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Ellex CEO steps down as company shifts to new business model

Further leadership changes have occurred at Ellex Medical Lasers with the resignation of its interim CEO, as the company prepares to offload its lasers and ultrasound business to focus on higher growth ophthalmic segments.

Ms Maria Maieli, who was appointed interim CEO of the ASX-listed Adelaide firm last July, resigned from her post on 18 February effective immediately in order to spend more time with her family.

Maria Maieli.

Maieli was appointed to the position right months ago when experienced global health executive Mr Gerard Wallace suddenly stepped down after three and a half months in the role. She has since overseen a crucial period for the company, including the proposed sale of Ellex’s laser and ultrasound business to French company Lumibird Group for $100 million.

“On behalf of Ellex we wish Maria all the best into the future and thank her for her service over a number of years at Ellex including as chief financial officer, company secretary and more recently as Interim CEO during this very important time for the company,” Ellex executive chairman Mr Victor Previn said.

Previn will assume management responsibilities with the company’s vice president of global operations Mr Keith Byrne until the completion of the pending Lumibird transaction.

That deal will be finalised if shareholders vote to approve it at a meeting in late April 2020, with Ellex viewing the sale as an opportunity to monetise a low growth market segment.

Previn said the sale of the laser and ultrasound business, which accounted for as much as 80% of total revenue last year, would significantly reduce the revenue base for Ellex.

However, he said the company would be bank debt-free, with a less complex and streamlined business model, comprising its iTrack minimally invasive glaucoma device and its Retinal Rejuvenation Therapy laser 2RT therapy for intermediate age-related macular degeneration.

“We are excited by the potential of the iTrack and 2RT assets, which target higher

growth ophthalmic segments with a large unmet medical need. We look forward to sharing our plans for the new business structure with investors,” he said.

Ellex is continuing to assess potential product acquisitions that align with its glaucoma business, which is expected to result in at least one transaction during the current financial year.

It is also submitting an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) application to the US Food and Drug Administration to gain clearance for the sale of 2RT there.

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