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PHOENIX LASER SYSTEMS COMPLETES JOINT VENTURE WITH LAWRENCE LIVERMORE NATIONAL LABORATORY

 FREMONT, Calif., July 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Phoenix Laser Systems Inc. (AMEX: PXS) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory today announced the completion of a joint venture (see press release from Lawerence Livermore National Laboratory below).
 Phoenix Laser Systems Inc. is a developer of integrated laser workstations primarily for use by the medical community. The company's initial efforts have been focused on the design, development and testing of its first product, the Phoenix Ophthalmic Laser Workstation. The company's technology permits surgery designed to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, as well as a large number of eye disorders which are untreatable or only partically treatable with current technology.
 LAB, COMPANY JOIN IN BID TO CORRECT VISION PROBLEMS
 LIVERMORE, Calif., July 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and a Bay Area company have joined forces to determine whether a new lens can be used to solve several major human vision problems.
 During the next four years, Livermore scientists and engineers will work with Fremont-based Phoenix Laser Systems Inc. to examine possible applications for a thin plastic membrane that could simplify and substantially improve human vision correction.
 Called the micro-thin lens, the lens was developed in 1989 by a team of researchers from Lawrence Livermore and an ophthalmology professor from the University of California at San Francisco.
 The micro-thin lens is the first diffractive lens ever to be produced without significant color distortions since this type of lens was invented more than a century ago.
 The project between Livermore and Phoenix Laser Systems will be funded under a $15.2-million Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, or CRADA, that was signed Friday. It is the second-largest CRADA signed by the laboratory to date.
 Work under the CRADA will be directed toward correcting four human vision problems through the micro-thin lens, according to Nat Ceglio, the leader of the lab's Advanced Microtechnology Program.
 They are: presbyopia, an inability to vary the eye's focal length, causing the need for bifocal glasses; hyperopia or farsightedness; myopia or nearsightedness; and cataracts, a yellowing or fogging that reduces the flow of light through the eye's lens.
 Joann Schulz, the president of Phoenix Laser Systems, said her company has used software developed at Livermore in earlier work performed by the company.
 "Because of our past work, we knew there was a strong technology base at Livermore that could be useful to a commercial company," Schulz said. "We read about the micro-thin lens in a trade journal and were immediately impressed with the concept."
 Utilizing the micro-thin lens in cataract surgeries could reduce the cost of these operations in the United States, besides reducing lost work time and the potential for infection after surgery, UC-San Francisco's John Stanley said.
 Two approaches to employ the micro-thin lens will be examined in the research effort -- one to place the lens inside the eye and the other on the eye, Ceglio said.
 In the first option, the eye's natural lens would be removed through a small incision, using either laser light or ultrasound. The micro- thin lens would then be rolled or folded into the eye through the same incision. Once in the eye, it would be unfolded into its original shape.
 In the alternative method, the natural lens would also be removed with laser light or ultrasound. Next, the eye's epithelium, a thin layer of cells that covers the cornea, would be removed. The micro-thin lens would then be placed over the cornea and the epithelium would be allowed to grow back, covering the securing the micro-thin lens.
 Founded in 1987, Phoenix Laser Systems Inc. has 50 employees and is a public company traded on the American Stock Exchange.
 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy.
 -0- 7/27/93
 /CONTACT: Jon Solow of Phoenix Laser Systems, 510-249-0300; or Steve Wampler of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory public affairs office, work, 510-423-3107, or home, 209-835-4121/
CO: Phoenix Laser Systems Inc.; Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory


ST: California IN: MTC SU: JVN

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Date:Jul 27, 1993
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