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Ellex reports positive results in first-line glaucoma treatment

13/03/2019By Myles Hume
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Clinical trials of Ellex Medical Lasers’ selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) have shown the procedure is a cost-effective alternative to eye drops and superior in treating open angle glaucoma (OAG) and ocular hypertension.

In newly-released results from the LiGHT study, the Australian medical device manufacturer revealed its SLT therapy provided better intraocular pressure (IOP) stability than IOP-lowering eye drops, at a lower cost. Additionally, 74% of SLT patients were successfully controlled without needing eye drops for at least three years after treatment.

The first-of-its-kind trial was conducted across six collaborating centres in the UK between 2012-2014, and involved 718 patients enrolled; 356 randomised to undergo SLT treatment, and 362 who were prescribed eye drops. The therapies were conducted as a first-line treatment in newly-diagnosed cases. 

According to the study, use of SLT as the first-line treatment also resulted in an overall cost saving to the UK National Health Service of £451 (AU$843) per patient in specialist ophthalmology costs when compared with eye drops. Patients reported no significant difference in health-related quality of life and clinical outcomes.



“Not only did patients who received SLT exhibit better control of their disease at three years, none of the SLT patients’ disease progressed to a stage that required surgical intervention and overall the procedure was more cost effective than eye drops.”
Ellex Medical Lasers CEO Tom Spurling

Ellex CEO Mr Tom Spurling said: “We are delighted by the findings of LiGHT, which validates the benefits of SLT as a first-line treatment option for untreated, newly diagnosed patients with ocular hypertension and glaucoma across a large randomised controlled trial.

“Not only did patients who received SLT exhibit better control of their disease at three years, none of the SLT patients’ disease progressed to a stage that required surgical intervention and overall the procedure was more cost effective than eye drops.”

He added: “This is a significant benefit versus eye drops, and when coupled with compliance, toxicity issues and the increased rate of cataract surgery versus SLT observed in the LiGHT trial, is expected to materially enhance clinician interest for SLT in markets such as the UK where eye drops are recommended as a first-line therapy.”

The findings were published in The Lancet journal, with its authors recommending SLT be offered as a first-line treatment for OAG and ocular hypertension.

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LiGHT is said to be the first clinical trial showing a direct comparison between SLT and intraocular pressure-lowering drops in terms of health-related quality of life, clinical, and cost-effectiveness outcomes in a hospital setting.

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