ASX-listed ophthalmic technology company Nova Eye Medical expects more cataract surgeons and comprehensive ophthalmologists to uptake its glaucoma canaloplasty procedure, with the launch of its improved iTrack device in select Europe and Asia Pacific markets this week.
To date, the original iTrack device has been used almost exclusively by glaucoma surgeons, but the company has now released the iTrack Advance, featuring an easy-to-use handpiece that it hopes will open up the procedure to more eye surgeons.
Launched on Tuesday 19 April, the iTrack Advance builds on the company’s proprietary iTrack device, which itself became available in 2008. The iTrack system has been used in more than 100,000 canaloplasty procedures globally.
Pioneered by Nova Eye Medical (originally iScience Interventional, Inc.), canaloplasty is a surgical treatment for glaucoma that is designed to re-establish the function of the conventional outflow pathway, the primary drainage pathway in the eye responsible for regulating the outflow of aqueous fluid.
According to Nova Eye, this contrasts with traditional glaucoma surgical treatments that bypass or remove a portion of the conventional outflow pathway.
Managing director Mr Tom Spurling said there had been a marked increase in interest in canaloplasty from both surgeons and the wider industry during the past 12-18 months.
“An implant-free procedure that preserves the trabecular meshwork for subsequent procedures, canaloplasty offers significant utility to surgeons and their patients. The introduction of the iTrack Advance underscores our commitment to grow the canaloplasty field,” he said.
“As more companies enter the field it will bring more mass and more interest into the marketplace, which will undoubtedly foster further growth. With our strong IP portfolio and industry-leading features, we are well positioned to capitalise on this growth.”
The iTrack Advance features the proprietary illuminated fiber optic tip of the original iTrack device, which allows the surgeon to continuously monitor the location of the device in Schlemm’s canal. It also features a guide-wire mechanism that enables the microcatheter to catheterise up to 360 degrees of the canal in a single intubation.
However, the new iTrack Advance device is designed to improve the overall efficiency of the canaloplasty procedure.
“Canaloplasty is globally recognised as a highly effective treatment option for glaucoma. The intricacies of the procedure, however, which have included manual intubation of the microcatheter through the canal using forceps, previously limited its adoption by a broad cross section of surgeons,” Spurling said.
“With iTrack Advance we have taken the clinically proven iTrack microcatheter and engineered it into an intuitive, easy-to-use handpiece. It’s the perfect marriage of clinical excellence and surgical efficiency.”
He continued: “We see iTrack Advance being readily adopted into the glaucoma toolkit of cataract surgeons and comprehensive ophthalmologists. This will ensure improved access to the canaloplasty procedure for a greater number of glaucoma patients worldwide.”
Over the coming months the Nova Eye will seek to solidify its position for canaloplasty in Europe and support the market rollout of the new iTrack Advance via market and clinical development initiatives, including a surgical training program in Germany.
The company will showcase the iTrack Advance (not for sale or use in the US) to surgeons from outside the US during the 2022 annual meeting of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS), 22-26 April in Washington DC.