SLT has the potential to change the standard of care
 for patients with open angle glaucoma."
     SLT is being performed today in many international markets using
 Coherent's Selecta 7000 Glaucoma Laser System, including Japan where it has
 been approved by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare for more than two
 years.
     According to "Prevent Blindness America" and the National Eye Health
 Program it is estimated that the U.S. government spends over $1.5 billion
 annually in terms of social security benefits, lost income, tax revenues and
 health care expenditures in its fight against glaucoma.  Now there is a new
 glaucoma treatment option that may provide economic benefits to the health
 care system compared to conventional therapy.
     In the next few weeks, Coherent Medical Group will be joining forces with
 ESC Medical Systems, Ltd. (Nasdaq:   ESCM), and thereafter the combined company
 will change its name to Lumenis, derived from the lumen, the Latin for light.
 Mr.Yacha Sutton, President and CEO of ESC Medical Systems, and the soon to be
 formed Lumenis commented, "This innovative product benefits patients and our
 customers alike.  Anything that helps prevent blindness is especially
 gratifying.  We are excited about the vast array of products that Lumenis will
 soon be able to offer worldwide to help treat this and other ophthalmic
 diseases as well as products used for aesthetic and surgical applications."
     Jim Taylor, Coherent Medical Group President, commented "Coherent is
 pleased to be part of the original research team exploring the treatment of
 the leading cause of preventable blindness affecting as many as 3 million
 Americans and more than 50 million people worldwide.  Additionally, Coherent
 will continue to benefit from this type of innovation as the owner of
 approximately 16.5% of the equity in Lumenis."
     Coherent Medical Group is a world leader in the development of laser
 products and services for ophthalmic, aesthetic, and surgical applications.
 Coherent Medical Group will be exhibiting the Selecta 7000 Glaucoma Laser
 System the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) in
 San Diego, California April 28 through May 2, 2001.  The company will also
 sponsor a Physician Symposium on Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty with Mark
 Latina, M.D., the inventor of SLT, on Sunday April 29th. Please visit us at
 booth #2121 for a product demonstration and to receive more information about
 the Selecta 7000 and the SLT Physician Symposium.
 
     "Safe Harbor" Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
 The statements in this press release that relate to future plans, events or
 performance are forward-looking statements that involve risks and
 uncertainties, including risks associated with uncertainties related to
 currency adjustments, contract cancellations, manufacturing risks, competitive
 factors, uncertainties pertaining to customer orders, demand for products and
 services, development of markets for the Company's products and services and
 other risks identified in the Company's SEC filings.  Actual results, events
 and performance may differ materially.  Readers are cautioned not to place
 undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the
 date hereof.  The Company undertakes no obligation to release publicly the
 result of any revisions to these forward-looking statements that may be made
 to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the
 occurrence of unanticipated events. Readers are encouraged to refer to the
 risk disclosures described in the Company's reports on Forms 10-K, 10-Q and
 8K, as applicable.
     Coherent, Inc., of Santa Clara, California, is a Standard & Poor's
 SmallCap 600 company and a world leader in design, manufacture and marketing
 of lasers and laser systems for medical, scientific, and commercial
 applications. Please direct any questions to Peter Schuman, Director of
 Investor Relations at 408-764-4174. For more information about Coherent, visit
 the Company's Web site at http://www.coherentinc.com . To receive a full text
 copy of this press release by fax, please call 877-329-2647.
 
 

SOURCE Coherent, Inc.
    SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 17 /PRNewswire/ --
 Coherent, Inc. (Nasdaq:   COHR) announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug
 Administration (FDA) has  cleared its application to market the Selecta(R)
 7000 Glaucoma Laser System.  The Selecta 7000 is specifically designed to
 perform Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT), which incorporates  a new
 patent protected  technique for the treatment of open angle glaucoma, the
 leading cause of preventable blindness in Americans over the age of 40.
     Open angle glaucoma is a progressive degenerative disease in which the
 optic nerve is slowly destroyed.  It affects more than 50 million people
 worldwide.  If left unchecked open angle glaucoma cases can result in total
 blindness.  The only accepted treatment for open angle glaucoma is to lower
 intraocular pressure.
     SLT lowers intraocular pressure by using short pulses of low energy laser
 light to target melanin containing cells in the trabecular meshwork which
 drains fluid from the eye, resulting in increased fluid outflow. The selective
 technique  is much less traumatic to the eye than argon laser trabeculoplasty
 (ALT), the current laser  procedure.  The limitations of ALT are primarily
 related to its coagulative effect, which leads to scarring of the trabecular
 meshwork.  SLT retains the therapeutic benefit of laser treatment -- reduced
 intraocular pressure, without the collateral thermal damage to non-melanin
 containing cells and to the trabecular meshwork structure.
     The treatment, performed in an ophthalmologist's office, was devised by
 Mark Latina, M.D. at Wellman Laboratories, Massachusetts General Hospital in
 Boston.  Coherent has acquired an exclusive license from the Massachusetts
 General Hospital to commercialize SLT and market the relevant laser
 technology. Coherent developed the Selecta 7000 specifically for SLT.
 According to Dr. Latina, "SLT has the potential to change the standard of care
 for patients with open angle glaucoma."
     SLT is being performed today in many international markets using
 Coherent's Selecta 7000 Glaucoma Laser System, including Japan where it has
 been approved by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare for more than two
 years.
     According to "Prevent Blindness America" and the National Eye Health
 Program it is estimated that the U.S. government spends over $1.5 billion
 annually in terms of social security benefits, lost income, tax revenues and
 health care expenditures in its fight against glaucoma.  Now there is a new
 glaucoma treatment option that may provide economic benefits to the health
 care system compared to conventional therapy.
     In the next few weeks, Coherent Medical Group will be joining forces with
 ESC Medical Systems, Ltd. (Nasdaq:   ESCM), and thereafter the combined company
 will change its name to Lumenis, derived from the lumen, the Latin for light.
 Mr.Yacha Sutton, President and CEO of ESC Medical Systems, and the soon to be
 formed Lumenis commented, "This innovative product benefits patients and our
 customers alike.  Anything that helps prevent blindness is especially
 gratifying.  We are excited about the vast array of products that Lumenis will
 soon be able to offer worldwide to help treat this and other ophthalmic
 diseases as well as products used for aesthetic and surgical applications."
     Jim Taylor, Coherent Medical Group President, commented "Coherent is
 pleased to be part of the original research team exploring the treatment of
 the leading cause of preventable blindness affecting as many as 3 million
 Americans and more than 50 million people worldwide.  Additionally, Coherent
 will continue to benefit from this type of innovation as the owner of
 approximately 16.5% of the equity in Lumenis."
     Coherent Medical Group is a world leader in the development of laser
 products and services for ophthalmic, aesthetic, and surgical applications.
 Coherent Medical Group will be exhibiting the Selecta 7000 Glaucoma Laser
 System the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) in
 San Diego, California April 28 through May 2, 2001.  The company will also
 sponsor a Physician Symposium on Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty with Mark
 Latina, M.D., the inventor of SLT, on Sunday April 29th. Please visit us at
 booth #2121 for a product demonstration and to receive more information about
 the Selecta 7000 and the SLT Physician Symposium.
 
     "Safe Harbor" Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
 The statements in this press release that relate to future plans, events or
 performance are forward-looking statements that involve risks and
 uncertainties, including risks associated with uncertainties related to
 currency adjustments, contract cancellations, manufacturing risks, competitive
 factors, uncertainties pertaining to customer orders, demand for products and
 services, development of markets for the Company's products and services and
 other risks identified in the Company's SEC filings.  Actual results, events
 and performance may differ materially.  Readers are cautioned not to place
 undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the
 date hereof.  The Company undertakes no obligation to release publicly the
 result of any revisions to these forward-looking statements that may be made
 to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the
 occurrence of unanticipated events. Readers are encouraged to refer to the
 risk disclosures described in the Company's reports on Forms 10-K, 10-Q and
 8K, as applicable.
     Coherent, Inc., of Santa Clara, California, is a Standard & Poor's
 SmallCap 600 company and a world leader in design, manufacture and marketing
 of lasers and laser systems for medical, scientific, and commercial
 applications. Please direct any questions to Peter Schuman, Director of
 Investor Relations at 408-764-4174. For more information about Coherent, visit
 the Company's Web site at http://www.coherentinc.com . To receive a full text
 copy of this press release by fax, please call 877-329-2647.
 
 SOURCE  Coherent, Inc.