IRVINE, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 08/01/12 -- BIOLASE, Inc. (NASDAQ: BIOL), the world's leading dental laser manufacturer and distributor, today announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has awarded BIOLASE a new patent, number 8,221,117 B2, titled, "Probes and Biofluids for Treating and Removing Deposits from Tissue Surfaces."
The new patent expands the Company's intellectual property ("IP") portfolio in the area of laser endodontics to a total of 14 issued and 19 pending patents, with 8 issued and 8 pending in the U.S. and 6 issued and 11 pending in international markets. BIOLASE currently has a total of 159 issued and 130 pending patents.
Chairman and CEO Federico Pignatelli said, "Our laser endodontic therapy system has the ability to reduce root canal bacteria levels by 99.7 percent and treatment time by 10 to 15 minutes. These are significant advantages to dentists who, according to industry sources, perform an estimated 30 to 50 million root canals annually in the U.S. and who we estimate perform more than a hundred million globally. Despite various improvements in conventional root canal therapy, failure rates continue to range between 10 and 15 percent. The primary causes of this high rate of failures include under-filled or missed root canals, tooth fractures, and inadequate cleaning which result in leakage, bacterial contamination or re-contamination. These failures result in three to seven million additional advanced dental procedures annually ranging from antibiotic therapy to extraction of the infected tooth. Multiple independent studies have shown that improving the effectiveness of cleaning and disinfection at the apex of a root canal double the chance for a successful clinical outcome. We estimate that in the U.S. alone, the improved clinical outcomes facilitated by Waterlase root canal therapy could save as much as $3.5 billion annually in retreatment expenses for practitioners, insurance providers and patients."
The new patent relates to the ability of a radially firing or side firing endodontic probe to combine multiple wavelengths of infrared and near-infrared lasers, such as the Waterlase iPlus and iLase diode laser, with biofluids or biopowders comprising one or more biologically-active particles or cleaning agents. These could be cleaning or disinfectant particles, anesthetizing agents, and particles or agents suspended in a liquid. Claims also include minimally invasive access to a surgical site of tissue comprising one or more of a canal, pocket or periodontal pocket.
"We believe the elements included in this new patent, in combination with our other related IP, move us closer to our goal of having technologies and patents that offer a thorough and protected process of root canal sterilization which should attract more general practitioners and endodontists that have not yet adopted laser endodontic therapy. We remain committed to innovation that furthers our core technologies and protects our market leading position in laser dentistry," Pignatelli concluded. "This new patent reflects the strength of the overall BIOLASE patent portfolio and rewards our commitment to maintain our research and development activities at high levels to keep our technological leadership in both hard tissue and diode lasers and to advance high-tech dentistry as a real and sustainable innovation."
About BIOLASE, Inc.
BIOLASE, Inc., the World's leading Dental Laser Company, is a medical technology company that develops, manufactures and markets dental lasers and also distributes and markets dental imaging equipment; products that are focused on technologies that advance the practice of dentistry and medicine. The Company's laser products incorporate approximately 285 patented and patent pending technologies designed to provide biologically clinically superior performance with less pain and faster recovery times. Its imaging products provide cutting-edge technology at competitive prices to deliver the best results for dentists and patients. BIOLASE's principal products are dental laser systems that perform a broad range of dental procedures, including cosmetic and complex surgical applications, and a full line of dental imaging equipment. BIOLASE has sold more than 19,600 lasers among 16,000 customers. Other products under development address ophthalmology and other medical and consumer markets.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of safe harbor provided by the Securities Reform Act of 1995 that are based on the current expectations and estimates by our management. These forward-looking statements can be identified through the use of words such as "anticipates," "expects," "intends," "plans," "believes," "seeks," "estimates," "may," "will," and variations of these words or similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are based on management's current, preliminary expectations and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the Company's actual results to differ materially from the statements contained herein, and are described in the Company's reports it files with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its annual and quarterly reports. No undue reliance should be placed on forward-looking statements. Such information is subject to change, and we undertake no obligation to update such statements.
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